The OpenEU Consortium has the vision of creating the first pan-European Open University with the participation of national open institutions. Its mission is to establish a student-centred, inclusive, digital and green European Open University, offering students a European and international experience and facilitating access to quality higher education and lifelong learning for all, regardless of place of residence, time, age and any kind of restriction. To achieve this objective, a joint proposal has been prepared and will be submitted shortly by the Consortium members to the Erasmus+/European Universities call.

The Rectors of the 10 member universities of the OpenEU Consortium met in Barcelona to discuss the final details of the proposal and approve its submission. During the meeting, which took place on the premises of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Barcelona on 25 and 26 January, the Rectors signed the Renewed Joint Mission Statement of the OpenEU Consortium, which is the institutional commitment of the institutions to this common mission, vision and objectives of the Consortium. In addition to the Rectors, the meeting was also attended by members of the university teams that have been working on the proposal. On behalf of the Hellenic Open University, the President of the Steering Committee, Prof. Ioannis Kalavrouziotis and the Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology, Prof., Professor Achilleas Kameas participated on this meeting.

For the Rector and President of the consortium, Àngels Fitó, “this is the best time to create a European Open University. After the covid pandemic, digital education has found fertile ground to be able to respond better and faster to the constant changes in society and the labour market”.

The President of the HOU, Professor Ioannis Kalavrouziotis, in his statement at the meeting, said that the creation of a European Open University will mark a new beginning in open and remote education and will be the trigger for a real academic change absolutely necessary in our time. The synergies that will be developed will be profitable and will strengthen academic and research initiatives at European level.

The core members of the OpenEU Consortium are the eight leading open and distance learning European universities, namely: Bifröst University in Iceland, Fern Universität in Hagen in Germany, Hellenic Open University in Greece, Open Universiteit in the Netherlands, Open University of Cyprus, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia in Spain, Universidade Aberta in Portugal and Universitat Oberta de Catalunya in Spain, in collaboration with two conventional universities which intend to adopt distance education, Daugavpils University in Latvia and St Cyril and St Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo in Bulgaria.

In cooperation with 17 collaborating partners, including universities (Open UK and others), networks (EADTU, EUA, UNIMED and others), civil society and industry and business associations, the OpenEU Consortium will work to strengthen the digital and inclusive dimension of the European Higher Education Area.

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