Celebrating 20 years of European university collaboration

In 2021, EUA is 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

“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

“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

“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

“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

Let’s celebrate throughout 2021

To celebrate this anniversary, EUA invites members to share short video messages and written letters from rectors, presidents and vice-chancellors. Please add your wishes to the ones above. EUA will share 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.

Members can submit their messages and letters at any time between now and 31 August 2021. Technical details for videos are available for everyone who wants to participate.

Get in touch

If you have any general questions, please contact Christel Vacelet, Director of Communications, Public Affairs and Membership, at christel.vacelet@eua.eu or  Ines Mezher at ines.mezher@eua.eu for any technical questions related to the recordings and video submission.

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