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Una Europa welcomes UCD and UZH

UCD and UZH join the Una Europa university alliance

Clockwise from top left: UZH main building; 'Forme in mutazione', UCD; UCD campus; UZH Law Library.

Today, Europe Day, Una Europa announced that University College Dublin (UCD) and Universität Zürich (UZH) will join its alliance of leading European research universities.


UCD is a research-intensive university ranked in the top one per cent of higher education institutions worldwide. Established in 1854, UCD has played an important role in shaping modern Ireland, Europe and beyond, producing numerous political, business, and cultural leaders, most notably the writer James Joyce.

UZH is Switzerland's largest comprehensive university and one of the foremost universities in the German-speaking world. Founded in 1833, UZH was Europe's first university established by a democratic political system – the words “by the will of the people” remain engraved on its main building to this day.

" UCD and UZH are two outstanding European universities – delivering world-leading research, transformational student experience and international impact. I am delighted to welcome our new partners. "

Professor James Smith, Chair of the Una Europa Board of Directors and Vice Principal International at the University of Edinburgh

UCD and UZH join nine existing Una Europa partner universities: Freie Universität Berlin, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, University of Edinburgh, Helsingin yliopisto/Helsingfors universitet, Uniwersytet Jagielloński w Krakowie, Universiteit Leiden, KU Leuven, Universidad Complutense de Madrid and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. UCD and UZH have strong established links with Una Europa members; collectively, the new partners have published over 7,000 publications in collaboration with Una Europa alliance members in the last five years.

Professor Peter Lievens, Coordinator of 1Europe (Una Europa pilot project), Vice Rector for International Policy at KU Leuven, said, "In a rapidly changing Europe – and world – Una Europa stands united in defence of European values: human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law, human rights. We are proud to mark Europe Day 2022 by welcoming UCD and UZH – and, in growing our alliance, reinvigorating Una Europa’s commitment to these fundamental values."

" Una Europa stands united in defence of European values. We are proud to mark Europe Day by welcoming UCD and UZH – and, in growing our alliance, reinvigorating Una Europa’s commitment to these fundamental values. "

Professor Peter Lievens, Coordinator of 1Europe (Una Europa pilot project), Vice Rector for International Policy at KU Leuven

A University of the Future

As one of Europe’s leading university alliances, Una Europa is a driving influence, transforming education and shaping Europe’s shared future for the better. Una Europa transcends traditional geographical and disciplinary boundaries, working together towards a virtual ‘multi-campus’ – a University of the Future. With UCD and UZH on board, the alliance will now count over half a million students and almost 100,000 university staff among its network, with digital learners numbering in the millions.

Established in 2018, Una Europa was among the first alliances selected to receive European Commission funding under the prestigious European Universities initiative. The alliance has pioneered a Europe-wide living lab of over 20 innovative educational formats, with mobility at the core. Opportunities for students, academics and university staff span joint bachelor's degrees and PhD programmes (such as the Joint Bachelor in European Studies and Joint Doctoral Programme in Cultural Heritage, respectively) to challenge-based learning and international training placements. Una Europa is also developing a research and innovation ecosystem by building a common research and innovation agenda, developing joint strategies for sharing infrastructures, and strengthening human capital.

Alliance members have built a strong foundation for future collaboration, enhanced by each new partner in its own way. Alongside the University of Edinburgh, UZH’s membership affirms Una Europa as a leading influence in building an open and inclusive European Research Area. UCD combines its viewpoint from Europe’s western edge with an international outlook and drive for innovation. Together, they further the alliance’s goals: to strengthen, broaden and deepen our collaborative structures and practices with the vision of building a truly integrated European University of the Future.

One Europe, one world

Una Europa’s impetus towards transcending borders in education is reflected in UCD’s status as “Ireland’s global university”. UCD aspires to “ensure a global experience for all” and advance the international impact of the university’s teaching, research, and innovation.

Professor Mark Rogers, Acting President of UCD, said, "The European Universities Initiative is shaping the future of higher education in Europe, and Una Europa is at the forefront of that movement. At a time when Ireland seeks to deepen its links with Europe and its institutions, this represents a significant intensification of our European cooperation. On behalf of our entire community, I look forward to working with our alliance partners to create a European University of the Future."

" At a time when Ireland seeks to deepen its links with Europe and its institutions this represents a significant intensification of our European cooperation. I look forward to working with our alliance partners to create a European University of the Future. "

Professor Mark Rogers, Acting President of UCD

Similarly, UZH’s global strategy is shaped by the vision that “we all share one world”. Like Una Europa, UZH believes “the university of the future needs to be permeable and remove barriers to interaction both within the institution and beyond it”. UZH aims to provide an educational experience with a truly global outlook by internationalising its curriculum and prioritising student mobility.

Professor Michael Schaepman, President of UZH, said, "Geographically, Switzerland will always be part of Europe. Excellence, interdisciplinarity and innovation can only be maintained with active participation in the European Higher Education and Research Area. UZH is therefore very proud to join Una Europa, a leading European alliance rethinking higher education. I am looking forward to this new partnership, where common values and goals are shared with leading universities, shaping the future for all of us."

" Excellence, interdisciplinarity and innovation can only be maintained with active participation in the European Higher Education and Research Area. UZH is therefore very proud to join Una Europa, a leading European alliance rethinking higher education. "

Professor Michael Schaepman, President of UZH

These exciting synergies and shared values between new and existing alliance partners will ensure that Una Europa continues to be a driving influence in higher education and beyond, shaping Europe’s shared future for the better.

Find out more about UCD.

Find out more about UZH.

  • Professor James Smith, Chair of the Una Europa Board of Directors

  • Professor Peter Lievens, 1Europe Coordinator

  • Professor Mark Rogers, Acting President of UCD

    Professor Mark Rogers, Acting President of UCD

  • Professor Michael Schaepman, President of UZH

    Professor Michael Schaepman, President of UZH