If you are acquainted with European Higher Education, then you should have heard about the Coimbra Group (CG). Like many associations of universities, CG is exactly that but has many purposes to serve and is based in the European continent. That being said, it is not the end of the story. Anyone who is interested in pursuing Higher Education in Europe should read about this group as it may affect your overall interests and goals.
In this article, I have compiled a few points of information regarding CG. The following discussion will tell you about the group, its operations, purpose, and whatnot. So, let us take a look at what we have here.
What is it about?
To put it simply, CG is a group or association of 41 universities in Europe. The group is named after the namesake place and university in Portugal and is headquartered in Brussels. It was established in the year 1985 but was only formalised into what it is now two years later. In the year 1987, only 19 universities came together to sign a charter that ultimately became Charters of Foundation and Early Documents of the Universities of the Coimbra Group. The University of Oxford, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, and the University of Caen were among the founders but have long withdrawn from the group.
The primary purpose
Being an association of multidisciplinary universities, the purpose is self-explanatory. CG aims to create an international stage for regional universities and their members by means of routine academic collaboration, research projects, and cultural programs. These universities, as a group, try to improve the existing standards of higher education and influence the European education policies through dialogue and lobbying. So, any university that is a part of the group is extended special treatment in terms of a range of matters.
To encourage academic collaboration and inter-university learning, scholarship programs have been launched under the aegis of CG. For instance, Scholarship Programme for Young African Researchers makes all except a few eligibles in which selected candidates can get a chance to spend a few months at a CG University for conducting research. Similarly, there is the Scholarship Programme for Young Professors and Researchers from Latin American Universities that grants funds to selected candidates for short-term research projects at a CG university. Finally, there is the Scholarship Programme for Young Researchers from the European Neighbourhood that allows candidates from a select number of countries to apply for short-term research visits.
Members of the group
As mentioned before, there are 41 universities from as many as 23 countries in the region. These include Catholic University of Louvain, Aarhus University, University of Würzburg, Heidelberg University, University of Poitiers, University of Göttingen, NUI Galway, University of Dublin, Leiden University, University of Coimbra, University of Granada, University of Edinburg, Durham University, Istanbul University, University of Salamanca, Saint Petersburg State University, University of Bristol, and Uppsala University. A handful of universities withdrew from the group in the recent past such as the ones mentioned previously, University of Cambridge and University of Lyon.
CG represents an association of universities that share a strong drive towards research. The group actively engages them in the publication of several research and policy papers that are highly read and respected. These publications include Negotiating Linguistic Identity, Language and Belonging in Europe, Collegiate Learning in the Middle Ages and Beyond, Botanical Gardens of the Coimbra Group Universities, Networking across Borders and Frontiers, The Forgotten Origins of Universities in Europe, The Past in the Present-A Multidisciplinary Approach, and The European Storehouse of knowledge.
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