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ENLIGHT recognized as a European University

10 July 2020

The ENLIGHT consortium of nine European universities, including the University of Groningen, was selected within the framework of the second call for ‘European Universities’, the European Commission's pilot program for new multilateral networks. ENLIGHT is one of 24 networks that can focus on an ambitious strategy on educational innovation and receives a start-up funding of 5 M.

ENLIGHT fully stands for "European university Network to promote equitable quality of Life, sustainability and Global engagement through Higher education Transformation." The 9 ENLIGHT universities - Basque Country (ES), Bordeaux (FR), Bratislava (SK), Galway (IE), Göttingen (DE), Tartu (EE), Uppsala (SE), and Ghent (BE) and Groningen (NL) - 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.

Rector Cisca Wijmenga of the UG: “Our participation in this diverse ENLIGHT consortium fits very well with the priority areas we want to focus on as a university and within our wider international strategy: act local, work global. Very import also for our students. I am very much looking forward to working together and contributing to the European Universities Alliances."

What is ENLIGHT?

ENLIGHT was founded in 2019. The consortium builds on existing, long-term collaborations in Northeastern Europe with the U4Society network and in Southwestern Europe with the Euskampus alliance. 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.

ENLIGHT not only wants to cross national borders, it also intends to transcend the perspective of their own university sector. All ENLIGHT universities will therefore work closely with their cities to tackle societal challenges. Based on those ‘challenges’, the ENLIGHT universities want to create new learning formats in which students focus on real social needs together with researchers, citizens and companies. In addition, students are not only given the opportunity to sharpen their knowledge with advanced research. They will also be stimulated to look beyond the boundaries of their own discipline, to think innovatively, to work together, to deal with diversity and to broaden their horizons within and outside Europe.

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 pilot new learning formats across five focus themes: Climate Change, Health and Well-Being, Inequalities, Digital revolution, Energy and Circularity.


ENLIGHT's ambition extends much further than the three-year project lifespan. In the mid-term, ENLIGHT wants to create an open space between the nine universities without barriers for learning, teaching and working together. ENLIGHT intends to develop a model that not only applies within Europe, but also has a true impact worldwide and makes a substantial contribution to strengthen Europe's role in the world.

The ENLIGHT project was realized in close collaboration with the student representatives of all universities. The Student Network will continue to play a central role to meet the needs of current and future student generations.

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Last modified:06 April 2021 10.35 a.m.

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