Ghent University Frontrunner in Amount of Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree Projects

(13-07-2020) A recent study in Higher Education Policy has highlighted the central role that Ghent University plays in the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree Program.

The article Europeanizing Universities: Expanding and Consolidating Networks of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree Programme (2004–2017) that was published in Higher Education Policy maps the intra-university networks established between 2004 and 2017 within the confines of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Program (EMJMD). The authors analyzed 351 study programs/projects. The article confirms that Ghent University is the absolute frontrunner with regards to the amount of coordinated EMJMD projects.

Up to 2017 there were 13 projects, jointly comprising €40 million euro, primarily used for scholarships. With regards to the total number of participants (coordinator + partner), we come in at 5th place. The overview of the current EMJMDs at Ghent University is available at our student portal.

This image from the article shows how central our institution is in the intra-institutional networks that were established as a result of these study programs/projects. The circle that depicts the so-called ‘degree of centrality’ is somewhat smaller for Ghent University than for a limited amount of other institutions: one could explain this by pointing to the fact that the Ghent University consortia are a bit smaller and/or that Ghent University more often collaborates with the same partners, which is a sign of a stable and qualitative collaboration.

Moreover, the DG EAC of the European Commission views the study as a confirmation of its own policy ambitions regarding the Europeanization of higher education during the establishment of Erasmus Mundus; similar ambitions to those that are now a part of the EUn initiative.

Quick side-note: the study only analyzes the connections between institutions. However, the initiative to start EMJMDs is largely a part of our institutional base, so one could say the international ties exist primarily between the involved teaching staff, within their respective disciplines. Therefore, the study mostly shows the high degree to which Ghent University professors and other teaching staff use their own network to initiate, within this competition based in excellence, the most integrated form of international educational collaboration (i.e. collaborating to develop and offer programs, graduate together).