The Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE)

Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE): ten dynamic, young, student-centred research-based universities and two non-academic partners from the non-governmental and private sector for an impactful European University. Together, the YUFE partners will establish one of the first true European Universities.

European Universities Initiative

The idea of European Universities was first aired by French President Emmanuel Macron in a speech at the Sorbonne University in Paris in September 2017, in which he called for the creation of some twenty “European Universities” at which all students would study abroad and take classes in at least two languages by 2024.

The European Commission first took up this idea under the 2014 – 2020 Erasmus+ programme. The first 17 alliances running for a three-year pilot programme were announced by the Commission in summer 2019 following an open call and are part of broader efforts to establish a European Education Area by 2025.

The European Universities are transnational alliances that will pave the way for the development of universities of the future. The alliances promote European values and identity, and are transforming the quality and competitiveness of European higher education while making it more diverse and inclusive.

To achieve this major step forward, the selected alliances were called by the European Commission to test different cooperation models for European Universities. The alliances are paving the way for a new funding instrument as part of the future Erasmus programme in 2021-2027.

European Universities Initiative

The alliances:

  • Include partners from all types of higher education institutions and cover a broad geographic scope across Europe;
  • Are based upon a co-envisioned long-term strategy focussed on sustainability, excellence and European values;
  • Offer student-centred curricula jointly delivered across inter-university campuses, where diverse student bodies can pursue individual learning pathways and experience mobility at all levels of their study;
  • Adopt a challenge-based approach towards teaching, learning and research according to which students, academics and external partners can cooperate in inter-disciplinary teams to tackle the biggest challenges Europe is facing today.

Selected as one of the first 17 European universities, YUFE aims to transform European higher education by establishing the leading model of a student-centred, open and inclusive European University.

For more information please visit the European Commission’s website

About YUFE

The YUFE Alliance is based on the joint vision of nine young research-intensive universities and two non-academic partners located all across Europe. The YUFE partners came together based on their shared dedication to the European spirit, their common aim to contribute to a more competitive, innovative and united Europe and their ambition to help address today’s challenges.

The cooperation within YUFE started from the YERUN network (Young European Research Universities Network) of which seven of YUFE’s academic institutions are part, which allowed them to already work together on several joint activities. Their wish to establish a European University was driven by their wish to increase employability and embedded mobility schemes for students and staff, foster inclusive higher education and invest in the active learning of European languages.

All YUFE members are united by a common profile, shared beliefs and interests, mutual trust and excitement to work together on innovative solutions. Their prevalent characteristics include that:

  • All included academic partners are young universities;
  • All academic partners are research-intensive;
  • All members are student-centred and non-elitist;
  • All have close ties to local and regional governments and businesses and are part of triple (academia, industry and government) or quadruple (academia, industry, government and civil society/public) helixes;
  • All see their future in Europe;
  • All put specific emphasis on European mobility for both staff and students;
  • All are greatly involved in career development processes;
  • All want greater connections and co-creation opportunities with citizens.

YUFE promotes active European citizenship within a shared European environment. This is pursued in a truly bottom-up process. In the YUFE Alliance, teams of staff, students, citizens, businesses and government and policy makers collaborate on how to address European (and global) challenges. They work together to promote joint educational programs and services and develop mechanisms to facilitate the mobility of students and staff to create an inclusive higher education landscape without borders that is in line with current developments in society and the labour market.

YUFE Partners

Academic Members:

Non-Academic Members:

Work with us
For information on possible collaborations and exchange with our Alliance please contact the YUFE Management Office on

YUFE Governance

YUFE’s governance structure is inclusive and incorporates various stakeholder groups from the YUFE quadruple helix (universities, government, citizens and businesses) as well as students. It cross-links the different YUFE WPs to achieve the full potential of the YUFE Alliance.

YUFE’s governance structure puts students firmly at the centre of decision-making and implementation. The President and Vice-President of the YUFE Student Forum are on the YUFE Strategy Board (our alliance’s highest decision-making body) with the Student Forum President taking the role of Vice-Chair.

YUFE Student Forum

Meet the Co-Creators of YUFE

How can YUFE stay young, student-centred, and non-elitist? The YUFE Student Forum has a lot to do with this! The purpose of the YUFE Student Forum is to ensure that the perspective of the students is always present in the implementation of the YUFE vision. Each partner university elects three students who represent their institution in the YUFE Student Forum and the work packages, which are responsible for the implementation of YUFE. The President of the YUFE Student Forum even co-chairs the YUFE Strategy Board, the highest decision-making body in the YUFE Alliance. The YUFE governance structure thus reflects the extent to which the YUFE Student Forum representatives are important players in co-leading and co-creating the YUFE project and vision.

YUFE Student Forum

Meet the Co-Creators of YUFE

Amongst all European Universities initiatives funded in the first pilot call of the European Commission, YUFE has been the absolute forerunner in including students in the development of the project since the very start. This was manifest in the significant students’ contribution to building the foundations of the project. In fact, students fully co-developed the proposal submitted to the European Commission in February 2019. The student members within YUFE have been acting as co-creators rather than student representatives. This has played and will continue to play an essential role in the success of the project.

Given the involvement of the students as co-creators, we expect the YUFE Student Forum to be more than a mere advisory or representative body; instead, we envision the YUFE Student Forum to continue to fill the role of an equal partner during the YUFE pilot phase. In this context, it is essential that the YUFE Student Forum’s activity is fully integrated in the processes and activities of the Alliance at all levels, including the work packages.

YUFE Vision

Shape the future of European higher education by establishing a European University open to all.

We aim to bring radical change and transform the European higher education by becoming the leading model of a student-centred, open and inclusive European University. In this way, YUFE makes Europe-wide higher education a reality for local and international students of all backgrounds.

YUFE students will be able to create their own curriculum, as the backbone of an equitable, diverse and effective education system that recognises and optimally fosters individual talents. In this context, YUFE will provide students with unique opportunities to be trained in an inclusive research- and work-based learning ecosystem leading to interdisciplinary and intersectoral knowledge and skills.

By breaking down the barriers between society and academia, YUFE will also be a place where students gain professional and cultural experience relating to the different regional contexts across Europe that will be officially recognised on their diplomas and diploma supplements.

YUFE partners have already built strong quadruple-helix models of open innovation, together with their local governments, enterprises and civil society, and want to go one step further by linking across the EU for the mutual benefit of all European citizens.

Ultimately, YUFE will provide European students, staff and citizens from different backgrounds with life-changing (educational) experiences and opportunities. By doing so, YUFE will shape future generations of Europeans into socially responsible, globally oriented citizens and life-long learners equipped to effectively contribute to a more cohesive and inclusive European society.

YUFE Values

We are YUFE and stand for

  • A European University Alliance based on the principles of mutual knowledge, understanding and trust, and respect for the differences between the local contexts of all partners;
  • An Alliance co-created and co-led by students for a Europe closer to all;
  • 10 young, open and inclusive research universities and 2 non-academic partners for fair, non-elitist, equitable and innovative education in which every talent is recognised and fostered;
  • 10 countries, 11 cities and urban ecosystems for accessible mobility and multilingualism and university-citizens communities solving European challenges;
  • Involving all European regions for inter-cultural and inter-generational exchange and enrichment and education and social responsibility to close the social gap;
  • Putting an emphasis on student-centred education driven by research- and work-based experiences for high-impact entrepreneurship and innovation;
  • And with European citizens to work together in upskilling and reskilling our local workforce;
  • Developing and translating knowledge via a multidisciplinary, intersectoral approach to address for European challenges, thereby re-defining Europe, starting from European universities.

YUFE Facts & Figures

In progress, will be updated shortly.

YUFE Projects

YUFE Job Opportunities

Thank you for your interest in our YUFE career opportunities. The YUFE job portal provides access to selected vacancies from our academic partner institutions.  For a list of current vacancies, please access the portal here ›

If you’re interested in all job opportunities at the certain partner institutions of our Alliance, feel free to take a look at their institutional websites below:

If you are interested in internship opportunities you can always contact the YUFE Management Office at

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