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Global Affairs

Universitas 21

Global Network of Research-intensive Universities

Universitas 21 (U21) is the leading global network of 28 research-intensive universities from all continents. The aim of the network is to facilitate collaboration and cooperation between its members, to advance the internationalization of education and to promote the exchange of experience at all levels.

The University of Zurich has been a member since May 2017 and is the only Swiss university member. UZH's involvement supports the internationalization strategy, fosters innovative approaches, promotes research-inspired teaching and learning as well as student mobility.

UZH Representation at U21: Governance and Leadership (PDF, 119 KB)

Focus on Education, Research and Student Experience

U21's wide-ranging activities fall into three areas of focus:

  • Educational Innovation
  • Researcher Engagement
  • Student Experience

The goal is to build a global perspective into as many university-related topics as possible, and to promote collaboration in these areas. This enables UZH to encourage greater levels of student and staff mobility, develop deeper links with prestigious international partners and pursue joint research on a truly global stage.

Get involved NOW:

Visit Universitas 21's website to find activities currently open for application.

UZH Representation on U21 Groups and Activities

Open the drop-down of the following fold-out components for more information about UZH representatives on the different U21 groups and activities.

U21 Governance and Leadership

UZH representatives meet about four times a year to discuss and jointly develop the direction of our U21 involvement and activities. The U21 Senior Leader is the liaison point between the university and the network and promotes and fosters network engagement at an institutional level.

UZH is represented by:

U21 Group

UZH Member

U21: Presidents Michael Schaepman, President
U21: Senior Leaders' Group Katja Durkin, Head Global Affairs
U21: Officers Carmen Richard, Team Lead Global Networks

U21 Educational Innovation

Teaching-related activities include an annual U21 conference for practitioners and administrators concerned with all areas of Educational Innovation as well as joint ventures to offer online seminars on global issues, such as the increasing urbanization of the planet.

UZH is represented by:

U21 Group

UZH Member
U21: Educational Innovation Symposia Gabriele Siegert, Deputy President and Vice President Education and Student Affairs
U21: Deans of Education


U21 Researcher Engagement

U21 enables the University of Zurich to develop deeper links with prestigious international partners and pursue joint research on a truly global stage. Research teams at all academic levels have the opportunity to discuss and learn from each other at numerous U21 activities, such as the "Early Career Researcher Workshops" or the "Three Minute Thesis Competition".
U21: Researcher Opportunities
U21: Early Career Researcher Workshops
U21: Three Minute Thesis Competition

UZH is represented by:

U21 Group/Cluster

UZH Member

U21: Deans and Directors of Graduate Studies

Claudine Leysinger, Director of Graduate Campus

U21 Research Collaboration Group Maurus Bolfing, Head Program Funding, Research Development
Agatha Keller, Co-Head, EU GrantsAccess
U21: Research Leaders Group Elisabeth Stark, Vice President Research
U21: Joint PhD's

Thomas Hidber, Head of Academic Program Development

U21 Student Experience

The U21 student experience initiative allows students to complete a mobility stay or summer school at a partner university, to attend an undergraduate research conference, or to compete against other bright minds in the U21 student community.

Student Opportunities

Being a student at UZH means being part of an international exchange of thoughts and ideas and of an university that is globally renowned for academic excellence and benefiting from U21-led student opportunities.
U21: Student Competitions

U21 Scholarships Summer Schools

UZH students participating in summer schools or other short programs offered by U21 universities can profit from scholarships.
Global Student Experience Website: UZH Scholarships for Short Programs

Real Impact on Society and Environment (RISE)

RISE is U21's newest student opportunity, an international showcase of student achievement in sustainability and social innovation designed to accelerate the scale and impact of student-led projects by connecting them with a network of experts in academia and industry. As a U21 member, UZH is invited to nominate a student-led project that addresses at least one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

UZH is represented by:

U21 Group/Activity

UZH Member/Contact

U21: Student Mobility Group Andrea Orbann Oechslin, Deputy Head of Global Student Experience
U21: Employability Group Roger Gfrörer, Head of Career Services
U21: RISE Showcase Andrea Orbann Oechslin, Deputy Head of Global Student Experience