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Swiss universities to participate in European collaboration schemes

students at Geneva University
The four universities approved by the EU are Zurich, Basel, Lausanne and Geneva. Keystone / Martial Trezzini

Four Swiss universities have been given a green light to participate in a European Union initiative aimed at boosting the competitiveness of European higher education.

The universities concerned are Basel, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich, the EU Commission announced on Wednesday.

Swiss universities were initially excluded from the pilot projects in 2019 and 2020, owing to the absence of a new framework accord covering bilateral agreements with the EU. However, Brussels left a door open at the end of 2021 by allowing third-country universities to participate in its higher education initiative, provided that they are part of the Bologna agreement promoting student mobility, as are Swiss universities.

The initiative aims to support the creation of alliances between European universities. There are currently 44 such cooperative ventures, involving more than 280 higher education institutions. They allow young people to study in different countries without administrative complications.

The University of Zurich will participate in the “Una Europa” alliance, which brings together eleven universities in research, particularly in data science, artificial intelligence, materials design and engineering. “Una Europa” is one of the largest alliances, along with CIVIS2External link, of which the University of Lausanne is a member, and EPICURExternal link, linked to the University of Basel.

The “ICORE” alliance, in which the University of Geneva is involved, aims to offer a joint training programme and innovative teaching solutions related to digital transformation.

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