01 November 2017 | Briefing

Universities and the European Neighbourhood

Key promoters of international contacts and science diplomacy

Universities facilitate and promote person-to-person contacts and establish formal, international ties across the world as part of their daily business. University student and staff mobility is an important way to enhance learning and to empower people. In a changing research landscape dependent on big data, large infrastructure, and international teams, universities build sophisticated global networks that bind countries together and promote international understanding.


The links between the European Union and its neighbourhood* are no exception. The structures for European collaboration in the university sector present a flexible inclusion of neighbourhood countries in programmes such as Erasmus+, Horizon 2020, and European Higher Education Area.

* For the purpose of this document, the word ‘neighbourhood’ is used in its widest sense as countries close to the European Economic Area: Albania, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, FYR Macedonia, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo (1244), Lebanon, Libya, Moldova, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine, Russia, Serbia, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, and Ukraine.

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