Research power along the Danube

Confluence of Sava river and Danube in Belgrade (c) Wikipedia


Between its source in the Black Forest and its mouth on the Black Sea, the Danube traverses 2,872 kilometres and shares shores with ten countries. The Danube Rectors' Conference (DRC) is a strong network of almost 70 universities in this region. Our aim is to improve higher education in teaching and research, and the advancement of our member universities by establishing sustainable contacts.


The DRC is Affiliate member of the European University Association (EUA)



We mourn the passing of Erhard Busek


The Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe (IDM) as the seat of DRC Permanent Secretariat mourns the death of IDM chairman, former Vice-Chancellor Dr Erhard Busek. His family announced his passing during the night of 13-14 March 2022. The members of the board, the managing director, as well as the staff at the IDM are filled with the deepest sorrow. Our thoughts and condolences are with his family, friends and relatives.

© European Union, ECDC
© European Union, ECDC


We are experiencing extraordinary and difficult times. All European countries and their institutions, including universities, are currently tackling with the spread of the COVID-19 disease.


How are the DRC member universities responding to the current challenging situation? They share with us their experience, know-how and good practices regarding distance learning and E-learning. Click here for more information on the measures introduced at the universities.


News from our network

See below the latest news and browse in our archive.


For news from our Presidency, please click here.


17th DRC Summer School on Regional Co-operation 

"Shaping Tomorrow's Research:

What Future for Academia in the Danube Region?"

10. -16. July 2022, Vienna

  • Discuss the most up-to-date issues with leading experts in the beautiful city of Vienna
  • Publish your research in the IDM scientific journal “Der Donauraum”
  • Be part of the IDM podcast production
  • Connect with the participants of the DRC Strategic Foresight Project
  • Cultural programme
  • No registration fee, accomodation is provided!
17th DRC Summer School 2022 Flyer
Flyer DRC Summer School 2022.pdf
Adobe Acrobat Document 2.8 MB

General Topics of the Summer School:


Youth in academia – passive listeners or drivers for change? 

The role of students, graduates and early-stage researchers in academia is significantly shaped by the given institutional structures and processes at universities and research institutions. In the Danube Region, rigid hierarchy-based approach and institutional setting are predominantly established, thus effecting professional development of students as well as their cultural approach to – and their role in – academia. By challenging the academic status quo, university students and young researchers can prove to be the driving force for a cultural shift in academia stemming from a more participative and inclusive learning formats and university procedures. 


University autonomy and academic freedom – Regional perspective 

Particularly in young democratic systems of Central, Eastern and Southeastern European countries, the university autonomy and academic freedom become a victim to various socio-political pressures. While introducing political reforms and cultivating informal structures, the limitation, undermining or even destruction of autonomy of universities and research institutes happens to be a reality. This development results in decreasing of transparency and accountability of higher education in general. 


Education for a brighter future – role of research in policy-making 

In addition to education and research, higher education also plays a crucial role in transferring the latest, evidence-based knowledge and technology to the public and policy-makers. Facing the ever-increasing general distrust in science and the changing political-social climate, the resilience of universities and academia is coming to the test. Universities need to rethink the ways of enhancing the role of science in the decision-making processes both on national and European levels.


Learning and mobility in the shadow of the war – considerations and challenges 

According to the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, more than 1600 educational institutions were affected by the war in Ukraine. Almost 50 pre-higher and higher education buildings and around 58 scientific facilities have been significantly damaged, amounting to nearly 15% of the research infrastructure of higher education and research institutions in Ukraine. The conflict in Ukraine serves as an example of the broader impact of the war on local universities and institutions and sheds light on the interplay between conflict, education, mobility, asylum and migration.

Application deadline: 31. May 2022

Language of instruction: English 



DRC Vice-Presidents and Secretary General at the European University Association (EUA) Annual Conference 2022

DRC Vice-President and EUA board member Prof. Dr. Ivanka Popović, DRC Vice-President and Rector of the University of Continuing Education Krems (UWK) Mag. Friedrich Faulhammer and the DRC Secretary General and IDM Managing Director Mag. Sebastian Schäffer attended the Annual Conference of the European University Association (EUA) in Budapest.

From April 28th to 29th, 2022, various expert presentations were given on the general topic "University values: what, why and how?" at the University of Technology and Economics Budapest. In the breakout session "Strategic Framework instead of Strategy - an institution-wide approach to drive values into reality", Mag. Friedrich Faulhammer presented the further strategic development of the UWK as a "best practice" model.  The "Spotlight on Ukraine", touching upon the effects of the war on educational and research institutions as well as the experiences of a professor who had to flee her academic institution for the second time after 2014, was particularly impressive for the DRC representatives. 


Between the 27th and 29th of March, twenty bright minds from all over Europe have gathered in Vienna for developing possible scenarios concerning the future of research and higher education in the Danube Region

After getting numerous insights on strategic foresight methodology provided by our guest professors during the lectures, participants have worked within their assigned group and dealt with four different thematic areasUniversity Autonomy and Governance, Science and Learning in Digital Era, Scientific Research for European Decision Making, and Employability of Students and Early-stage researchers.

It was just the first meeting, but the proactiveness of the participants, as well as the early results they have already brought, clearly show that the project outcome will be a valuable contribution to analysing what is ahead of us when it comes to the future scenarios of higher education in the region! 

Therefore, we thank all the participants for being a great group of young researchers and for bringing their enthusiasm to Vienna, the visiting lecturers for the valuable inputs provided, and the IDM team for implementing the project!

The first in-person meeting is just the beginning of the project, which will continue throughout the upcoming months. Don't forget to follow our social media channels to keep on track of it! 


We are pleased to announce the project funded by the Danube Rectors' Conference and coordinated by the University of Maribor: the DRC Initiative Fund!

As a part of a wider framework of the European Union Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), especially in the field of the priority area "Knowledge society", The Danube Rectors' Conference offers students of doctoral study programmes at DRC member universities the possibility to obtain financial means for developing applicants' projects, solutions, prototypes.

In the focus of this project are three targets of the EUSDR

1. Increase the number of innovations, official inventions of EPO and PCT patent applications
2. Increase cooperation and mobility in the field of research and education
3. Increase the number of joint publications on research results.

We are prepared to support outstanding students and young scholars' projects which can have a positive impact in the region, in line with the EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR), by financing the following activities: 

  • Material costs - needed to prove or develop an applicative aspect of knowledge or technology
  • Cost of use of research equipment at other DRC member institutions 
  • Service costs 
  • Travel costs and costs of stay for the students and their family members  
The available financial means for projects is 50,000 EUR, and it is envisioned that no more than 25 applications will be accepted for funding, or a maximum of 5,000 EUR may be granted per application. Furthermore, whereas candidates applying for the target area one and three (innovation and joint publication) may receive financial resources up to 2,000 EUR, for the target area two (cooperation and mobility) the maximum amount of financial support is 1,000 EUR. If projects apply to all three target areas, the maximum attainable amount is 5,000 EUR.

More information on evaluation criteria may be found on this link

In case you need additional information and support, please feel free to contact us:

The deadline for the applications is 31st March 2022 and the candidates will be informed about the results by the end of April.

Call for applications for the “Sharing Future” Artist in residence scholarship 2022

Announcement for the


“Sharing Future”

Artist in residence scholarship 2022

of the International Elias Canetti Society


Funded by the Danube Rectors’ Conference


The Canetti Artist Scholarship is aimed at artists from all over Europe. The fact that it is also advertised to artists from neighboring countries – from the Western Balkans and Turkey, should, in particular, provide opportunities for international, artistic exchange. Various different forms of arts should be fostered by the scholarship: painters, photographers, writers, performance artists, translators, and musicians can apply for it.


The slogan of the scholarship “Sharing Future” aims at a collaborative creation and cooperation for a joint Europe and a common future.


The funding period of the scholarship is one month.


The scholarship holder can

  • pursue his/ her artistic work undisturbed in the spring/summer of 2022 in Ruse
  • use the historic Canetti house as a workplace with various possibilities for artistic expression using the space (
  • get to know the local cultural scene in Ruse and Bulgaria and use the resulting synergies and artistic realization
  • live in an apartment provided by the IECS
  • receive 1200 € for contribution and 300 for € travel expenses or 1500 € for both combined. Project-related expenses are to be covered within this amount. 


The application with all documents should be sent to no later than 30.4.2022.


More information on the scholarship as well as submission process can be found on the webpage of the Elias Canetti Society.


On behalf of Uzhorod National University,  the Rector Professor Volodymyr Smolanka express his high appeciation for the DRC assistance towards Ukrainian universities. In particular, the University express gratitude for the support offered by the Danube Rectors' Conference in the form of the DRC Scholarship for Ukranian scholars and scientists.