European University of the Sea (SEA-EU) among the 17 alliances selected by the European Commission: University of Split in the "Champions League”

On the occasion of the European Commission’s decision that has selected the University of Split, as a member of the Alliance called European university of the sea (SEA-EU) together with universities in Cadiz, Brittany, Kiel, Gdansk and Malta, as a model for improving quality, inclusiveness and competitiveness of European Higher Education, a press conference was held at the Rectorate on Monday, July 8.

Together with the University’s management, Rector Prof. Dragan Ljutić PhD and Vice Rectors Prof. Leandru Vranješ Markić PhD, Prof. Đurđica Miletić PhD, associate professors Željko Radić PhD and Goran Kardum PhD, the conference was also attended by Blaženko Boban, the Split-Dalmatia County Prefect and Andro Krstulović Opara, the Mayor of Split.

The Rector pointed out that this was a historic achievement, stating that out of 54 applications (300 universities) only 17 alliances were selected, including 114 higher education institutions from 24 member states, based on an assessment conducted by 26 independent external experts, including rectors, professors and researchers, all appointed by the Commission.

Vice-rector Miletic said that the European Commission decided to develop, by 2025, an area of education for the purpose of research and study without borders and with goals such as innovation, competitiveness, mobility, and networking. Presenting the initiative’s development stages, Vice-rector Miletić emphasized that intensive preparation for this project lasted three months, and together with other universities, more than 50 professors, experts and students from the Rectorate and University faculties participated.

Studying without borders between institutions, disciplines and sectors, the internationalization of curricula, students and staff, automatic academic recognition of foreign qualifications and learning periods, design of joint programs and openness to all levels of learning, including lifelong learning, are some of the guiding principles of our mission – stated Vice-Rector Vranješ Markic, also emphasizing the goals of increasing mobility, internships and joint research projects.

She said that, starting from the sea as a symbol of openness and connectivity as well as excellence in marine and maritime affairs, the goal is to connect universities to the full extent, and with the focus on sea in the three-year project all areas are included, for example marine biology, oceanography, fisheries, engineering, transport, logistics, sustainable management, tourism, health, maritime law, culture...

-We will launch two SEA-EU observatories: Migration and Human Rights Observatory and Sustainable Blue Growth Observatory, our goal is to become an international reference point that leads and gives advice on matters of effective and efficient policy making and sustainable management models in these fields - said Vice Rector Leandra Vranješ Markic, concluding that we will further disseminate our results and good practices, attract talents from around the world and increase quality and competitiveness of the European area of education.

Vice Rector Kardum said that this Alliance will enable the University to modify some study programs, develop new ones, programs as well as modules, and the focus will be joint studies while Vice Rector Radić presented expectations for the future regarding double and multiple degrees at the alliance level.

-We are creating opportunities and new perspectives for the well-being of our citizens, with the wholehearted support of the City and County, our partners, - said the Rector Ljutić.

The County Prefect Boban and Mayor Andro Krstulović Opara expressed their pride for the University of Split being recognized in the European framework, stressing that the University’s membership in such an important alliance will surely be of great help and benefit to our community.

-The University of Split now plays in the "Champions League" - concluded Krstulović Opara, the Mayor of Split

For specific activities in each country, cooperation with affiliated partners, mostly including institutes, state and local bodies, associations and companies, is provided for. Our partners are Institute for Oceanography and Fisheries, Hydrographic Institute of the Republic of Croatia, Ericsson Nikola Tesla, DIV Group, Invento Capital Partners, Split-Dalmatia County, Erasmus Student Network Croatia.

Quintuple helix - our University’s Work Package 

• The Quintuple helix work package connects education, research, innovation, society and the environment

• Inter-sectoral, interdisciplinary and international approach coordinated by UNIST

• Inclusion of students in workshops, focus groups, summer internships in companies, research graduate theses

• Joint creation, both in the alliance and with external partners - open innovation labs

• In collaboration with economy, develop programs for knowledge and skills, the lack of which limits innovation

• Joint Industry PhDs

• Fund development for financing collaborative research and innovation

• Virtual Project Office and Technology Transfer Office