COLOURS Alliance has expanded

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Photo (UniversityLe Mans): COLOURS partner universities met in October in Le ManPhoto (UniversityLe Mans): COLOURS partner universities met in October in Le Mans, France. Download (2 MB)
Together with six other universities from France, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Poland and Croatia, Paderborn University found the European university alliance "COLOURS" (COLlaborative innOvative sUstainable Regional univerSities) in 2021. The long-term goals are strengthening its cooperations and promoting mobility within Europe, increasing its international visibility, and jointly finding a multidisciplinary approach to tackle the various societal challenges of our time. Now the alliance has expanded.

Partner meeting in Le Mans

On Thursday, October 13, the COLOURS partner universities met in Le Mans, France, to discuss the further expansion of the alliance and a potential re-application in the next call of the European Universities Initiative. At the meeting it was decided upon the Alliance’s expansion. In addition to the founding universities (Paderborn University, Le Mans University in France, University of Castilla-La Mancha in Spain, University of Ferrara in Italy, Kristianstad University in Sweden, Jan Dlugosz University in Poland and Josip Jurai Strossmayer University Osijek in Croatia), the University St Kliment Ohridski Bitola in Northern Macedonia has recently joined the consortium. Lesya Ukrainka Volyn National University in Ukraine has joined as an associated partner. The partners plan to extend the alliance further in future.

All partners are characterized by strong regional roots. The alliance therefore focuses in particular on networking and cooperation between the respective regions and their regional stakeholders. Additionally, through open, innovative approaches that address current societal challenges in teaching, research and knowledge transfer, cooperation within the COLOURS alliance is to be intensified at all levels in order to make optimal use of synergy effects and create joint offers.

The development of new, attractive opportunities for physical and virtual mobility, as well as the design of joint teaching events are only two examples of planned activities. Students are to play a particularly strong role in the development of these offers in order to actively shape the idea of an inter-European campus.


The idea of "European universities" goes back to French president Emmanuel Macron’s keynote speech "Initiative for Europe" in 2017, in which he proposed that 20 "European universities" should be established by 2024. The EU Commission took up the proposal and launched a funding programme that has so far supported 44 university alliances in the first two pilot phases. The "European Universities" are intended, amongst other things, to promote a European identity, to support a united and strong Europe, and to improve the performance and competitiveness of the European higher education system. Alliances that develop and implement innovative formats for cooperation in teaching, research, and knowledge transfer will be funded with up to 14.4 million euros over a period of four years.