Unveiled the 3rd edition of the report “Towards a new approach to higher education in the European Union”

The third version of the study “Towards a New Approach to Higher Education in the European Union,” authored by Eleonora Erittu, formerly a student of the Political and Social Sciences Class at the Scuola Normale and currently a research fellow at the Department of Political and Social Sciences at the University of Bologna, has been published open access. The report, initially published in June 2021, is the result of collaboration between the Friends of the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa and TOUR4EU, which sponsored a bilingual and updated version available in the institutional research archive of the Scuola Normale Superiore at the following link.

This is a substantial contribution aimed at illustrating the transformations in the European higher education landscape, offering an in-depth look at the past decade, and focusing on the period starting with the establishment of the von der Leyen Commission. European transformations are also discussed at the legislative level. The report narrates the path initiated with the ET2020 strategy (EU cooperation in education and training) and highlights the increased attention paid to the education sector, recognised as an economic and social engine of the entire Union in the aftermath of the pandemic.

This edition coincides with recent communications from the Commission on, among others, education, research and development, digitalization, and the green transition, with the added value of integrating the theme of education with other sectors, demonstrating its cross-sectoral scope.

The document is intended not only as a work of analysis and dissemination, but also as a toolkit for sector professionals. Its structure, alternating between text and in-depth sections, makes access to information quick and intuitive, with a section dedicated entirely to schematic summaries of key documents, such as communications on the European Education Area (EEA), the European Research Area (ERA), the digital plan, and the one on micro-credentials.

Special attention has been paid to the bilingual nature of the text, recognising the importance of multilingualism and its utility outside the Italian academic space. This choice aims to promote an inclusive approach that enhances linguistic diversity and facilitates understanding by professionals across Europe.

This third edition is the result of the continued commitment and support of TOUR4EU and all the universities in the Region of Tuscany, which have actively contributed to the report’s update, making it an even more comprehensive and relevant tool.

TOUR4EU Joins GlyCanDrug, an Innovative Project in Cancer Research

TOUR4EU, the Belgian organisation representing Tuscan universities and the Tuscany Region in Brussels, announces its participation as an associated partner in the GlyCanDrug consortium. GlyCanDrug is an innovative project funded under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Networks (MSCA-DN), a component of the Horizon Europe research program, with a focus on glycoscience.

The GlyCanDrug project aims to promote scientific excellence in the discovery of anti-cancer drugs based on therapies targeting glycans, which have significant potential in the fight against cancer. Glycans, part of glycoscience, are a complex category of carbohydrate-based molecules capable of covalently binding lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids. Therapies based on glycans could provide targeted and innovative therapeutic options, contributing to the improvement of individual well-being and communities.

The consortium of the GlyCanDrug project has joined forces, creating an international, multidisciplinary, and cross-sectoral network of experts in glycoscience, from both academic and industrial backgrounds. This ambitious project, with the University of Florence as one of the main partners, aims to train ten doctoral students. These future professionals will gain in-depth knowledge of the potential of glycoscience in the discovery of precision therapies against cancer, along with essential cross-disciplinary skills.

The Kick-Off Event of the project, held online on Friday, January 19, 2024, served as a platform to present the project’s objectives, introduce the consortium members, and allowed TOUR4EU to propose communication and dissemination strategies for the project’s results. The event laid the foundation for collaboration among consortium partners, connecting research institutions, European university networks, the private sector, and European institutions.

GlyCanDrug aims to train the next generation of leading professionals in the development of innovative cancer drugs, thus meeting the needs of the industrial and academic labor market in the European Union.

The GlyCanDrug consortium met online for the Kick-Off meeting on January 19th.

CARE4CARE project: 16th-17th March 2023 Meeting


The two-day launch and presentation event of the Horizon Europe CARE4CARE project was held on 16th and 17th March 2023 in Florence. The meeting, open to the public audience, reached a broad variety of stakeholders, from trade unions to employers, from families’ associations to equality bodies and networks dealing with healthcare. That’s to indicate the actuality and relevance of the topic the partners are dealing with, in line with actions undertaken by the European Union on setting up a European Care Strategy.

”The key word for this project is inclusion. Society is facing multifaceted challenges and for any transformation to be considered an improvement, it needs to be conjugated with inclusion. People must feel a part of change”. With these remarks Professor Debora Berti, pro-rector of the University of Florence, opened the launch event.

‘’It is quite evident that care sector has suffered for a long time up to the present from a severe shortage of personnel and depends almost entirely on the shoulders of women and migrants who work mainly for lower wages, fewer protections and insufficient security. All this led to a question: who cares for those who care?”These were the introductory words of the coordinator of the project Maria Luisa Vallauri, professor at the University of Florence, when describing the initial research question that led to the conception of this very ambitious project.

“We believe that knowledge and awareness of rights are essential tools for empowering and including care workers. CARE4CARE web platform will constitute an excellent mean to achieve this goal”.  Professor William Chiaromonte from the University of Florence, leader of the Work Package on Web Platform development, underlined the double objective of the project: not only analysing risks and conditions that lead care workers into positions of vulnerability, but also creating tools to improve their job quality as well as increase the awareness of their rights.

During the Conference, all the partners of the Consortium had the opportunity to present contents and aims of the workpackages led by each of them together with the role they will play in the project, giving to the audience a clear idea of the research and societal outputs pursued and the deliverables achieved so far. These include the creation of the project website, which is already online, as well as the definition of a communication strategy.  Moreover, the University of Lund and the University of Girona drafted a questionnaire, fundamental to collect data and produce reports during the project lifetime.

The next step consists of the launch of the newsletter: a key tool for disseminating and communicating the progress of the ongoing activities. It is possible to subscribe to the newsletter at the following link http://www.care4care.net/newsletter-subscription/ or via the project website www.care4care.net .

The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the CARE4CARE project and do not reflect the opinion of the European Union.The European Commission is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains. 

January 2023: Launch of the Care4Care Project

The Covid-19 pandemic has emphasized the centrality of care work in modern societies, but it also notably highlighted many critical issues affecting the working conditions of care workers. Therefore, in September 2021, during her State of the Union speech, President von der Leyen pointed out the need for decent working conditions for all workers in the care sector and announced a European Care Strategy.

In this crucial context, the EU funded project Care4Care has been launched on 1st January 2023 with the objective to investigate in a comparative and multidisciplinary perspective the working conditions of care workers and their perception of their working environment and dynamics in six EU Member States (France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain and Sweden) in order to develop suitable tools to improve job quality and counteract discrimination in the sector.

The Project has been awarded a Horizon Europe grant of 2,739,012 euros for a three years lifespan to study the risks and conditions of vulnerability of care workers, to raise awareness and rights consciousness among them and their trade unions and to support the elaboration of legislative and policy proposals at the national and the EU level.

Coordinated by an experienced team at University of Florence (Italy), the Care4Care Consortium involves 10 partners: Lunds Universitet (Sweden), Universidad de Girona (Spain), Universidad de Sevilla (Spain), Europa – Universität Viadrina (Germany), Uniwersytet Rzeszowski (Poland), Tuscan Organisation of Universities and Research 4 Europe (Belgium), Université de Bordeaux (France), European Federation for Family Employment & Home Care (EFFE) (Belgium) and European Federation for Services to Individuals (Belgium). The Consortium can rely on the support of the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI).

The ambition of the Consortium is firstly, to create a model of analysis and regulation of the care sector that can be replicated in other European countries and can bring out new relevant strategies for intervention for European institutions and, secondly, to give voice to care workers and to their representatives in the design and delivery of policies and measures that affect their lives, thirdly to develop a web platform providing accessible information on working conditions for care workers in the Countries concerned.

For more information, please contact

Prof. Maria Luisa Vallauri (Project Coordinator – Associated professor of Labour Law Department of legal sciences, University of Florence, E-mail: marialuisa.vallauri@unifi.it)

Ms. Valeria Piantedosi (Communication team at TOUR4EU, E-mail: info@tour4eu.eu)