The EMERGE University Alliance: Empowering the Margins of Europe for Regional and Global Engagement

What is EMERGE?

For 2024, the European Commission published the fifth and last round of the “European Universities Initiative” (EUI) funding line under the Erasmus+ program. “European Universities” are university alliances that aim to combine the strengths and diversity of European education and research in new structures in order to address the challenges that Europe is facing. The aim is to create an outstanding European educational area, as well as to strengthen the international competitiveness and improve the attractiveness of European universities in the fields of education, research and innovation. In this context, Europa-Universität Flensburg joined forces with eight strategic partner universities from Ireland, France, Spain, Norway, Greece, Cyprus and Slovakia to found the EMERGE University Alliance in 2019. It is coordinated by the University of Limerick (Ireland).

The EMERGE vision

Despite being far from the European center or the national centers respectively, the EMERGE partner universities hold European ideals and values as central. The goal is to extend the collaboration with our peripheral regions and their respective organizations and communities, in particular marginalized groups, and to create a model of excellence in the fields of higher education and lifelong learning, research and transfer, languages and cultures, campus development as well as sustainable governance that engages students, staff, and the local organizations and communities.

Our core concept of “productive and creative peripheries” is presented in our short EMERGE film.


Current and planned activities include, for example, the integration of European Academic Pathways with elements of physical, blended and virtual mobility in existing study programs, applications for collaborative project funding within Erasmus+ Key Action 2 with our EMERGE partner universities, and the establishment of so-called EMERGE Third Places. A Third Place is a regionally anchored and internationally oriented platform for research and networking activities, joint third-party funding applications, publications and events as well as research- and project-based learning. There is also a regular exchange between staff (Staff Weeks) and a forum for student representatives from the participating universities.

What are the cooperation universities?

The official EMERGE internet site is: