The Compostela Group of Universities (CGU) is a large, prominent, open and inclusive network of universities which overarching goal is to facilitate and promote cooperation in the higher education sector. It achieves this by acting as a platform to foster and support projects among its members as well as by participating in activities as an entity in its own right.
Membership reflects the diversity of higher education systems and is open to all European universities who share the group’s ideals. Associate membership is available to universities outside Europe and to other organisations.
The Annual General Council is the group’s highest decision-making body. Responsibility for running the group lies with an Executive Committee with the support of a Secretariat located in Santiago de Compostela.
The activities of the group can be specified under two broad headings: intra-group and group-level.
a) Intra-group activities
- Academic mobility. CGU supports and encourages academic staff and student mobility between its members within the framework of the Socrates programme or by means of other bilateral agreements as well as through the promotion of the summer schools of its members.
- Non-academic staff mobility. CGU finances a programme for administrative, technical and support staff mobility between member institutions.
- Cooperation in research and knowledge transfer. CGU seeks to stimulate and support cooperation between its members in research projects and the dissemination of knowledge.
- Working groups. CGU supports and encourages working groups on specific topics and themes, such as European Studies, Multilingualism and Multiculturalism, and Women and Gender.
- Workshops and seminars. CGU arranges workshops and seminars on a range of topics related to the working group activities and other specific fields.
- Publications. CGU has three series of publications:
-The Way to Santiago – topics relating to Santiago and the general concept of the pilgrimage
-European Issues – topics of current European interest
-The Compostela Prize - proceedings from seminars related to the work of winners of the Compostela Prize.
b) Group-level activities
- Compostela Prize. In cooperation with the Xunta de Galicia, CGU awards an annual prize to a European individual or group who has made a major contribution to European values in the educational, cultural or social fields.
- Academic Cooperation. Through interaction and dialogue with the EU-Commission and other actors CGU seeks to contribute to the building of the European Higher Education Area and the realisation of the aims of the Bologna declaration. In this context CGU seeks cooperation with the European University Association (EUA) and the European Association of Institutions of Higher Education (EURASHE) as well as with other European university networks as being of major importance.
- Global cooperation. CGU seeks to cooperate with academic organisations in other parts of the world, both existing networks of universities and individual universities. Priority areas for CGU here are the Mediterranean area (CGU is an adherent of the Tarragona Declaration) and Latin America.
- EU Programmes. CGU has a continued role to play as a partner and/or promoter in various EU-projects in, for instance, the new integrated action programme, Tempus, Erasmus Mundus, and the 7th framework programme.
- Cooperation with Industry and Society. CGU considers it of major importance that higher education institutions cooperate with industry and society and will work to strengthen such relations between members of the group and the community in line with the Lisbon declaration and subsequent documents.