November 29, 2021

YUFE moving forward towards a radical transformation of higher education in Europe

The Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE) Alliance brings together ten dynamic, young research based universities (1) from as many European countries and four partners from the non-governmental and private sector (2). Together, the YUFE partners work to pioneer a radical transformation of higher education in Europe by developing the leading model of a young, student-centred, non-elitist, open and inclusive European University. Students actively co-create and are at the centre of everything YUFE does.

The YUFE Alliance strives to establish a holistic European University that is active in education, research and innovation and enhances the collaboration of academia, business, society and decision makers (quadruple helix) (3).

Find out more about the YUFE vision and mission on the YUFE website!

First achievements towards the YUFE model of education

Already since summer of 2020, YUFE has started to provide flexible European academic curricula and life-long learning opportunities through the YUFE Open Programmes. In addition to increased opportunities for the creation of personalised curricula with physical and virtual / blended mobility, the YUFE Open Programmes offer opportunities to the personal development of our students and staff.

Student Journey

In 2020 and 2021, YUFE enrolled the first two cohorts of students in the YUFE Open Programmes. There are now >300 students from all 10 partner universities benefitting from the YUFE Student Journey, with an additional >100 alumni so far. Next to the academic opportunities that our European Universities Alliance brings them, YUFE students also participate in the co-creation of an even more ambitious version of the YUFE Student Journey which will support their training and development as well as those of other students in the future.

YUFE Star System

In YUFE, the development of professional and civic skills is central as we believe that these skills  are key to contribute to shaping resilient and socially responsible individuals that can contribute to address local and global challenges both as professionals and as citizens. To support this vision, next to Europe-wide academic training, the YUFE Student Journey introduces an innovative learner-centred assessment and recognition system supporting the recognition and visibility of language, civic and professional skills development, the YUFE Star System. The YUFE Stars reflect competences and experiences beyond the academic realm that will empower YUFE students and learners in their careers and will position them strongly in the labour markets. While in the short term YUFE Stars will be awarded through their inclusion in the YUFE Diploma Supplement, in the long term they will lay the foundation for a YUFE take on micro-credentials and badges.

Virtual Campus

A central role in the YUFE approach to teaching, learning and engaging with all stakeholders – within and outside the universities’ communities – lays with the YUFE Virtual Campus that is being equipped with resources and services relevant for students, staff, citizens and local governments, entrepreneurs and businesses. The YUFE Virtual Campus was launched in 2020 and is already now supporting the YUFE Student Journey – including the YUFE Star System – also by helping students to keep track of their progress towards the learning goals they have set for themselves. 

Staff Journey

Parallel to the opportunities created for learners, YUFE is also seeking to provide Europe-wide career and development opportunities for academic and administrative staff. In 2020 and 2021, YUFE was able to roll out opportunities that allow staff members to develop their careers despite the pandemic. Specifically, the YUFE Alliance launched more than fifty training opportunities for YUFE staff at all institutions and launched two calls for YUFE post-docs

Moving forward

YUFE will continue to work towards a systemic, structural, and sustainable transformation of Higher Education for the benefit of all Higher Education institutions in Europe. Such transformation will also contribute to strengthen local communities, and train highly employable professionals and socially responsible citizens in future.

(1) YUFE academic partners are: Maastricht University (coordinating institution) – The Netherlands, University of Antwerp – Belgium, University of Bremen – Germany, University of Carlos III de Madrid – Spain, University of Cyprus – Cyprus, University of Eastern Finland – Finland, University of Essex – United Kingdom, Tor Vergata University of Rome – Italy, University of Rijeka – Croatia, Nicolaus Copernicus University in Torun – Poland.

(2) YUFE non-academic partners are Kiron Open Higher Education, The Adecco Group France, Educational Testing Services Global and European Entrepreneurs CEA-PMA.

(3) Besides the Erasmus+ grant, YUFE also received funding for YUFE Transforming R&I through Europe-wide KNowledGe Transfer, Hands-on traning on Open science and Open Innovation for ECRs, and Hands-on traning on Open science and Open Innovation for ECRs.

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