Circle U

As one of the 42 European University Alliances co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme and Horizon 2020 of the European Union, Circle U. is led by the University of Oslo (Norway) and includes eight other European Universities who share a commitment to developing knowledge in service to society: King’s College London (UK); Aarhus University (Denmark); Humboldt University (Germany); UCLouvain (Belgium)University of Belgrade (Serbia)University of Paris (France)University of Pisa (Italy) and University of Vienna (Austria). In collaboration with a further 34 associated partners, the alliance represents 474,796 students and 64,314 academic and administrative staff.

Formally launched in November 2020, the pilot phase of Circle U. will continue to October 2023, and aims to create an inclusive, research-intensive, and interdisciplinary European University which provides a multi-cultural and multi-lingual student experience. Circle U.’s priorities are to facilitate the mobility of staff and students across partner universities, foster interdisciplinarity, promote collaboration between education, research and community partners, increase student engagement, support the professional development and mobility of early career researchers, and co-create a sustainable academic ecosystem of the future.

The Knowledge Hubs on Climate, Democracy and Global Health form the basis from which courses, summer schools and degree programmes are developed, supporting bottom-up joint initiatives to embed learning co-creation, virtual mobility and interdisciplinary exchanges across all partner universities.

The Open School of Public GovernanceThink and Do Tank on the future of higher education and Student-led Sustainable Innovation initiatives provide an education and research infrastructure for students and staff to co-create knowledge and solutions with external stakeholders and engage in policy development.

Finally, the Academic Chair Programme is an important backbone of the Circle U. infrastructure, tying activities together and enabling cooperation and dissemination across the alliance. By 2025, a total of 126 Academic Chairs will be actively involved in various activities across the alliance. Academic Chairs are recruited among the permanent staff of each partner university and dedicate 20% of their working time to Circle U. The Academic Chairs work together in networks, and are the driving forces in the Knowledge Hubs, Open School of Public Governance, Student-led Sustainable Innovation initiatives and Think and Do Tank.

Prof. Eivind Engebretsen is appointed Circle U. Chair of Global Health and is responsible for the Knowledge Hubs at the University of Oslo. His mission statement can be found here.