EUniverCities handbook on strategic city-university partnerships at European scale

Ghent actively contributed to the creation of the EUniverCities 'Handbook for Strategic City-University cooperation'.

On 2 December 2021, in the Teatro Regio di Parma, Italy, the EUniverCities network proudly presented its Handbook for Strategic City-University co-operation at the celebration of the 10th anniversary of the network. The content of this document is the outcome of a series of three online workshops which remotely gathered the members at a European-wide scale, during the winter and spring of 2021 as the pandemic made it impossible to travel. In addition to that, all members of the network contributed with short, concise e cases about their own practices.

As members of the EUniverCities network, the City of Ghent, the Ghent University and Artevelde University of Applied Sciences have actively contributed to the creation of the handbook, with extensive case studies on the Stadsacademie, 3ID-LABS and the Neighbourhood Campus.

Worldwide, there is a growing recognition that strategic partnering between cities and universities can bring substantial benefits for both sides. The big question is how to organize such partnerships successfully. This new handbook offers insights, best practices and advice for leaders in cities and universities that want to go beyond “ad hoc” projects and take the next step towards a strategic and sustainable partnership. The handbook identifies promising avenues, but also barriers and pitfalls and how to avoid them. Illustrated by a rich variety of examples from European cities, the handbook provides concrete advice on the various stages of strategic city-university collaboration. The handbook was co-developed by the members of the EUniverCities network and edited by Willem van Winden as lead expert of the network.

Ghent and EUniverCities

EUniverCities is a European network, born in 2012, where 13 medium-sized cities and their universities from 13 countries work together (in so-called tandems) at enhancing cooperation with the aim promote economic, social and technological innovation as drivers for building smart, sustainable and inclusive societies. The aim of the network is to exchange and disseminate knowledge, expertise and experience on city-university cooperation across urban Europe.

The City of Ghent and the Ghent University have been members of the network since the start in 2012. Since 2020, the Artevelde University of Applied Sciences has also become a member. They have all actively participated in the preparation of the handbook by taking part in the online workshops and by providing good practices. You will find the contributions from Ghent on pages 58-67 and pages 100-103 of the handbook.