On October 24–25, the Rector, Miroslav Holeček, attended a meeting in Marburg of rectors and other leaders of the new EUPeace alliance of European universities, of which the University of West Bohemia in Plzeň is a part.
EUPEace – the European University for Peace, Justice, and Inclusive Societies – is a joint initiative of nine European universities, including the University of West Bohemia (ZČU) in Plzeň.
The foundation of this European university alliance was laid in February 2021 in Marburg, Germany. The local Philipps-Universität Marburg, a university with a nearly five-hundred-year history, is the coordinator of the alliance.
At the end of October 2022, the leaders of all nine participating universities met in the Hessian university town to further expand the common vision in workshops and intensive discussions and to plan the next steps.
“To date, forty-four alliances of European universities have been established within the European Union. Their aim is to promote cooperation to improve the quality and competitiveness of European higher education. Czech universities are also members of four alliances, each different, as the rules require for this type of initiative,” explains Dita Hommerová, the Vice-Rector for Internationalisation at ZČU. “The University of West Bohemia now has the opportunity to expand the number of Czech universities in these European alliances. This year we joined a new alliance, EUPeace, which will be submitting an application to the European Commission early next year. If the project receives support next year, it means not only clear integration into European university structures, but also a chance to participate in EU projects specifically for European university alliances. This is a great opportunity for the University of West Bohemia that will strengthen us and improve our standing in the European space,”adds Hommerová.
"For a university that wants to be successful and develop, cooperation with foreign universities and openness to the international environment simply must be part of its activities. Participation in the European University Alliance means enrichment for the University of West Bohemia, for each individual student and academic who uses and contributes to this connection, and also for the entire European university community,” says the ZČU Rector, Miroslav Holeček.
“Our alliance stands for the European idea. Ilook forward to further cooperation in this association reflecting the diversity of Europe and its cultures,” explains Prof. Evelyn Korn, Representative of the President of the University of Marburg responsible for EUPeace. “Moreover, with war having returned to the European continent, we see more than ever the need to strengthen the European idea and to commit to it within the European university,” stresses Thorsten Bonacker, Professor for Peace and Conflict Studies and Delegate of the President for EUPeace at the University of Marburg.
In addition to the coordinating Philipps-Universität Marburg, EUPeace partners, together with the University of West Bohemia in Plzeň, include Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen (Germany), Université de Limoges (France), Maynooth University (Ireland), Università della Calabria (Italy), Universidad Pontificia Comillas (Spain), the University of Mostar (Bosnia and Herzegovina) and Çukurova University (Turkey). The alliance may expand to include one more university.