Europe's University Leaders Meet at UZH

The European University Association's Annual Conference is being hosted by the University of Zurich for the first time. The EUA is the largest and strongest association of European universities, with 850 members. Around 400 presidents, rectors, and other university leaders will come together to spend three days debating the current and future role of universities in society.

Logo European University Association (EUA)
The UZH is proud to host the European University Association’s Annual Conference in 2018 for the first time. (Image: EUA)

This week, UZH will host 120 university leaders and around 280 other guests from institutions from 33 European countries for the Annual Conference of the European University Association (EUA) taking place from 4 to 6 April 2018. “It is an honor for UZH to be hosting this major international university conference for the first time,” says UZH President and swissuniversities President Michael Hengartner. Staging the EUA Annual Conference also provides a valuable opportunity to further consolidate the outstanding international reputation of UZH and the Swiss higher education sector, adds Hengartner.

Solutions for current challenges

The title of this year’s conference is “Engaged and responsible universities shaping Europe”. The ten presentations and discussion events will focus on the role and the significance of universities in society and the contributions they can make to tackling current challenges. Examples are social inequality, demographic change, digitalization and automation, and migration. Other aspects are increasing populism undermining people’s trust in science, and political conflicts that test democracy and Central European values.

Champions league of European research and innovation

For Michael Hengartner, it’s a good time for UZH to host the conference. The framework is currently being negotiated for the follow-on program to the eighth EU research program, Horizon 2020, which runs until the end of 2020. “Swiss higher education institutions have been successful players in the champions league of European research and innovation for many years. We need to make the most of this,” claims Hengartner. The EUA conference offers an ideal opportunity for Swiss institutions to network directly with numerous leaders from other European universities and to share their visions for the future of the European research and education landscape.

European University Association (EUA)

The European University Association (EUA) is a network of universities from 47 European countries. Its core role is to strengthen education and research in Europe. The association was formed in 2001 as the result of a merger between the Association of European Universities and the Confederation of European Union Rectors' Conferences. With 850 member institutions in which 17 million students are enrolled, the EUA is the largest and most comprehensive organization representing universities in Europe. As an independent voice of Europe’s universities, the EUA supports and takes forward the interests of individual institutions and the higher education sector as a whole.