CIVIS - A European Civic University

  • What will higher education look like in the future?
  • How shall we collaborate within Europe and beyond?
  • How will courses evolve, between tradition and transformation?
  • Which links can be developed between education institutions and civil society?

To contribute to answering these questions, UNIL joined CIVIS in 2022. CIVIS aims at building an inter-university campus for more than 500,000 students, researchers, and technical and administrative staff. The Alliance wishes among others to create multiple degrees, summer schools, doctoral schools and blended programmes.

The CIVIS alliance is focused on shared teaching, civic engagement, which will contribute to research and innovation.


The Alliance was founded in 2019 with the status of Erasmus+ European University, one of the flagship programmes of the European Commission. Driven by similar core values and close strategic orientations, UNIL joined the CIVIS alliance as its eleventh member. UNIL benefits from the support of the Swiss national agency Movetia.

Thematic hubs

CIVIS members are research universities active in a wide range of thematic fields and scientific disciplines. They combine excellence in teaching and research with a strong interest in diversity issues and civic engagement. Theses values underpin the CIVIS alliance whose programme is based on the awareness of the numerous challenges faced by contemporary society. CIVIS particularly focuses on five thematic hubs:

  • Health (co-directed by UNIL and la Sapienza Università di Roma)
  • Cities, territories and mobilities
  • Climate, environment and energy
  • Digital and technological transformation
  • Society, culture and heritage
Objectives 2022-2026

The coming year will not only see a consolidation of the Alliance's progress, but will also allow to implement more fully its vision. In the near future, CIVIS will strive to:

  • strenghten the "Inter-university campus" concept by increasing student and staff mobility through the development of summer schools, short-term mobility, or blended intensive programmes (BIP);
  • implement integrated and credited joint modules, programmes and diplomas;
  • foster civic engagement, in particular through an increased support to the CIVIS Open Labs, incubators for projects in education, research or innovation.

CIVIS activities are launched through calls for projects. Numerous activities are already running or being developped, such as CIVIS courses. Calls for projects are published on the CIVIS website or on CIVIS calls and are disseminated directly to the target audience by institutional CIVIS representatives.

Target audience

Students, PhD students, research and teaching staff, technical and administrative staff of the member universities and of the cities and local communities are invited to co-create and benefit from the CIVIS activities.

  • Members of the teaching staff create joint teaching modules and programmes.
  • Students benefit from joint teaching programmes and are represented in consulting bodies.
  • Academic staff is involved in a challenge-based research strategy (RIS4CIVIS and CIVIS3i are Horizon 2020 research projects stemming from CIVIS).
  • The administrative staff offers expert support and quality control, and benefits from the exchange of good practices and a range of shared tools and services.
  • Local communities, regions and cities surrounding the member universities are part of the CIVIS Open Labs to create synergies between science and civic action.
Member universities
Video presentation
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Mr Simone Guccione
International Relations Office
Château de Dorigny
Phone: +41 21 692 20 15