City of Ghent supports European University Network ENLIGHT coordinated by Ghent University

The ENLIGHT consortium of 9 European universities, under coordination of Ghent University, was selected in the framework of the second call for "European Universities", the European Commission's pilot program for new multilateral networks. ENLIGHT will focus on an ambitious educational innovation and will receive a start-up funding of 5 M €.

ENLIGHT stands for 'European University Network to promote quality of life, sustainability & global engagement through Higher Education Transformation'. It unites the universities of the Basque Country (ES), Bordeaux (FR), Bratislava (SK), Galway (IE), Göttingen (DE), Groningen (NL), Tartu (EE), Uppsala (SE) and Ghent (BE) .

The 9 ENLIGHT universities have set as a common goal to fundamentally transform higher education and to empower students (and anyone who wants to learn) with the right knowledge and skills to become engaged professionals and respond to the major, complex societal challenges of the 21st century. Like no other, the ENLIGHT network embodies the geographical, cultural and linguistic diversity of Europe. ENLIGHT wants to make full use of this wealth and diversity to offer new, flexible international study opportunities tailored to everyone's needs.

“With ENLIGHT we will not only cross national borders, but also transcend the perspective of the own university sector. All ENLIGHT universities will therefore work closely with their cities to identify and address societal challenges. Based on these challenges the ENLIGHT universities want to create new learning formats in which students focus on real social issues together with researchers, citizens and companies.
We are ambitious: students will be stimulated to think innovatively, to work together beyond the boundaries of their own discipline and to deal with diversity within and outside Europe.

Rector Rik Van de Walle

“Thanks to the presence of the Ghent University, various university colleges and an extensive range of other educational institutions, Ghent is the largest student city in Belgium, with almost 80.000 students. Being a strong advocate of knowledge sharing and as a member of the EUniverCities network, the cooperation between the city and its higher education institutions is an enormous added value for the City of Ghent, that strongly believes in co-creation, participation and multidisciplinary collaboration. As a City, we therefore embrace the ENLIGHT consortium and want to actively contribute to this great initiative of European Universities.”

Mayor Mathias De Clercq

By working together, ENLIGHT wants to change the way we tackle major and complex social transitions in all their dimensions. Over the next three years ENLIGHT will focus on five themes to pilot new learning formats: climate change, health and well-being, inequality, digital revolution, energy and circularity. In the long term ENLIGHT wants to create an open space between the nine universities without barriers for learning, teaching and working together.

The ENLIGHT project was realized in close collaboration with the student representatives of all ENLIGHT universities. The Student Network will continue to play a central role in addressing the needs of current and future student generations.
Recent research has proven that Ghent University is one of the nodal points in the ever closer network between European universities. Since 2004 this network is concretely taking shape through the so-called Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees. These are Master’s programmes offered jointly with other European universities, with financial support of the European Union. As a coordinating institution, Ghent University is an absolute leader in the number of funded projects. The selection of ENLIGHT further strengthens the European position of Ghent University. Ghent University will therefore continue to drive the development of the European Education and Research Area in the coming years.

More information:




Secretariat EUniverCities
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