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European Campus of City-Universities EC2U

The University of Turku and seven other universities form the European Campus of City-Universities (EC2U) Alliance. The objective of the cooperation is to create a pan-European campus with a new model of quality education. The aim is that the cooperation produces synergy benefits for education, research and innovation.

The EC2U Alliance started its activities in November 2020 and it consists of

The Alliance is coordinated by the University of Poitiers. The EC2U Alliance is a joint project for all UTU staff members and students and an excellent tool to implement the University’s strategy and internationalisation programme.

The objective of the Alliance is to enhance the quality, capacity, attractiveness and international competitiveness of European higher education and to create innovative forms of collaboration and seamless mobility between the eight universities and cities. Among other things, the EC2U Alliance has created three joint Master’s degree programmes (with a forth one being planned) and three Virtual Institutes that focus on doctoral training and research.

The aim of the European Commission is to have 60 alliances by mid-2024, encompassing over 500 higher education institutions. Currently there are 50 alliances in Europe, consisting of 430 higher education institutions. Out of these, 19 are Finnish higher education institutions.

The Alliance involves circa 160,000 students and 20,000 staff members. The operations are partially funded by Erasmus+ and Horizon2020 programmes of the EU.


EC2U Joint Masters

EC2U has established three international Master's degree programmes. University of Turku offers modules in all three and has an intake to two of them: European Languages, Cultures and Societies in Contact and Sustainable Cities and Communities. A forth programme is being planned and it will be based on the theme of Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

> More information about EC2U Joint Masters

Virtual Institutes

EC2U has established three Virtual Institutes (VIs) whose themes are based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but do not exclude other themes. The objective of the VIs is to bring researchers in different stages of their academic career together, starting from PhD students. The Virtual Institutes foster research cooperation between researchers of the Alliance universities and offer among other things training, thematic seminars as well as opportunities for internationalisation and for joint funding applications and publications.

The Virtual Institutes are

> Read more about the Virtual Institutes

EC2U Think Tanks

Once a year, EC2U organises a Think Tank on a topical issue, inviting stakeholders such as representatives of the cities, businesses, lobbyists and associations in the region to join researchers in reflecting on the issues at hand. Each partner university organises its own Think Tank locally and the results will be compiled as recommendations for the entire European community. The results will also presented during the EC2U Forum. 

>> Read more about the EC2U Think Tanks

Join the EC2U community

EC2U organises a Forum annually, welcoming students and staff to attend. Forums offer an excellent opportunity to learn more about the achievements and activities of the Alliance as well as to network with colleagues and students from the partner universities. The next Forum will be held in 2024.

In addition, the Alliance offers UTU staff and students opportunities to participate in events, intensive courses, summer and winter schools and other types of mobility periods.

>> Read more about EC2U Events

European Universities initiative

The core objective of the European Universities initiative is to

  • promote European values and identity by increasing collaboration between new generation Europeans.
  • enhance the quality, capacity, attractiveness and international competitiveness of European higher education and to enable a deep systemic change of higher education institutions.

The aim of the European Universities initiative is systemic change of higher education, arising from deep collaboration. The continuity of cooperation and activities beyond the funding period is central to the initiative. The activities of the alliances encompass the whole higher education community from students to researchers and from teachers to support services.

Read more about the initiative on the websites of the Finnish National Agency for Education and the European Commission.

Get inspired by us! Welcome to Turku, Finland

European Campus of City-Universities, EC2U
The Alliance creates innovative forms of collaboration and seamless mobility between the eight universities and cities, also virtually.
EC2U Alliance on a map

More information

Interested in EC2U opportunities? Approach the coordination team at!

At the University of Turku, the EC2U Alliance is led by Piia Björn, Vice Rector for Education. The EC2U coordination team consists of Project Manager Liisa Järvinen and Project Coordinator Lassi Yli-Muilu, who also act as Local Coordinators in Turku.