ENLIGHT: creating a European university alliance

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The ENLIGHT project and its ENLIGHT RISE programme aim to create a broad cooperation for education and research on a European scale, for a greener, healthier, fairer and more sustainable Europe.

Photo : Montaigne-Montesquieu campus © Julie Bruhier
Montaigne-Montesquieu campus © Julie Bruhier

In a nutshell:

Call for projects: Erasmus+ European universities, SwafS H2020 and ANR "Major Research Universities" 

Partners: Universities of Bordeaux, Ghent (Belgium), Gottingen (Germany), Tartu (Estonia), Basque Country (Spain), Galway (Ireland), Groningen (Netherlands), Uppsala (Sweden) and Comenius Bratislava (Slovakia). 

Selected in 2020 by the European Commission, ENLIGHT (European university Network to promote equitable quality of Life, sustainability and global engagement through Higher education) involved the creation of a consortium of 9 European universities. 

The aim of this alliance is to develop new models and methodologies for education and research, adapted to the complex issues of sustainability that cities and communities are currently facing. First and foremost, ENLIGHT focuses on five key issues: 

  • health and well-being
  • digital transformation
  • climate change
  • energy transition and circularity
  • social inequality

This is a major step in the internationalisation process of the University of Bordeaux, that is seeking to adapt in order to better respond to the major societal challenges of today and tomorrow and to help its students become concerned and committed European citizens. 

Joanne Pagèze, Vice-President for internationalisation

An active community

By 2030, the ENLIGHT community hopes to establish an integrated European university system without barriers to learning, teaching and cooperation at all levels. The educational programmes will give rise to several thousand ENLIGHT alumni, who will disseminate European values, approaches based on societal challenges and high-level research findings from the 9 partner universities.

The alliance works closely with various hands-on stakeholders in the form of living labs as well as regional and European education authorities. ENLIGHT is also opening up new opportunities to participate in future calls for research projects as part of Horizon Europe.


European University Network to promote equitable quality of LIfe, SustaInability and Global Engagement through Higher Education Transformation

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Deployment via ENLIGHT RISE

The ENLIGHT RISE programme (Research and Innovation agenda with and for Society), led by the ENLIGHT consortium, lays the foundations of the European university alliance's research and innovation component.

The mission of the cooperation project is to establish a longer-term operational model for joint research and innovation actions and to set up a research and innovation project development support group within the alliance. The programme should also identify research synergies within ENLIGHT and launch pilot projects with high innovation potential.

It also aims to enable the sharing and optimisation of research facilities, in particular in the digital field, while assessing and optimising the societal impact of digital innovation and artificial intelligence.

ENLIGHT RISE should strengthen cooperation and co-creation with the business sector and civil society, while integrating and promoting open science practices and public involvement. Lastly, the programme was chosen to make researchers' careers more attractive as well as to develop and officialise methods in view of a research and innovation programme focused on impact.

For the University of Bordeaux, ENLIGHT RISE will contribute to increasing its competitiveness in research and innovation projects under Horizon Europe; a major asset for securing funding and attracting high-level researchers.

[Logos] Erasmus+, Horizon 2020, Marianne Investir l'avenir


  • Joanne Pagèze

    Vice-President for internationalisation


  • Alexandra Doring

    Programme Coordinator