Regular strategy discussions, unrestricted mobility for students and academics, collaborative research programs and even a joint position on European higher education policy – the scope for such a high-level meeting of the top European universities for economic and social sciences is huge. “A strategy meeting of this kind is highly unusual and, by its nature, open-ended. Above all, the presidents want to have a lively discussion about future forms of collaboration between Europe’s universities,” said Prof. Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden. “And we also want to send out a clear signal of our opposition to a divided Europe.”
On Monday, in response to the University’s invitation, university presidents from the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Sweden, the Netherlands, Hungary and Israel arrived at Mannheim Palace. The meeting started with presentations of their institutions and their ideas on European co-operation. In the evening, there was an initial discussion of the scope for research collaboration. On Tuesday, by contrast, the focus was on teaching and European higher education policy, as well as on how to develop new forms of cooperation.
The University of Mannheim already has close partnerships with many of the participating universities. For example, in conjunction with the London School of Economics (LSE), Sciences Po (Paris) and the Central European University (Budapest) it founded ALUM, a European network for migrant research. It also collaborates with LSE to publish the world’s leading political science journal, the American Political Science Review. And it offers double degree programs for students from Mannheim University and the Università Luigi Bocconi in Milan.
List of participating universities: