University of Tartu to join U4 university network

Rectors of the four universities that make up the U4 Network decided to accept the University of Tartu (TÜ) as the network's fifth full member.

Members of the U4, which includes Ghent University, University of Göttingen, University of Groningen and Uppsala University, gathered in the German city of Göttingen on Thursday and agreed on expanding the network, deciding that the University of Tartu will be included as the network's fifth full-fledged member, spokespeople for the University of Tartu said.

Negotiations regarding the network's agreement and new name are ongoing.

University of Tartu Rector Toomas Asser said that participating in this cooperation platform will be very important for the university.

"We have ambitious aims with the partners for jointly developing both the universities' main activities as well as management practice," Asser said. "It will also be interesting for the University of Tartu to learn from the experiences of the network thus far, such as involving students in management roles and in ensuring general management quality."

The University of Tartu's Vice Rector for Development Erik Puura, who coordinated the Estonian university's joining of the U4, said that the partnership confirms the university's excellence.

"It could be said that we are among the top in the world, in any case among the best in Europe, where at least all Eastern and Central European universities are ranked after the University of Tartu," Puura noted. "And this is a proud feeling."

Founded in 2008, the U4 Network supports finding solutions to societal problems with expert knowledge and resources as well as initiating innovative processes in education and research. A great deal of attention at these universities is paid to supporting initiatives coming from below; the involvement of students in all processes is very important.

In addition, the U4 helps find partners for participating in education cooperation of the Erasmus+ program and the research consortia of Horizon 2020.