The Alliance 4 Universities has signed a Collaboration Agreement with the Catholic University of Salvador, from Brazil

Last October 6th, Jaume Casals, president of the Alliance 4 Universities and rector of the Pompeu Fabra University had an appointment with Maurício da Silva Ferreira, rector of the Catholic University of Salvador (UCSAL) in Barcelona. The objective of the meeting was to strengthen the ties between UCSAL and A4U in research, teaching and mobility. During the meeting, the organizations signed a Memorandum of Understanding for the next 5 years. This agreement confirms Brazil as a key country for the internationalisation process of the universities of the A4U.

The IUNE Observatory evaluates the research conducted at Spanish universities between 2005 and 2014

The A4U outperformed the university system as a whole, especially in terms of competitiveness and quality, output and the visibility of publications

The IUNE Observatory has published a report on the research conducted at Spanish universities between 2005 and 2014. The report measures various parameters, such as scientific output (number of papers by university, region and subject area), scientific collaboration (national and international), impact (citations by university and professor), visibility (papers published in first-quartile journals), recognition of teaching staff (based on the number of six-year productivity bonuses, or sexenios, awarded), technological innovation (measured with indicators such as the number of patents and spin-offs), competitiveness (Spanish and European competitive projects), and talent recruitment and training capacity (linked to the number of dissertations defended or Ramon y Cajal, Juan de la Cierva, research internship (FPI) and university internship (FPU) grants received).


The A4U excels in all the parameters measured. The Alliance accounted for 17% of all research output, despite having only 6% of the Spanish university system’s teaching staff. Indeed, according to Professor Elías Sanz, the coordinator of the IUNE Observatory project, at the international level, ‘The A4U’s joint output outstripped that of institutions such as the universities of Munich, Copenhagen, Pierre & Marie Curie or Bologna.’


Similarly, according to the report, the A4U accounted for 20% of the university’s system’s national collaborative output, 5% more than the system average. The quality and visibility of the output also bear witness to the Alliance’s potential, as together the partner universities account for 19% of the papers published in journals in the first quartile and 20% of the system’s ‘Top 3’ papers. Finally, the report highlights competitiveness as one of the key strengths of the A4U, which accounted for 17% of the system’s Framework and Horizon 2020 programmes and averaged 3.3 projects per 100 teachers, compared to 0.56 for the system as a whole.

The A4U has obtained a KA107 Mobility Program with Russia and South Africa for the period 2016-2018

The Alliance 4 Universities has obtained a KA107 mobility program with Russia and South Africa for the period 2016-2018. This program aims at strengthening and providing continuity to the previous program initiated in 2015. During the program, the A4U will provide 22 scholarships to perform mobilities between the universities of the A4U and Russia and South Africa.

The Alliance 4 Universities has developed an institutional mision to Indonesia

Within the strategic framework for the internationalization of universitiesof the alliance, the A4U has developed an institutional mission to Indonesia in mid-July, aiming at establishing contact and strengthen relationships with key players in the country in the sector Higher Education, such as Universitas Indonesia, the Bandung Institute Teknology Bandung, Universitas Gajda Mada, the Indonesian Education Scholarship (LPDP) or the Ministry of Reshe coordinator of the A4U.

YERUN y REBIUN, represented in the European Commission’s High-Level Advisory Group on Open Science

uring the past 27 May Competitiveness Council of the EU, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation, Carlos Moedas, announced the 25 members of the High-Level Advisory Group Open Science Policy Platform that will provide advice about the development and implementation of open science policy in Europe.

Dr. Eva Méndez Rodríguez, Deputy Vice President for Strategy and Digital Education at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) has been nominated as one of themembersof the Platform and will represent the interests of YERUN (Young European Research Universities Network), as well as of REBIUN (Network of Spanish University Libraries, CRUE).

The mandate of the Platform will be to:

· Advise the Commission on how to further develop and practically implement open science policy, in line with the priority of Commissioner Moedas to radically improve the quality and impact of European science

· Function as a dynamic, stakeholder-driven mechanism for bringing up and addressing issues of concern for the European science and research community and its representative organisations, following five broad lines for actions which are presented in thedraft European Open Science Agenda

· Support policy formulation by helping to identify the issues to be addressed and providing recommendations on the policy actions required

· Support policy implementation, contributing to reviewing best practices, drawing policy guidelines and encouraging their active uptake by stakeholders

· Provide advice and recommendations on any cross-cutting issue affecting Open Science

Regarding the type of organisations represented, the following categories feature:

· Universities

· Research organisations

· Academies of Science/ Learned Societies

· Funding Organisations

· Citizen Science Organisations

· Publishers

· Open Science Platforms/ Intermediaries

· Libraries

Open Science is one one of the three priorities of Carlos Moedas’ mandate Open Science, Open Innovation, Open to the WorldOne of the concrete actions refers to the development of the European Open Science Cloud, presented on 19 April, as part of the Digital Single Market.

La A4U organiza la primera edición del EMI FORUM: Inglés como lengua de enseñanza en la Educación Superior

La Alianza 4 Universidades organiza la primera edición del EMI FORUM, el cual tendrá lugar en el Campus de Cantoblanco de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid durante los días 20 y 21 de junio de 2016 La Lengua inglesa se utiliza en todo el mundo como el medio para la enseñanza en contextos donde el Inglés no es el idioma principal o incluso una lengua oficial. ¿Qué significa esto para la experiencia de los profesores y estudiantes? ¿Es la experiencia igualmente positiva en todas las disciplinas/niveles de estudio? ¿Qué significa esto para el desarrollo de políticas nacionales y locales para incluir el inglés como un medio de enseñanza a nivel universitario? ¿Tiene un impacto en el reclutamiento de estudiantes?

El objetivo de este Foro es investigar estos temas desde la perspectiva de los países del sur de Europa y, en particular, en el contexto de las experiencias de las universidades de la A4U para la promoción de la enseñanza en inglés, un objetivo primordial en su estrategia de internacionalización. El Foro EMI proporciona una excelente oportunidad para intercambiar conocimientos y experiencias a nivel institucional, así como para coordinadores de grado, profesores, formadores y estudiantes. Para más información visite:…

Erasmus+ Call for international Mobility with Russia and South Africa

The Alliance 4 Universities has been awarded funds under the KA107 action of the Erasmus+ programme. Through these funds, students and Teaching Staff from Russian and South African partner universities and from the A4U universities have the opportunity to participate in the mobility scheme.

The Second Call is now open, until June 21th 2016. For further information click here

Publicada la Guía de buenas prácticas para la participación de las universidades españolas en los rankings internacionales

El periódico El País publicó recientemente un artículo sobre la Guía de buenas prácticas para la participación de las universidades españolas en los rankings internacionales, asignada por el Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte a un grupo de trabajo coordinado por el profesor Elías Sanz, director de INAECU (Instituto Interuniversitario “Investigación Avanzada sobre Evaluación de la Ciencia y la Universidad), que recibe el apoyo de Alianza-4 Universidades.

Además, INAECU coordinará próximamente una oficina destinada a dar apoyo a las universidades en el envío de datos unificados a los rankings internacionales. El fin último es conseguir un correcto posicionamiento de las mismas.

Network of young universities launched in Brussels

La red de jóvenes universidades europeas de investigaciónA network of young European research universities (YERUN) has been launched in Brussels to encourage joint initiatives in teaching and research and to promote mobility. The distinguishing feature of the network is that it consists of young European research universities – founded less than 50 years ago – which have been recognised by international rankings such as Times Higher Education, QS or Shangai.

In what was their second meeting (the first one was held in Madrid in October 2014), rectors of universities-members of the network signed an agreement committing to strengthen the role of young universities in shaping the research policy of the European Union. In addition to this strategic goal, the agreement sets out to promote collaborative research in areas of high social impact, to stimulate academic exchange programmmes for students, teaching and administrative staff, as well as to establish joint programmes at undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels. During the meeting Prof. Peter van der Hijden, an independent expert in higher education and research policy, gave a keynote speech.

YERUN network consists of the following universities: Bremen, Konstanz and Ulm (Germany), Antwerpen (Belgium), Southern Denmark (Denmark), Autònoma de Barcelona, Autónoma de Madrid, Carlos III de Madrid and Pompeu Fabra (Spain), Eastern Finland (Finland), Paris Dauphine (France), Dublin City University (Ireland), University of Roma Tor Vergata (Italy), Maastricht (Netherlands), Nueva de Lisboa (Portugal), Brunel and Essex (United Kingdom), Linköping (Sweden).

The A-4U promotes a Young European Research Universities Network

The meeting, held on October 3 at the Madrid-Puerta de Toledo UC3M Campus, was attended by presidents from 15 universities (including UC3M) which hold a spot in the “QS Top 50 Under 50” ranking and that all share an outstanding position in regards to research results. Specifically, in attendance were representatives from Universiteit Antwerpen (University of Amberes), Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Brunel University, UC3M, Dublin City University, University of Essex, Itä-Suomen Yliopisto, Universität Konstanz, Linköpings Universiteit, Loughborough University, Universiteit Maastricht, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Syddansk Universiteit and Universität Ulm.

During the session, the participants agreed to the creation of a European university young researcher network that enables the capabilities and results of each of its members to be strengthened. For this purpose, a committee of five universities has been created (Amberes, UC3M, Dublin City, Maastricht and Loughborough) to define network norms. At the start of the coming year, a second meeting will take place in Brussels, co-organized by the Universities of Maastrich and Amberes, to advance further in this project and which other universities not able to participate in Madrid could foreseeably join.

The “QS Top 50 Under 50” ranking, which is based on data from QS World University Ranking, takes as a reference only universities which have been in existence for less than 50 years. Of the five panish universities in the latest edition, four of them also make up the Alliance 4 Universities (A4U).

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