The European University of the Seas - acronym: SEA-EU - is an alliance of six European universities that is being funded by the European Commission to dream and develop the ‘European University’ for the 21st century. The University of Malta is a member of this Alliance, along with the University of Cadiz, Spain (led partner), the University of Westen Brittany (Brest, France); the University of Kiel (Germany); the University of Gdansk (Poland) and the University of Split (Croatia).
The latest meeting of the SEA-EU Governing Board was held (virtually) on 13 July, 2020, with the participation of Rectors, Pro-Rectors and student representatives from the six partner universities.
The Governing Board recognises that the concept of "European University" represents a quantum leap for higher education and will require a change of mentality in all consortium members. Thus, it will be necessary to reinforce cooperation among the partners, not only at the management structures but also by developing a bottom-up process that engages students and staff. More information on meeting proceedings can be accessed online.
Students are at the heart of the SEA-EU alliance, and its major stakeholders: they are integral to the governance structure of SEA-EU, with student representatives from all six partner Universities engaged at all levels of the Alliance and its operational committees. Students voice their perspectives and are part of the decision-making process.
What do students think of the SEA-EU Alliance, and what is their vision for this initiative?
During the July Governing Board meeting, students presented what makes SEA-EU unique in terms of student engagement and how student participation in this project can be improved. They feel that, by including students in the Alliance's decision-making, and having done so from the early stages of its development, SEA-EU gives expression to the thoughts and ideas of young people, offering students a unique opportunity to foster inter-relations and collaborations with University staff while building a European University.
Moreover, planned SEA-EU activities will help to enhance the skills, adaptability, and employability of students, strengthen the openness and efficiency of labour markets, boost professional development for staff members, and improve the efficacy of European higher education. The opportunity for students (and staff) to experience education and research in other countries will improve employability and promote a more open, European-minded, flexible and mobile workforce that enhances Europe's competitiveness and innovation potential.
Students believe that SEA-EU is redefining higher education standards and enhancing their European identity. The ‘European University of the Seas’ directly connects them to the six partner universities within the lifetime of the project; while also opening doors to the rest of Europe as a long-term ambition.