UNICA is a network bringing together 49 member universities from 37 capital cities of Europe, with a combined strength of over 160,000 staff and 1,900,000 students (2017). It was founded in 1990. It seeks to facilitate international collaborations and promote academic leadership through understanding and sharing between its members throughout the European Higher Education Area. It also provides a forum in which the members can reflect on the needs of strategic change in university research, education, administration, and societal engagement.
In order to achieve above mentioned aims, UNICA articulates the views of its’ member universities to European institutions, to national, regional, and municipal governments, and internationally. It provides the Members with information on European initiatives and programmes, and supports them in developing co-operative projects. UNICA is very active in the field of European projects, both as coordinator and partner.
The UNICA's internal organisation is based on three bodies: the General Assembly, the Steering Committee and the International Relations Officers' Committee. UNICA Working Groups are co-ordinated by member universities.
The General Secretariat in Brussels takes care of UNICA's general cooperation and administration.
UNICA participates actively in the Stakeholders’ Forum of the European Commission and maintains regular dialogue with the European Commissioner for Education and Culture as well as with the Directorates General for Education and Culture and for Research and Innovation, making sure that the views and recommendations voiced by its member universities are given due attention in the process of developing European higher education and research policies.
Acknowledging the importance of communication and the mutual exchange of knowledge and experience with other key higher education stakeholders at the European and international level, UNICA places great importance in the cooperation with other networks and HE organisations such as European University Association (EUA), EUA Council for Doctoral Education, International Association of Universities (IAU), Erasmus Student Network, European University Foundation, SGroup European Universities’ Network, Coimbra Group of Universities and Compostela Group of Universities.
The UNICA General Assembly 2013 in Rome voted unanimously in favour of the University of Belgrade joining the UNICA Network.
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