The Universidad Rey Juan Carlos has signed an agreement with eight other European universities to form the EULIST (European Linking Society and Technology) alliance. This union covers a geographical area that includes Central, Northern and Southern Europe and has a multidisciplinary vision of knowledge.

Raul Garcia Hémonnet

On May 28, 2021 Rey Juan Carlo University, National Technical University Of Athens, Brno University Of Technology, Slovak University Of Technology Bratislava, Leibniz University Hannover, Lappeenranta-Lahti University Of Technology LUT, Jönköping University, Univesitá degli Estudi Roma Trè and Technische Universität Wien, signed the Memorandum of Understanding in which they propose to work together in order to apply for the recognition of EULIST as a European University Alliance by the European Commission. The next call for this will take place in 2024. The EU has been supporting the initiative since 2017.

EULIST, explains María Luisa Humanes Humanes, vice-rector for International Relations at the URJC, “comprises more generalist universities, such as Roma Trè, Leibniz and the Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, while the rest are specialized in technical and technological knowledge.” With this, adds the vice-rector, “the objective of EULIST is met, to address the challenges arising from digitization and sustainability, without forgetting the humanistic aspect that these challenges entail.”

Thanks to the signing of the Memorandum, the nine universities that make up the Alliance are already carrying out joint projects. Accordingly, last week, the ‘European Workshop On Distance Learning’ led by ETSII professor and academic director of the Innovation Center for Digital Education (CIED), César Cáceres, took place.

Innovative joint mobility programs

Four working groups have been established within the EULIST organization chart. In the group that will deal with innovation, the co-director is the Vice-Rector for Innovation and Transfer, Fernando García Muiña.

Being part of this alliance involves the creation of combined intensive programs and allows student mobility in a new modality. This agreement “allows hybrid face-to-face/online stays and ‘Summer Schools’ in which a group of URJC students could attend a training session in one of the partner universities and continue this training online from home”. María Luisa Humanes Humanes points out that “mobility agreements will be increased for the entire university community between the participating universities”.

In addition to the aforementioned programs, the alliance includes the implementation of the ‘Erasmus Teacher Academies’ program, aimed at URJC education professors with an interest in educational innovation.

As a long-term objective, a very ambitious one, the possibility of joint degrees between the different partner universities is being considered, but this requires legislative changes in the different member countries “this could make it possible for a student to start at the URJC, do a second year in Hannover, a third in Rome and the fourth, again at the URJC. The student obtains a degree awarded by this alliance of universities”. The vice-rector, points out that this is a goal that will take time, but it is on the agenda.

Positioning the URJC at the level to which it aspires

The agreement with these nine universities “places the URJC among the leading universities in the Community of Madrid and in Spain and, hopefully, in Europe. This is something we cannot afford to miss. Our ranking positions have been improving over time. This alliance will strengthen this trend that we have started. In research, for example, being able to participate in European projects with other universities has to position us much better. It can only have advantages, positioning us at the level to which we aspire”. María Luisa Humanes points out.

It is a firm step in the university’s internationalization strategy opening up a wealth of opportunities for URJC students, researchers and staff who seek to add international experience to their careers and who want to get involved in the challenges that are already marking this 21st century.