From its inception, the Fondation pour l’innovation politique has argued for the creation of a University of Europe in Strasbourg. This proposal is the kind of concrete project the Fondation strives to promote. It encompasses three areas in which policy innovation is urgently needed in Europe: youth, global competitiveness and the ideal of progress.Europe has lost much of the intellectual appeal it enjoyed not so long ago.
In this report Bronislaw Geremek, Jérôme Monod and Jean-Didier Vincent, argue that Europe has turned its back on its youth, abandoned the ideal of progress and underestimated the two key factors in global competitiveness — higher education and research.
The creation of a University of Europe in Strasbourg, in the prominently symbolic building housing the European Parliament, would recommit the Union to creating a knowledge economy and to restoring the scientific reputation it deserves.
The primary function of this pioneer institution would be to offer interdisciplinary courses for professionals seeking continuing education. In so doing, it would pursue the goals of the Lisbon Agenda and offer a model for European universities: centres of excellence motivated by a future-oriented academic model and open to people of all ages and backgrounds.
In a working document, prepared by Zoe McKenzie, the Fondation sets out a the mission and proposed structure for the University of Europe in detail. The University would:
- Institute a unique model of formalised lifelong learning for those in early to mid-career;
- Offer its students high level technical masters programmes across pluridisciplinary faculties;
- Equip its students with a stronger sense of Europe’s history as well as its shared values and conceptions of society and progress.
The University would operate autonomously but work in partnership with other European universities and centres of research excellence. While established under the laws of France, it would eventually operate as a self-governing institution of Europe.