As of October 1, 2022, through the official accession of the University of Lausanne (UNIL), the CIVIS community expands, reaching 11 member universities.
At the same time, October 1, 2022, also marks the date on which CIVIS enters the second cycle of Erasmus+ funding, with at least four more years of support from the EU for a new development stage. Thus, even if CIVIS communities will not notice an immediate revolution, the process of strengthening and enhancing the activities and structures of the Alliance is a continuous and extremely effective and dynamic one. As such, through this double meaning, the beginning of the new academic year becomes a moment extremely important for CIVIS.
Welcoming a new member proves once again that the openness and continuous development of partnerships are fundamental principles of the CIVIS Alliance and represent common values of all member universities.
Launched by eight universities in 2019, the Alliance has already welcomed, before UNIL, new members inside the EU (Paris Lodron University of Salzburg) and outside (University of Glasgow). Within the strategic collaboration project between CIVIS and Africa, six prestigious African partners also joined the Alliance.
A NEW CIVIS UNIVERSITY, NEW MEMBERS OF A COMMUNITY UNITED BY A COMMON VISION
With the integration of UNIL, the CIVIS community expands with more than 17,000 students of various nationalities (approximately 130) and with more than 3,600 employees. Moreover, the University of Lausanne is a top-level player in the Swiss higher education landscape with roots stretching back to 1537, a leading educational and research institution with important strengths in areas such as oncology, forensic science, digital humanities and sports science. UNIL offers excellent research infrastructures, a thriving business and entrepreneurship ecosystem and, of course, a gorgeous lakeside location at the heart of Europe.
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF LAUSANNE JOINING CIVIS
By joining the CIVIS Alliance, the University of Lausanne (UNIL) becomes one of four Swiss universities to join a European University Alliance.
Switzerland is outside the EU and the Erasmus+ program and Swiss universities were initially unable to join the European Universities Initiative (EUI). The European Commission has since lifted the restrictions on non-EU members and thereby opened a route to membership for universities in Switzerland, although they are still unable to access EUI funding. But the Swiss government recognized the strategic importance of EUI as a new paradigm in European higher education and has assigned funding to support Swiss universities joining the Alliances. The funds are managed by Movetia, Switzerland’s national agency for educational mobility and exchanges.
Thanks to this support, CIVIS opportunities will also be open to students, academics and staff at the University of Lausanne. Special procedures will often apply, so all UNIL-based community members should contact their local CIVIS office, firstname.lastname@example.org, before committing to any activities in the academic year 2022-2023.In relation to this important step, UNIL Rector Prof. Frédéric Herman emphasized that “Joining CIVIS is a wonderful opportunity for the University of Lausanne to participate in an ambitious European project that will benefit our entire community. Collaborating with 10 other European universities on joint teaching and incubating new synergies will help us shape the future. As a Swiss institution, UNIL is also particularly interested in keeping its ties with European partners through a long-term and impactful project. We are convinced that UNIL will bring added value to the Alliance”.
More information is available on the CIVIS website, here.
CIVIS is a European University Alliance gathering 11 member universities: Aix-Marseille Université (France), National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece), University of Bucharest (Romania), Université libre de Bruxelles (Belgium), Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Sapienza Università di Roma (Italia), Stockholm University (Sweden), Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen (Germany), University of Glasgow (UK), Paris Lodron University of Salzburg (Austria) and University of Lausanne (Switzerland). Selected by the European Commission as one of the first 17 European Universities pilots, it brings together around half a million students and more than 70 000 staff members, including 37 400 academics and researchers.
In 2022, CIVIS signed a partnership agreement with 6 strategic African partner universities: Université Hassan II de Casablanca (Morocco), University of Sfax (Tunisia), Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (Senegal), Makerere University (Uganda), University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa), Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (Mozambique).