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Joint European Degree Initiative Lays Foundations for Common European Education Area, EU Commissioner Ivanova Says

The joint European degree initiative lays the foundations for a common European education area, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth Iliana Ivanova said at the University of National and World Economy (UNWE) here on Monday. She conferred with UNWE Rector Dimitar Dimitrov and representatives of the university’s academic community.

“A few weeks ago, we published a recommendation for a new joint European degree, which lays the foundations and sets the direction for the development of a common European educational area,” Ivanova said. In her words, one of her main priorities since taking office has been to finish the European educational area, whose main elements are university alliances, the joint European degree, and the easy cross-border transfer of students’ knowledge and skills between Member States. It is almost complete, but there are still a few indicators that require a little more work, she added. “A key element of it is the European Universities alliances and the aim is to expand them to 60, up from the current 50, by the end of the year,” Ivanova said. She added that she is glad that Bulgaria also has universities participating in the alliances and gave UNWE as an example.

“Around a billion and 100 million euros have been allocated from the EU budget for these European alliances, but there needs to be stable funding to sustain the activities – of both the European alliances and the joint European degree – for which the European Universities alliances play a key role. Next year, funding will also be allocated to promote the activities of the joint European degree,” the Commissioner said. 

Prof. Dimitrov said that one of his university’s priorities is to attract foreign students and lecturers. “We are interested in students from China and carry out joint programmes. We cooperate with Italy and Kosovo, and we are interested in several universities in Uzbekistan and Libya,” the UNWE Rector said. Dimitrov also discussed opportunities offered by the Erasmus+ programme and other projects promoting the mobility of students.