The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport has published in the Official State Gazette (BOE) the new call for grants for the consolidation of Campuses of International Excellence (CIE), such as Euskampus promoted by the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).
The call aims to finance “specific actions that contribute to continuing the consolidation” of the existing CIEs, encouraging collaboration between universities, businesses, government and civil society as a catalyst for development. For this purpose, the Ministry is committed to continuing to improve the knowledge system in which the CIEs, “by incorporating abilities, critical mass and university-industry cooperation, can and should play an important role”.
These grants will be for a maximum of 7 million Euros, to be paid in the 2015 financial year, and can be accessed by public and private universities and institutions responsible for the management of CIEs like Euskampus. The grants aim to ensure the continuity of activities that “have had the greatest impact on improving our universities as regards teaching, PhDs, specialisation, internationalisation, attracting talent, mobility, entrepreneurship and improvement and innovation in teaching, among others, and mainly in the areas of specialisation and internationalisation”.
The call highlights that the impact of the CIEs has been established in recent studies comparing the international standing of Spanish universities in benchmark international rankings, showing an improvement in the average for the final three years (2013-2015) compared to the first three years (2009-2012), with an increase in average standing and in standings at the top of the rankings.
For the Ministry, the CIEs “have made a decisive contribution” to improving both international recognition of universities and their interaction with the business, territorial and social environment, through activities to improve teaching, science and transfer in the areas of specialisation of each CIE and to improve the physical environment of the campus. In this sense, it considers that the CIE programme has promoted the aggregation, specialisation and internationalisation of universities, whilst also making them more competitive, in both international and national programmes of excellence.