Our Alliance

EUniWell – the European University for Well-Being – is one of 44 European University Alliances, selected for funding by the European Commission under the ERASMUS+ programme in 2020. EUniWell was formed by the seven universities of Birmingham (UK), Cologne (Germany), Florence (Italy), Leiden (The Netherlands), Linnaeus (Sweden), Nantes (France), and Semmelweis (Hungary). Since then, EUniWell has new member universities such as the universities of Inalco (France), Konstanz (Germany), Murcia (Spain), Santiago de Compostela (Spain) and Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Ukraine).

EUniWell is furthermore supported by more than 100 associated partners from all sectors of society.

In November 2020, EUniWell entered its three-year pilot phase during which we aim to develop a common research and teaching agenda on well-being, following our core mission to understand, improve, measure, and rebalance the well-being of individuals, our own community, our environment and society as a whole on a regional, European, and global level.

In essence, EUniWell understands itself as a new higher education organisation under a well-being agenda.

Why ‘Well-being’?

With its focus on well-being, EUniWell responds to the Council of the European Union’s invitation for member states to pursue a horizontal, cross-sectoral, knowledge-based approach to advance the ‘Economy of Wellbeing’ (24 October 2019), a virtuous circle between society, science and the environment, leading to greater well-being across those dimensions. It implies an understanding of the relations between these dimensions and the capacity to boost their synergies. Well-being thereby offers us a new way to measure progress, beyond GDP and with humane, societal and sustainable developments at the centre.

At the same time, the focus on well-being seeks to resolve a paradox: Today’s Europeans enjoy some of the longest life expectancies and Europe has one of the highest levels of human development in the world. Yet, the long-term well-being of our youth is endangered by challenges such as climate change, new diseases, rising populism, a growing divide between different groups in society, and – most sadly – the horrors of war in our closest vicinity. Solving this paradox will require a holistic approach in which institutions of higher education, research and innovation have a leading role to play.

Based on our joint values – democratic, inclusive, diverse, research and challenge-based, inter- and transdisciplinary, entrepreneurial, and co-creational – we aim to develop an action-oriented response to well-being, grounded in high profile research expertise, educational leadership and civic engagement. EUniWell aims to play a critical, intermediary role in shaping research-based policy and pedagogy to inform decision-making, underpin skills development, and realise a measurable impact on our students’ learning experience and European citizens’ quality of life.

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Background: The European Universities Initiative

The European University Initiative is one of the flagship initiatives of the EU’s ambitions to build a European Education Area, aimed at removing barriers to learning and improving access to quality education for all.

In it, European Universities are envisaged as future-oriented, transnational alliances revolutionising the quality and competitiveness of European higher education through enhanced cooperation. These alliances are characterised by the inclusion of partners from all forms of higher education and from a geographically diversified range, who jointly pursue a long-term strategy in the sense of sustainability and European values. A special focus is placed on transnational mobility, which should be made possible for students and academics on all levels.