Project information

Name of project: Advanced Technology Higher Education Network Alliance
Acronym: ATHENA
Project website:
Project funding: Erasmus+ KA2
Time frame: September 2020 – September 2023
Total cost: 6.250.000,00 €
FERI UM Share: 750.000,00 – 800.000,00 €
The amount of co-financing: 20%
UM FERI Coordinator: Prof.dr. Tatjana Welzer Družovec
Project Coordinator: ISEP – INSTITUTO POLITÉCNICO DO PORTO, Porto, Portugal


  1. Instituto Politécnico Do Porto (Portugal)
  2. Hellenic Mediterranean University (Greece)
  3. Universität Siegen (Germany)
  4. University of Maribor (Slovenia)
  5. Universita Degli Studi Niccolo Cusano Telematica Roma (Italy)
  6. Université d’Orleans (France)
  7. Vilniaus Gedimino Technikos Universitetas (Lithuania)

Project goals

ATHENA aims to shape the digital transformation of societies; it will support the development of an equitable, sustainable and safe digital economy. We envision delivering inclusive, innovative, high-quality international education permanently aligned with global market needs, addressing societal and environmental challenges as well as European research priorities, thus granting the highest employability standards, effective career transitions to our students and added value to our ecosystem. A focus on skills and research driving Europe’s digital transformation, an innovative pedagogical, research and development mind-set, social inclusion, cooperation with local communities and excellence through intensive internationalisation will open the way for ATHENA as a high-quality standard in the European Education Area.

The ATHENA pedagogical model – based on internationalised, inclusive education based on research – will promote a sense of European citizenship and intercultural awareness placing students in diverse environments where they will be prepared for the global workplace.

Educational cooperation will be based on complementary strengths and innovative instruments. Through these instruments, ATHENA will be able to offer its students international, diversified and personalised education, combining the different fields of research and teaching expertise and thus significantly enhancing the scope and ambition of our degree programmes. Educational internationalisation will be supported by common technical services and infrastructures preventing the need to change individual partners’ legacy systems.

ATHENA will combine its research capacities to develop innovative results, providing an illustration of ways in which challenge-based research can deliver much needed solutions locally, serve as a global model, demonstrate civic engagement in a very concrete way, and involve young students in research and development. Resources such as lab equipment, data sets and specific expertise will be pooled so as to facilitate the attainment of a new level of research excellence, which, in turn, will enhance educational contents and approaches. For mid-size universities, many of which are not situated in the respective capital cities of their countries, some even in peripheral locations, this new type of Europe-wide collaboration is particularly valuable.

Key deliverables / activities

  • A common infrastructure – based on virtual classrooms, blockchain technology, competence clusters, mobility window schemes, micro-credentials, etc. – to support personalised academic paths and deep cooperation suited to each ones’ individual interests.
  • The set-up of a novel intrinsic inclusive mobility culture empowering students and staff and removing all practical, organisational, financial and linguistic obstacles to student and staff mobility, as far as possible.
  • Creation of a unique, internationally recognisable brand in higher education to empower our internal stakeholders and promote the deep involvement of our external stakeholders in Europe and abroad.
  • Cooperation underpinned by a solid, yet lean organisational governance structure.

A specific joint strategy respecting the individual institutional cultures and goals, considering all members as equals and ensuring all partners benefit.

Comments are closed.