5 – Coimbra Group
Founded in 1985 and formally constituted by Charter in 1987, the Coimbra
Group is an association of long-established European multidisciplinary
Universities of high international standard committed to creating special
Academic and cultural ties in order to promote, for the benefit of its members,
internationalization, academic collaboration, excellence in learning and
research, and service to society. It is also the purpose of the Group to
influence European educational policy and to develop best practice through
the mutual exchange of experience.
In pursuit of its Mission the Coimbra Group aims to:
1. Facilitate knowledge transfer between its constituent universities by
means of staff and student interchange so that they can benefit
from the added value given by membership of the Group, whilst
respecting the cultural and national identities of individual
universities and their individual freedom in learning and research.
2. Work with European Union (EU) institutions with a view to
participating in or organizing EU higher education and research
projects to the benefit of its members.
3. Contribute to the debate within Europe on quality in higher
education and promote the adoption of quality assurance
mechanisms within its member institutions.
4. Become a driving force in the creation and further development of
the European Higher Education Area and promote the academic
expertise of its members within this area and the European
5. Be recognized as an expert body, able to advise its members and
EU institutions on various matters relating to higher education, such
as Information Technology (IT) as applied to new teaching methods
and life long learning.
6. Encourage cooperation in cultural, social and sporting activities
between its members.
7. Promote the Group worldwide as a source of academic excellence
in Europe, with a view to attracting students to the universities in the
Group and encouraging academic collaboration and interchange
with its members.
These aims will be achieved in the following ways:
1. The creation of an administrative structure for the Group which
allows decisions to be taken swiftly and efficiently, without stifling
discussion, and which allows the Group’s views and policies to be
clearly and widely known.
2. The creation of such Task Forces and Committees as are needed
to carry forward the work of the Group. Each should have its own
rules and objectives, approved by the annual General Assembly for
a specified term. Task Forces and Committees may establish their
own working groups for specific purposes.
3. Ensuring that information about the discussions in and decisions
taken by the Group as a whole and by the Task Forces and
Committees is widely disseminated amongst the member
institutions and brought to the attention of the relevant authorities in
those institutions. The role of each University’s representative on
the Task Forces and Committees is crucial in this context.
4. Seeking funding that will enable the Group to undertake higher
education projects which will benefit its members.
5. Ensuring sufficient support (including staffing) for the administrative
office of the Group based in Brussels to enable it to be proactive as
well as reactive on the Group’s business.
6. The active involvement of the member institutions, through their
Rectors or Vice-Chancellors and their representatives, in the work
of the Group.
To carry the work of the Coimbra Group through:
1. The General Assembly will set the overall priorities, policy, aims
and objectives for the following year, including guidance for the
work of the Task Forces and Committees.
2. The Honorary President will chair the business of the annual
General Assembly. The Honorary President and the Chairman of
the Executive Board will determine the agenda for the annual
3. The Executive Board will devise an administrative structure that is
able to carry out the Mission, Aims and Objectives of the Group.
The Honorary President will take part in meetings of the Executive
4. The Chairperson of the Executive Board will function as
spokesperson for the Group.
5. The Executive Board will be responsible for monitoring progress in
achieving the aims and objectives for the year and will report to the General Assembly each year on whether those aims and objectives
have been met.
6. The Executive Board will devise effective ways of involving member
institutions, their Rectors/Vice-Chancellors and academic and
administrative staff in the work of the Group.
7. The Chairperson of each Task Force or Committee will ensure that
the business of their meetings is focused and follows the overall
priorities set for them by the General Assembly and Executive
Board for the year.
8. The Coimbra Group administrative office will be responsible for
ensuring that decisions taken are followed through and that
discussions and decisions are disseminated to all member
1. The Coimbra Group administrative office will ensure that the
Honorary President and the Executive Board are aware of new
projects, policies and directives, from whatever European source,
that might affect Coimbra Group universities. The office should,
through the Chairperson of each Task Force, assess their potential
value to the Group, or any of its members, and propose ways of
taking these forward, as appropriate, to the benefit of the Group and