Moving forward towards a radical transformation of higher education in Europe

UM is the coordinator of the Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE) alliance, a major strategic partnership between ten young, research-intensive universities from as many European countries – another example of UM’s European orientation. The YUFE alliance, together with its four non-governmental and private sector partners, aims at bringing radical change to European higher education by developing the leading model of a young, student-centred, non-elitist, open and inclusive European University. Students co-create and are at the centre of everything YUFE does. The YUFE Alliance strives to establish a holistic European University that is active in education, research and innovation, and enhances the collaboration of academia, business, society, and decision-makers (quadruple helix).

YUFE’s results until now

Already since summer 2020, YUFE started to provide flexible European academic curricula and life-long learning opportunities through the YUFE Open Programmes. In addition to increased opportunities for the creation of personalised curricula with physical and virtual / blended mobility, YUFE Open Programmes offer opportunities for the personal development of our students and staff.

Student Journey

In 2020 and 2021, YUFE welcomed the first two cohorts of students in the YUFE Open Programmes. There are now more than 300 students from all ten partner universities benefitting from the YUFE Student Journey, with more than 100 alumni so far. Next to the academic opportunities that our European Universities Alliance offers, YUFE students also participate in the co-creation of an even more ambitious version of the YUFE Student Journey, which will support their training and development as well as that of future students.

YUFE Star System

At YUFE, the development of professional and civic skills is central. We believe that these skills are key to shaping resilient and socially responsible individuals who can contribute to addressing local and global challenges both as professionals and as citizens. To support this vision, next to Europe-wide academic training, the YUFE Student Journey introduces an innovative learner-centred assessment and recognition system, which supports the recognition and visibility of language, civic and professional skills development: the YUFE Star System. The YUFE Stars reflect competences and experiences beyond the academic realm that will empower YUFE students and learners in their careers. They will position them strongly in the labour markets. While in the short term, YUFE Stars will be awarded as part of the YUFE Diploma Supplement; in the long term, they will lay the foundation for a YUFE take on micro-credentials and badges.

Virtual Campus

The YUFE Virtual Campus, which is being equipped with resources and services relevant for students, staff, citizens and local governments, entrepreneurs and businesses, plays a central role in the YUFE approach to teaching, learning and engaging with all stakeholders – within and outside the universities’ communities. The YUFE Virtual Campus was launched in 2020 and is already supporting the YUFE Student Journey – including the YUFE Star System – also by helping students to keep track of their progress towards the learning goals they have set for themselves.

Staff Journey

Parallel to the opportunities created for learners, YUFE is also seeking to provide Europe-wide career and development opportunities for academic and administrative staff. In 2020 and 2021, YUFE was able to roll out opportunities that allow staff members to develop their careers despite the pandemic. Specifically, the YUFE Alliance launched more than fifty training opportunities for staff at all institutions and launched two calls for YUFE post-docs.

Moving forward

YUFE will continue to work towards a systemic, structural, and sustainable transformation of Higher Education for the benefit of all Higher Education institutions in Europe. This transformation will also contribute to strengthening local communities, and training highly employable professionals and socially responsible citizens in future.

Find out more about the YUFE vision and mission on our website.

Also read

  • Get ready for the ultimate European election experience! On April 29th, Studio Europa and Politico are hosting the third edition of the Maastricht Debate, gearing up for the European Parliament elections (6-9 June).

  • In the upcoming months, we’ll share tips on Instagram on how to live a healthier life. Not just a random collection, but tips based on actual research happening at our faculty. The brains behind this idea are Lieve Vonken and Gido Metz, PhD candidates at CAPHRI, the Care and Public Health Research...

  • Interview with Dr Zlatan Mujagic, MUMC+ gastroenterologist and liver physician. An international research consortium, including NUTRIM researcher Zlatan Mujagic, has investigated the effects of stress on the gut.