The cities of Zaragoza and Turin hosted the first face-to-face meetings of the heads of the universities that are part of UNITA – Universitas Montium.
This is a symbolic meeting, since the official start of this European consortium, in November 2020, took place during the pandemic period. The meetings were aimed at discussing the continuity of the project until 2029, analyzing the activities launched so far and preparing those for the coming months, including the application for new projects and the celebration of the Universiade 2025, in Turin.
The rectors of three UNITA member universities - Zaragoza, Pau and Pays de l'Adour and Beira Interior – met in the Spanish city of Zaragoza, and were in contact by videoconference with representatives of Savoie Mont Blanc, Università di Torino and Universitatea from Vest din Timisoara, who met in the Italian city of Turin.
The program took place between the 6th and the 8th of July, with the main meetings taking place on the 7th.
The Governance Board, the Alliance's strategic decision-making body, met in the morning, while the Advisory Council session took place in the afternoon, with the participation of project partners. Thirty entities participated, from higher education institutions, companies, business associations to other local and regional entities and associations.
On the Governance Board agenda, the creation of a legal entity that supports the Alliance and the guarantee of the project's sustainability stands out, namely at a time when the European Council took the decision to allow the 41 alliances approved in 2019 and 2020, including UNITA, the possibility of continuing the project until 2029. Financial support of up to 24 million euros per Alliance will be available.
One of the decisions of the meetings held this week is to increase the number of members of the alliance to have access to the maximum funding offered by the European Commission for the extension of these alliances.
The Council of Europe is firmly committed to supporting these consortia to which it has entrusted the design of the European Education Area for the near future and has therefore called on member states and regional governments to support these consortia, to whom it has entrusted the design of the European Education Area of the future, and has therefore called on member states and regional governments to support these consortia, using all available funding, including the Recovery and Resilience Program and the Structural and Investment Funds.
The European university project UNITA - Universitas Montium was selected a year ago by the European Commission to be funded with 5 million euros until the academic year 2023-24, with the possibility of accessing an additional 2 million euros for research projects related to UNITA.
In addition to the University of Zaragoza, UNITA is formed by the universities of Turin (Italy), which acts as coordinator, Pau and Savoie Mont Blanc, from France, West Timisoara, from Romania, and the University of Beira Interior, in Portugal.