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Global Affairs

Una Europa – What’s the Story?

“Ag tōgāil ollscoil don todhchaī” – this is Irish and stands for “building the university of the future”. Representatives of UZH, together with members of ten other universities have gathered to work towards this goal at the biannual Una Europa General Assembly, hosted by the University College Dublin (UCD).

University College Dublin campus

The Story so far

The General Assembly kicked off with looking at the story of Una Europa so far. “The university of the future” is a vision of a collaborative university where teaching, research and administration converge, fostering in-depth cooperation at all levels. It is not a place, but an idea: to create a university of the future to tackle global challenges in close cooperation with like-minded partner universities across Europe.

Since its foundation in 2019, the eleven Una Europa member institutions (UZH joined in May 2022) have achieved tangible results in creating a university of the future, including:

  • Learning from each other through staff exchange weeks or international job shadowing opportunities ("Live My Life").
  • Engaging the wider university community through public talks such as the “Una Talks” or “Una Europa Podcasts”.
  • Collaborating in teaching through Joint Bachelor programs in European Studies (BAES) or Sustainability (BASUS).
  • Fostering collaboration in research providing shared research infrastructure (Una.Resin) and seed-funding for joint research projects.

Various UZH representatives – from members of the UZH Executive Board to students – joined the General Assembly in Dublin, bringing in the perspectives of their respective domains through their work in committees and clusters.

The University of Zurich delegation in Dublin

A part of the story: Una Europa in the context of European university alliances

One of the highlights of the General Assembly was the Una Europa Talk on the topic of European university alliances and the future of higher education. The three panelists, including UCD’s president Orla Feely, agreed that it is important for Una Europa to allow inclusive and sustainable interaction with all of Europe. University alliances, of which Una Europa is just one example, have the potential to lead through today’s challenges of climate change and political instability. The approach that European alliances such as Una Europa are taking is both transdisciplinary and international, which makes it complex. Therefore, it’s important that early on, a common story of what the alliance wants to achieve is agreed upon and carried outward.

Panel discussion on the timely topic of European universities alliances and the future of higher education

The Story going forward

The recent Una Europa General Assembly in Dublin has set the stage for the future, with valuable discussions and exchanges that contribute to the ongoing development of the university of the future. “Slán go fóill go dtí an bhliain seo chugainn i Zurich” – “See you next year in Zurich”, as UZH prepares to host the next Una Europa General Assembly from 19 to 21 June 2024.

Leslie Reinhard

Weiterführende Informationen

Una.Lecture: The State of Play of University Autonomy

What is the current status of autonomy amongst European universities autonomy of European universities and why is it significant? Discover insights in the lecture by Thomas Estermann, Director for Governance, Funding and Public Policy Development of the European University Association (EUA) on 24 January 2024, at 18:30. The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion with rectors from leading European universities.

Explore New Horizons: Apply to Una Europa–Africa Research Funding

The Una Europa–Africa Seed Funding Call 2023 offers a unique pathway to collaborative, intercontinental research for UZH researchers. Apply by 20 February 2024, to tap into new networks and receive funding to advance your work.

More about Una Europa

Una Europa is an alliance of eleven European universities, including UZH, which envisions a new educational model. By transcending traditional academic boundaries, Una Europa aims to create a collaborative network that enhances teaching, research, and administration to meet the demands of tomorrow's world.