Celebrating 20 years of European university collaboration

In 2021, EUA was very pleased to unite members in a year-long celebration of its 20th anniversary. With 800 universities and 33 national rectors’ conferences in 48 European countries, the Association has grown over the years to become one of the largest higher education representative bodies in the world.


Two decades ago, members of the Association of European Universities (CRE) and the Confederation of European Union Rectors’ Conferences joined forces to create a single representative body in Europe for universities and their national associations. EUA was born from this vision. The decision itself was adopted during the Constitutive General Assembly of Salamanca on 29-30 March 2001, which means that 2021 is EUA’s 20th anniversary.

  • Messages from EUA members (videos)

    "EUA has really become a driver in many senses, especially in the field of higher education management, in creating instruments on how to improve our education."

    Prof. George Sharvashidze, Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University

    "We are very happy to be part of amny activities, such as seminars, lectures, webinars, conferences organised by EUA on topics which are very close to universities: education, research and innovation and the role of universities in society."

    Prof. Lenka Rovná and Prof. Radka Wildova, Charles University

    "Being member of such an organisation inspires us and allows us to feel that we are on the right path of development. We are also thankful that, through your support, we can build collaborations and partnerships, and share good practice and solutions with member universities. (...)"

    Prof. Elżbieta Żądzińska, University of Łódź

    "It is crucial to exchange so we learn from each other and from the experiences we make. It is crucial to share ideas so that we tackle together the big challanges Europe faces: our societal crisis, climate change, digitalisation."

    Prof. Christina Hansen, University of Passau

    “EUA has played a pivotal role, for example in the exchange of views getting connected as European universities, but also in the area of Open Science, Open Access, or the Funding Forum, the benchmarking of universities across countries. Towards the future, I think the future is positive."

    Pieter Duisenberg, Association of Universities in the Netherlands - VSNU

    “Thank you for having shared with us practices, for having opened a common path in higher education, research and innovation; for having provided us with a unique opportunity to shape mutual policies and a truly European identity.”

    Prof. Ferruccio Resta, Conference of Italian University Rectors - CRUI

    “There are certain characteristics of an organisation that has happy and content members. It should be open, inclusive, relevant and have high quality in all matters. That is what we see in the EUA of today and that is appreciated by the members. Is it an honour to be in a position to congratulate EUA with the anniversary from Universities Norway, and to wish the organisation the very best for the years to come.”

    Prof. Anne Husebekk, Universities Norway

    “Thank you for sharing a common vision and mission, for meeting the great challenges of the education system together, and for the opportunity for us to build bridges as an open, transnational, autonomous, sustainable and committed university. Happy anniversary!”

    Prof. Krasimir Nedyalkov, Varna Free University "Chernorizets Hrabar", Bulgaria

    “A big family of European higher education institutions has been created and common initiatives are very much needed. Thanks to them our voices can be heard with our efforts for broader access to education, better financing of scientific research and strengthening the position of universities.”

    Prof. Arkadiusz Mężyk, CRASP, Poland

    “During these 20 years, EUA has developed as the most prestigious and authoritative organisation, in which the voice and desire of universities in Europe consolidate as the voice of reason, the enduring democratic values and the challenges accepted in the name of a better future.”

    Prof. Hristo Beloev, University of Ruse, Bulgaria

    “Thank you very much for all these years of an important and growing collaboration in the university sector in Europe and for giving to all the institutions the possibility to share their vision and mission promoting the unity in the difference in an even more inclusive and synergic way, to bring bridges and dialogue among disciplines, sectors, countries, cultures and religions and above all among persons.”

    Prof. Mauro Mantovani, Salesian Pontifical University, Holy See

  • Messages from EUA members (letters)

    "We see the future of EUA as a leader, who will support and guide association members towards development and progress."

    Prof. Dr. Alexander Fedorov, IKBFU, Russia
    Full letter

    "We value our membership in such a diverse and harmonious academic body. We especially appreciate the EUA's role in paving the way for universities taking collective steps to anticipate future needs, to tackle problems, to create common framework for sustainable development in academia and ultimately to the benefit of society."

    Prof. Dr. Hamdullah Çuvalcı, Karadeniz Technical University (KTU), Turkey
    Full letter

    "We embrace the strong values of the EUA and our institutional membership of the EUA remains of great importance to Durham University. We value our European partnerships and remain committed to our continued engagement with EUA initiatives and mission."

    Prof. Stuart Corbridge, Durham University, United Kingdom
    Full letter

    "LMU Munich has greatly benefitted from the mobility and networking opportunities created by EUA's programs. On a more personal note, I fondly recall our joint efforts to further realize the European Reserch Area during my tenure as chairman of the League of European Research Universities."

    Prof. Bernd Huber, LMU Munich, Germany
    Full letter

    "EUA has become the voice of European universities, a platform for exchange of thoughts and ideas for further development, and above all, it provides support for its members on the way to continuous excellence".

    Prof. Bogusława Drelich - Skulska, Wrocław University of Economics and Business, Poland
    Full letter

    "Of primary importance, in my view, has been EUA’s participation in the Bologna Process. By actively supporting the key commitments of the Bologna Process, EUA also works on other crucial issues that are central to all universities in Europe and beyond, such as mobility, governance, learning and teaching, and the social dimension of higher education institutions, which I regard as the most important issue of all."

    Prof. Francesco Ubertini, University of Bologna, Italy
    Ful letter

    “Our collaboration includes (but is not limited to) the University of Vienna’s engagement in the EUA’s council for Doctoral Education, which has given us valuable insights for the further development of doctoral programmes at the University of Vienna. Based on our shared values – among others, academic freedom, integrity, inclusivity, diversity, and sustainability, – the University of Vienna aims to continue the promotion of academic creativity and critical thinking through its alliance with the EUA.”

    Prof. Jean-Robert Tyran, Universität Wien, Austria
    Full letter

    "Throughout the years we have shared the same values and strong belief that collaboration between higher education institutions on matters of education, science and innovation is the key towards a better future for Europe and beyond."

    Prof. Leonidis Ribickis, Riga Technical University, Latvia
    Full letter

    "EUA has given us all the possibility to meet, to get in touch with one another, to exchange good practice and to set up appropriate management policies so that we could provide better and better opportunities for our students. These are only few of the reasons which make us wish to pursue this collaboration in the following years and to strengthen the ties between University of Pitesti and the other partner universities."

    Prof. Dumitru Chirlesan, University of Pitesti, Romania
    Full letter

    “Our affiliation to the European University Association has supported this vision of unity and of trust in education and research as a response to a complicated and complex global context (…). Thus, we leave behind the idea of universities as ivory towers and pave the way towards universities without walls, for collaborative networks of students, academics, researchers and institutions, all strongly connected to the economic, cultural, social and political contexts in which they function. Happy Anniversary, EUA!”

    Prof. Marilen Gabriel Pirtea, West University of Timisoara, Romania
    Full letter

    “We were also born in 2001, a very turbulent year for this country. At those difficult times, the foundation of SEEU represented hope and belief in the brighter future of the young generations (…). We have not only managed to survive during the past 20 years but following the guidelines and principles of functioning of modern European universities, assisted through the role of EUA, we have become one of the leading higher education institutions in the country and the region. Happy birthday to us!"

    Prof. Dr. Abdylmenaf Bexheti, South East European University, North Macedonia
    Full letter

    “Over the past two decades, the EUA has created a fantastic platform for university cooperation and policy engagement. The EUA has played an important role by acting as a strong advocate for higher education institutions across Europe. Staff across the University of York have benefited immensely from the networking opportunities, forums for sharing best practice, and policy insights that EUA provides (...).  I congratulate the European University Association for twenty successful years and look forward to our continued cooperation in this important network."

    Prof. Charlie Jeffery, University of York, United Kingdom 
    Full letter

  • Let’s celebrate throughout 2021

    To celebrate this anniversary, EUA invited members to share short video messages and written letters from rectors, presidents and vice-chancellors, and EUA shared these throughout the year through this website and social media channels using #EUA20years, with a highlight at the EUA Annual Conference on 22-23 April – an occasion for our community to discuss how we can build on a history of accomplishments to realise our vision for the future.

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