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New Year's message by the President of the Compostela Group of Universities, Maurits van Rooijen


Welcome to 2014! This year promises to become another exciting cycle for the Compostela Group of Universities and its members. Over the last two decades the Group has established itself as a large network with not just a European but global impact. New members and strategic alliances have taken us to the Americas, MENA and, since recently, Asia. At the heart of the Group remains our dedication to be open, inclusive and innovative. Jointly we explore new avenues in the delivery of a higher education responding effectively to the needs of modern days. Given the sometimes challenging, but also exciting realities of today, that mission is more important than ever.

Excellent work has been done last year through the European Commission sponsored work of the EMMA project. Recommendations are made about innovating higher education in Europe. Member institutions are invited to join the excellent work done within this framework by contacting our representative’s office in Brussels (Jean Pierre Roose) or the Secretariat in Santiago de Compostela.

At the Nantes General assembly last year we launched the Collaborative Online International Learning group. COIL is transatlantic and welcomes participation to explore concrete opportunities to digitalise education.

The Compostela Group has become known for its practical approach, as for instance our collective work on professionalisation of university administration, especially through the STELLA programme. STELLA has had an impressive track record of eleven years and we have now launched a second STELLA programme specifically for students. We call it STELLA junior. Please contact the Secretariat if you want to make sure your university is active in STELLA and/or STELLA junior.

Another initiative for the million plus students of our Group is the CGU’s International Video Contest. This year sees the third edition and we welcome competitive contributions from the students of your university! To watch the winning video of last year, please click here.

The annual Compostela Prize has gained a high profile after many years of prestigious winners. We are now in discussion with last year’s winners, Euronews to engage in some exciting new forms of collaboration. More news to follow in 2014! And, of course please do not forget that only the members of the Compostela Group can nominate for this Prize, so please use this privilege and think of people or organisations that have had a real impact on Europe, European life, culture etc.

A warm word of welcome to our (relatively) new Junior Projects’ Manager at the Secretariat in Santiago de Compostela, Aroa Sánchez. We have a wonderful team -Isabel, Lucía, Noelia, Aroa and of course in Brussels Jean Pierre - to support the many activities of the Group. They look forward to hearing from you for our various projects and initiatives. More information on the website www.gcompostela.org. If you have not yet subscribed to our various social media updates, such as our LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or the new Facebook page for Students, I strongly recommend you do so now.

Finally, please mark very carefully in your diary: the XX General Assembly since our foundation will take place 25-27 September in the beautiful city of Vilnius, in Lithuania.

My very best wishes for the new year,


Maurits van Rooijen