European University Networks (EUN) – national initiative

People waving small EU flags.

Europe matters! In July 2019, the European Commission selected the first “European Universities”. Their aim is to enhance the quality, attractiveness and competitiveness of European higher education institutions and contribute significantly to a united and strong Europe. The DAAD is supporting this European initiative with an accompanying national programme for German higher education institutions.

Context of the programme

“European University Networks (EUN) – national initiative” is the accompanying national programme for German higher education institutions in the context of the EU pilot call for “European Universities”. Flanking the EU initiative, the programme supports German higher education institutions as they embark on the dynamic process of shaping “European Universities”.

German higher education institutions in EU-funded consortia can apply for additional financial support (“topping up”). Furthermore, German higher education institutions whose project application was rejected in the EU call for proposals but which are among the best in the selection ranking (“Approved but not funded”) can also apply for funding.

Eligible higher education institutions will be invited by the DAAD to submit project applications.

In order to systematically and efficiently support the German higher education institutions on their journey to becoming “European Universities” the DAAD will accompany the programme with a range of flanking measures. This includes various exchange, networking and information offers for universities, political actors and the interested public.

Programme objectives

The accompanying national programme is closely interlinked with the EU initiative “European Universities”. It specifically supports German higher education institutions within their European university networks and the DAAD assists them in (further) expanding their existing alliances in teaching, research and third mission. The funding programme also aims to strengthen the European dimension of German higher education institutions and their positioning for potential subsequent EU calls for proposals.

On an overarching level the programme is moreover intended to contribute significantly to achieving the goals of the EU initiative:

  • Improved performance and international competitiveness of the European higher education system with a strong knowledge triangle of education, research and innovation
  • Support for a united and strong Europe and a new generation of Europeans

New Call for applications (2022)

Applications for the upcoming four-year funding period (2023-2026) have to be submitted in DAAD's online portal by 24 October 2022.

All application documents are available in German language only and can be found on the German website.

Calls for applications (2019-2021)

The BMBF and the DAAD congratulate the 20 German universities selected in the second EU pilot call for ´European Universities´. The German universities eligible to apply for the accompanying national programme have already been contacted by us.

for the first pilot call.

for the first pilot call.


      Short film “Auf dem Weg zu Europäischen Hochschulen” - English subtitles available 


      Clip “Was bedeuten Europäische Hochschulen für dich?”



      on the EU initiative "European Universities"

      : Appeal to strengthen European Values in Higher Education (June 2020)

      among the higher education institutions funded in the national accompanying programme

      provides insights into the diverse engagement of German higher education institutions involved in European University alliances (May 2022)



      All links lead to German-language content.

    Logo BMBF (engl.)