Higher Education for Resilience-Oriented and Empowered Societies

We are HEROES, a transnational alliance of professional higher education institutions committed to transforming the talents of a new generation of EU citizens into superpowers that advance the smart regional resilience of people, businesses and nature.
Read our full Mission Statement

We are thrilled to announce HEROES has been selected as an official European University Alliance under the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission. All nine HEROES members are looking forward to deepening collaboration in professional (lifelong) education and practice-oriented scientific research.
Read the full press release below to discover how HEROES is now set to strengthen the resilience of our regions through digital innovations.

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Our Purpose

In our rapidly changing world, one enduring truth emerges: the only constant is change itself. To face this dynamic reality, we need heroes to ensure resilience in all EU’s regions, and strong local ecosystems.

The HEROES Alliance advances smart regional resilience, i.e. the capacity of regions to anticipate, adapt, and recover from disruptions by strategically leveraging smart technologies, innovative solutions, and community engagement.

Through human-centred, nature-positive and resilience-enhancing digital innovations, HEROES aims to solve complex problems by e.g. introducing telehealth in healthcare, leveraging extended reality to strengthen local businesses, or utilising artificial intelligence for the efficient use of water.

The purpose of HEROES is to strengthen the smart regional resilience of people, businesses and nature by transforming the talents of committed Europeans into superpowers.

To achieve this purpose, HEROES focuses on:
(i) quality professional education,
(ii) impactful practice-oriented scientific research
(iii) and collaboration between like-minded partners.

Sustainably deepen institutional, structural and strategic cooperation

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A fruitful HEROES partnership already exists, it is now ready for thenext level

Strengthen the resilience of people, business and natural environments at regional and local levels

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Responsivenessand resilience at local level are crucial: the effects of today’s globalchallenges are strongly experienced at the grassroots level, practicalsolutions for local use are urgently needed. The partners of HEROES are locatedand firmly established in small and medium-sized cities and thus ideally placedto both come up with contextualised innovative solutions that work andimplement them effectively in cooperation with local stakeholders.

Our Actions

Our long-term strategy is based on 3 strategic flagships that cover the knowledge square of education, research, innovation and service to society. These flagships are the main pillars of our HEROES inter-university campus.

1) EDUCATION4HEROES deepens collaboration in educational programmes at bachelor, master and doctoral level with a strong link to practice.

The educational programmes empower students with practical knowledge and skills to address multiple crises from a local and regional perspective. Joint minor and master programmes integrate theoretical knowledge with challenge-based modules, particularly in those areas that contribute to the smart regional resilience of people, businesses and nature. Skills and competencies for applying digital tech solutions in a human-centred, nature-positive and resilience-enhancing way are key. In this way, we give local ecosystems the capacity to withstand disruptions.

2) HEROES4REGIONS encompasses all challenge-based initiatives of the HEROES Alliance.

In jointly designed challenge-based learning programmes, knowledge- and innovation-creating teams composed of students, lecturers, researchers and representatives from local businesses and communities collaborate on real-life local challenges. In synergy, the Alliance establishes a practice-oriented scientific research hub bringing together experts from different fields around transversal topics. They mix and match their expertise to pursue shared, challenge-based research agendas. All challenge-based initiatives of the Alliance enhance the resilience of local communities, businesses, and natural environments in surrounding regions through innovative practical solutions, tailor-made practice-oriented scientific research and bespoke knowledge and technology transfer.

3) HEROES4EVER provides flexible learning opportunities and alternative learning pathways for digital upskilling and employability for working professionals.

Jointly created flexible courses and trainings for both professionals and staff of the HEROES institutions foster upskilling, reskilling and enhanced employability opportunities. The offer focuses on skills for the twin green and digital transition and on transversal skills, leading to digitally badged micro-credentials. Online courses and ‘MOOCs for credits’ will respond to the use of artificial intelligence, anticipating the automation of skills, and recognising observed skills needs in terms of resilience of people, businesses and nature.

Our approach

The 3 flagships are the main pillars of the HEROES inter-university campus. The flagships are fortified and built on a solid base of joint structures and initiatives that feed, reinforce and support them. These structures and initiatives foster solid governance and a transnational multistakeholder ecosystem, support and streamline mobilities, and establish a green, inclusive and resilience-oriented community, in addition to a virtual campus. These are the indispensable cornerstones to achieve a green and inclusive HEROES inter-university campus.

About Heroes

The HEROES Alliance is a bond between 9 professional HEIs from 9 EU member states with a shared set of unique characteristics that contribute to the successful achievement of our purpose. These are our superpowers.

Our bond is based on trust and understanding

We have a strong basis for next-level cooperation as we build further on existing and successful bilateral and multilateral partnerships and cooperation agreements.

We are regionally embedded and accessible

Our geographical footprint encompasses broad and balanced regional coverage in Europe, ensuring close proximity and easy accessibility for students, lifelong learners, and local partners.

We provide education that empowers

We offer professional and applied sciences-focused tertiary and continuing education. Our programmes are tailored to professional needs and societal challenges.

We focus on research with impact

We conduct innovative practice-oriented scientific research that is demand-driven, addresses societal challenges and has a direct impact on professional practice and society.

We are innovation catalysts

We operate within and actively shape local and regional innovation ecosystems, collaborating with SMEs, industry, authorities, civil society, NGO’s and traditional universities.

We are agile and responsive

We are agile, which means we are capable to respond quickly and iteratively to evolving needs, labour market shortages and changing knowledge and skills opportunities.


Thomas More University of Applied Sciences
Fontys University of Applied Sciences
University College Northern Denmark
Polytechnic University of Beja
Deggendorf Institute of Technology
Halmstad University
Seinäjoki University of Applied Sciences
Vilniaus Kolegija/Higher Education Institution
Mendel University
Czech Republic

Contact us

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Our Associated Partners

The 9 partners of the HEROES Alliance are proudly supported by a wide and diverse array of associated partners:
Associated higher education institutions from other European regions: Artois University (France), "Ismail Qemali" University Vlora (Albania), Universum International College (Kosovo), Ukrainian Catholic University, and Hellenic Mediterranean University (Greece)
Experts and organisations in the International Advisory Network, including the Erasmus Student Network, EURASHE, UAS4EUROPE and Lifelong Learning Platform
70+ other partners from both HEROES countries and other countries such as Serbia, Ukraine, Kenya and Ghana: higher education instititions,
local stakeholders representing community, business and industry networks in their areas, international networks and umbrella organisations