Round table: the future of European Universities

As part of the French Presidency of the European Union, the University of Orléans and its European alliance ATHENA are organizing a round table with national and European decision-makers and experts who will debate the future of “European Universities” on February 28 at the International University Centre for Research, Hôtel Dupanloup in Orléans.

The European Universities initiative is a flagship project of the European Union in the field of higher education and research, aiming to make Europe’s universities more open internationally, more competitive but also more inclusive.

These European Universities are alliances federating between 5 and 8 institutions. Similar to transnational laboratories, they aim to invent and test new models of cooperation in the European higher education area, laying the groundwork for the universities of the future.

The expectations are high: within 3 years, the first alliances are called upon to leverage significant institutional transformation students, staff and stakeholders such as the local and regional ecosystems in the process.

The objective of the round table on February 28 is to consider effective solutions for the challenges that European university alliances are facing in practice.

In this context, the University of Orléans will host a panel of highly qualified experts to address these issues:

  • Vanessa Debiais-Sainton, Head of the Unit in charge of Higher Education Policies and Programme at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education, Youth and Culture
  • Anne-Sophie Barthez, Director General of Higher Education, French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation
  • Philippe Gréciano, President of the French-German University
  • Peter Haring Bolívar, Chair of the EUA Innovation Ecosystems Expert Group, University of Siegen Germany / ATHENA European University
  • Zdravko Kačič, Rector of the University of Maribor, Slovenia / ATHENA European University
  • Teresa Restivo, Administration Board of the Portuguese Agency for Assessment and Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (A3ES)

Organized at the International University Centre for Research at the Hôtel Dupanloup in Orléans on February 28, 2022 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm, this event will be bilingual (French-English) and will be broadcast live online. We invite the general public to follow this roundtable online by registering in advance at

Following the round table, a consortium agreement will be signed by the ATHENA member universities at the same International University Centre for Research at the Hôtel Dupanloup in Orléans.