CHARM-EU is an Erasmus+ funded initiative which aims to develop long term structural and strategic cooperation between European universities. Nine European institutions are part of CHARM-EU, including Utrecht University.

CHARM-EU represents a Challenge-Driven, Accessible, Research-based, and Mobile model for the co-creation of a European University aligned with the European Values and the Sustainable Development Goals.

Master's in Global Challenges for Sustainability

In September 2021 CHARM-EU launched a Master’s in Global Challenges for Sustainability which offers a unique international learning opportunity. Students on this programme will address the pressing need for sustainability in a transdisciplinary and challenge-based environment.

The programme consists partially of mandatory credits, featuring general capacities related to sustainability, social innovation and transdisciplinary research. The second part of the Master’s degree is flexible, allowing students to choose from three options: Water, Food, and Life & Health. Finally, students conduct a group project related to a real societal challenge.

By developing challenge-driven curricula, CHARM-EU will empower and inspire students and staff to become critical thinkers capable of confronting societal challenges. CHARM-EU’s mission is to offer a transformative, educational approach to program and curricula design, and a flexible, skill-oriented modularised structure. International student mobility is at the core of the programme.

Learn more about our Master's in Global Challenges for Sustainability

CHARM-EU and Utrecht University

Utrecht University has a wealth of experience in multidisciplinary educational innovations such as challenge-based, student-led and blended education and learning. These educational concepts formed the point of departure for CHARM-EU, providing recognition to Utrecht University as a leader in education innovation.

On the other hand, CHARM-EU is a test bed university for an innovative, inclusive and sustainable university model. Positive experiences with educational innovations, gained within CHARM-EU, can be applied within Utrecht University.

In addition to the master's programme, there is also a CHARM-EU transdisciplinary research collective: TORCH (Transforming Open Responsible Research and Innovation through CHARM). TORCH aims to develop a common Research & Innovation (R&I) agenda for the European universities initiative. Utrecht University was the leader of the TORCH work package public engagement and transdisciplinary science.

Alliance partners

The CHARM-EU project, initiated in 2019 by the University of Barcelona, Trinity College Dublin, University of Montpellier, Eötvös Loránd University Budapest and Utrecht University, became a true example of good practice in the European Higher Education landscape.

In January 2022, CHARM-EU approved the integration of four new alliance partners: Åbo Akademi University in Finland, Würzburg University in Germany, University of Bergen in Norway and Hochschule Ruhr West also in Germany which to date had been an associated partner.

European Universities Initiative

CHARM-EU was created to align with the long-term vision of the European Universities initiative. The European Universities Initiative is one of the flagship initiatives of the EU’s ambitions to build an European Education Area. European Universities are transnational alliances that will become the universities of the future, promoting European values and identity, and revolutionising the quality and competitiveness of European higher education.

The 41 European Universities alliances selected under the first two calls for proposals in 2019 and 2020 are testing diverse models of the concept of European Universities and examine its potential to transform higher education. CHARM-EU is among the first approved alliances.  

More information

If you have any queries about CHARM-EU and Utrecht University please send an email to or contact one of the members of the Utrecht University team:

For general information, please visit the website of CHARM-EU.