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Shaping a Unique European Higher Education Area Through Active International Partnership in the Across Alliance

Representatives of the Across European higher education alliance coordinated by Chemnitz University of Technology met in Chemnitz in mid-October 2023 – Executive Board presented vision for development of common structures in research, teaching, transfer, and mobility

As part of the alliance "Across - European University for Cross-Border Knowledge Sharing", Chemnitz University of Technology (TUC), together with its nine partner universities at ten European border locations, aims to develop a unique higher education area. This area addresses the challenges and, above all, the opportunities of living, learning and working in so-called "cross-border regions". In four of these regions, the partners represent about 100,000 students. Ideas developed within Across for the challenges in these regions show exemplary solutions for comparable areas within the EU, where more than 200 million Europeans live.

In order to take further steps together and to reflect on past activities and successes, such as the awarding of the "Seal of Excellence" by the European Commission, 18 representatives of the participating institutions gathered at TUC from October 16-19 for the "Across Retreat Chemnitz". They came from Bulgaria, France, Italy, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovenia and Spain.

"In three days of intensive discussions, we were able to significantly advance our common strategy in the core areas of teaching, research and transfer. In particular, the participation and presentation of our nine partner universities at the enrollment and kick-off event for our new students made the European dimension of Chemnitz University of Technology tangible for everyone," said Prof. Dr. Maximilian Eibl, Vice President for Academic and International Affairs at TUC and member of the Across Alliance Executive Board, summarizing the successes of the retreat.

Further plans and developments regarding Across were presented by representatives of the Across Alliance Executive Board at the TUC on October 18. About 40 people attended the event in the main lecture and seminar building on the campus at Reichenhainer Straße. About half of them were representatives of Chemnitz University of Technology, who are involved in various projects of the alliance and who had the opportunity to exchange ideas with members of the Across Executive Board after the information event.

"The numerous discussions between the involved actors of Chemnitz University of Technology and Across after the information event showed the potential of Across. The exchange of best practices between the ten universities with their individual strengths and the joint development of these strategies is ultimately the core idea of a European university alliance," says Dr. Benny Liebold, Head of the International Office (IUZ) at TUC and Alliance Coordinator of Across, summarizing the value of the event.

In the future, established and successfully implemented formats such as the "Across Summer Schools" will be expanded and supplemented by new formats in research and transfer. In order to ensure the continuous creation of value in the Across regions through education, research and transfer, and to enable the university regions to grow together sustainably and support each other in their development, a further focus is on the qualification of experts for the specific situations and challenges near borders in the sense of "education without borders".

One example of the active partnership is the "Across Seasonal Schools" already underway at TUC, where researchers, teachers and students from the participating institutions meet for several days to work together on innovative topics such as the future interaction between humans and technology.

(Author: Matthias Fejes / Translation: Brent Benofsky)

Matthias Fejes

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