What is ATHENA?

ATHENA_Logo_RGB smallThe ATHENA project aims to contribute to the development, reform and modernisation of higher education systems in the Eastern Neighbouring partner countries Armenia, Moldova and Ukraine. As a structural measure, it is designed to support structural reform processes and the development of strategic frameworks at the national level. ATHENA ultimately aims to enhance the quality and relevance of higher education systems in the targeted partner countries and to increase their voluntary convergence with EU developments.

Based on an in-depth assessment of system-specific needs, ATHENA will:

  • foster the transfer of good practices in order to promote efficient and effective governance and funding reforms;
  • promote inclusive approaches to governance and funding reforms, involving higher education institutions, public authorities and other relevant higher education stakeholders;
  • build the capacities of universities in the partner countries to modernise the management of financial and human resources.

Project milestones

The ATHENA project runs from October 2012 until autumn 2015. This webpage will be updated with the latest information regarding the project milestones.

ATHENA Workshop Moldova – 29 May 2013, Chisinau
ATHENA Workshop Ukraine – 6 November 2013, Kiev
ATHENA Workshop Armenia – 6 March 2014, Yerevan

ATHENA Training Seminar – April 2014, Helsinki
ATHENA Training Seminar – June 2014, Coimbra
ATHENA Training Seminar – September 2014, Amsterdam

ATHENA Regional Benchmarking Forum – Spring 2015

Project website

All information related to the ATHENA project is available on this website: www.athena-tempus.eu.


The TEMPUS programme

Tempus is the European Union’s programme which supports the modernisation of higher education in the Partner Countries of Eastern Europe, Central Asia, the Western Balkans and the Mediterranean region. The overall objective of Tempus is to contribute to the creation of an area of cooperation in the field of higher education between the European Union and the Tempus Partner Countries.

The promotion of the reform and modernisation processes of higher education in the Partner Countries is part of the specific objectives of Tempus. Under the “governance reform” priority, the topic of institutional and financial autonomy and accountability is a key area for action. 

The ATHENA project is a Structural Measure: it seeks to contribute to the development and reform of higher education systems in partner countries, as well as to enhance their quality and relevance and to increase their voluntary convergence with EU developments. Structural Measures consist in interventions designed to support structural reform of higher education systems and the strategic framework development at national level.


The ATHENA project is run by EUA in collaboration with higher education institutions in the European Union and higher education institutions, National Rectors’ Conferences and Ministries of Education in the Eastern Neighbouring Area (Moldova, Ukraine and Armenia).

The partnership includes:


  • Academy of Economic Studies of Moldova (regional coordinator and coordinator for Moldova)
  • Free International University of Moldova
  • Cahul State University B.P. Hasdeu
  • National Rectors` Council of Moldova
  • Ministry of Education of Moldova


  • Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (coordinator for Ukraine)
  • Donetsk National University
  • Odesa National University “I Mechnikov”
  • Lesya Ukrainka Volyn National University Ukraine
  • National Rectors' Council of Ukraine
  • Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport of Ukraine


  • Yerevan State University (coordinator for Armenia)
  • Gavar State University
  • State Engineering University of Armenia
  • State Universities Rector Council
  • Ministry of Education and Science of Armenia

   European Union

  • European University Association (Project coordinator)
  • University of Coimbra, Portugal
  • Instituto Politecnico de Coimbra, Portugal
  • University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Finland
  • University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands


ATHENA is co-funded by the European Commission under the Tempus programme (2012). LogosBeneficairesTempusRIGHTvect


European University Association (EUA)

Brussels office:
Avenue de l’Yser, 24
1040 Brussels
Tel: +32 (0) 2 230 55 44

Geneva office:
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Case postale 3174
1211 Geneva 3
Tel: +41 22 552 02 96