CAN EUROPEAN UNIVERSITY ALLIANCES CREATE INTERCULTURAL COMPETENCES?
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Existing literature on interculturality in higher education shows that the Erasmus+ programme is insufficient in helping students develop intercultural competences (IC) to their full potential. However, there is little to no information available on how the Erasmus+ programme tries to enhance interculturality, i.e. the policy input regarding interculturality. Therefore, this thesis tries to understand how the Erasmus+ programme can maximize its potential, by zooming in on one of its new, flagship initiatives: the European Universities Initiative. This initiative aims to create networks of different European universities, so-called alliances. The research questions leading this thesis, is: How successful are the European University Alliances in the creation of intercultural competences among students, beyond mobility? Three alliances – ECIU, EPICUR and ENLIGHT – have been researched in their ability to be successful in IC-acquisition among students. On the basis of four indicators, derived from theory, successfulness could be determined. In conclusion, the alliances are moderately successful in the creation of IC among students, beyond mobility. Where they excel in teaching methods that really foster the development of the skills, a lot can still be improved regarding the creation of a harmonized, integrated strategy, which also focusses on attracting a culturally diverse group of students.