International Partnership Charter


EUTOPIA is an alliance of interconnected Higher Education Institutions. It began as a network of European universities, funded by the European Commission to pilot and develop a new model for Higher Education in Europe. However, universities are, by their nature, global institutions. They are home to communities of students and scholars from all over the world and tackle global challenges through research and innovation. EUTOPIA cannot achieve its aim of developing a new model for Higher Education without looking beyond the borders of Europe. Furthermore, as highlighted by the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Sustainable Development Goals can only be realised through strong global partnerships and cooperation, built upon principles and values, and upon a shared vision placing people and the planet at the centre.

Citizens around the world need autonomous, inclusive, responsive, and connected universities providing research-based education to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. Therefore, EUTOPIA has grown to now include associated Global Partners from across the world. This growth allows for further collective learning and the inclusion of broader perspectives and understandings from beyond Europe, to the benefit of all. Over time, Global Partners may become part of EUTOPIA’s governance structures. The network of Global Partners will act as a key driver of EUTOPIA’s global outreach while promoting values such as equity, peace, and inclusion. Our engagement will be based on reciprocity, mutual understanding, and respect.


The EUTOPIA universities are currently:
University of Babeș-Bolyai (Romania); Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium); Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Italy); CY Cergy Paris University (France); Technische Universität Dresden (Germany); University of Gothenburg (Sweden); University of Ljubljana (Slovenia); NOVA University Lisbon (Portugal); Pompeu Fabra University-Barcelona (Spain); University of Warwick (United Kingdom).

The Global Partners are currently:
Kyungpook National University (South Korea); Monash University (Australia); the International University of Rabat (Morocco); Stellenbosch University (South Africa).

Together, it is with empathy, open-mindedness, and a will to be change-makers that we critically recognise that:

   A. Internationalisation remains a vitally important commitment for universities, as
  • Tomorrow’s graduates will increasingly require soft power and knowledge diplomacy skills as well as the practical and attitudinal capability to tackle global challenges
  • While the importance of curricula with an international outlook is understood, more needs to be done to develop truly collaborative educational offerings
  • Research collaboration between universities is evidently critical to our ability to address global challenges
  • Broad and flexible multilateral partnerships are a robust, valuable mechanism through which to offer students and staff international opportunities, and to create solution-oriented networks of researchers, particularly in the face of a changing external environment.
   B. Human rights, academic freedom and freedom of speech are precious, meaning that:
  • In the face of threats in some parts of the world, the need for universities to acknowledge and defend human rights, intellectual and moral autonomy, and to show solidarity with universities under threat, is critical.
   C. Inclusion and openness are critical in building fairer societies, but implementing these concepts is challenging, meaning that:
  • Taking lessons from world history is important. Past injustices of exclusion must stop with us
  • Practising and promoting a culture of inclusivity is key for academic institutions in seeking to foster transformation and openness
  • We shall strive to build a culture of inclusion where diversity is recognised, understood and valued, where leaders are role models of inclusive behaviours, where an adaptable and pluralist environment can facilitate meaningful interactions, and where there is transparency and accountability for our actions
  • Imbalances in traditional exchange programmes should be recognised and progressively replaced by mutually beneficial, complementary and transformational collaboration.


We, the EUTOPIA Universities and Global Partners, with empathy, open-mindedness and a will to be change-makers are conscious of the need to:
  • Acknowledge continuously the dynamics of the conditions recognised above
  • Develop curricula with an international orientation that seek to address contemporary global problems and foster global connections
  • Protect and cherish academic freedom in our universities and beyond
  • Respect human rights at all times
  • Promote and share excellence in teaching, research, innovation and social impact
  • Encourage educational modalities with a challenge-based and developmental approach
  • Remain critically aware of the broader context and reception of Euro-centric models of education, research and innovation, in a spirit of constructive engagement
  • Promote efforts that foster inclusion and visibility, especially for still disadvantaged groups and those accorded fewer opportunities
  • Create and promote transformational staff and student mobility opportunities
  • Promote and defend the highest possible ethical standards in research and teaching
  • Develop and champion the principles and practices of sustainability in our international collaborations
  • Protect against disruptive external shocks to our collaborative international activities by building flexible and enduring international partnerships.


We, the EUTOPIA Universities and Global Partners, co-creators of the International Partnership Charter, undertake to respect the Guiding Principles of:
  • Academic freedom of speech, enquiry, and conscience
  • Excellence as a core value of our teaching, research, and innovation activities
  • Collaboration, respect, transparency, and parity of esteem
  • Inclusivity and non-discrimination within higher education institutions, as a role model for society, without regard for differences of gender, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, religious affiliation, migration background, capability, sexual orientation, transgender identity or expression
  • A sustainable, responsible, and ethical attitude towards the effects of our actions on the planet


We, the EUTOPIA Universities and Global Partners and co-creators of this International Partnership Charter, moved by the spirit of developing ethical, longterm, sustainable, and transformative partnerships, therefore make the following Commitments:
  • Working together in building transformative, connected, challenge-driven universities in line with the Guiding Principles above
  • Through our educational offerings, collectively producing globally aware and engaged students
  • Exploring bottom-up collaborations across academic disciplines and at all levels of study, in line with the framework outlined in this Charter
  • Engaging internationally and collectively with governments, businesses, and agencies in areas of vital importance for global sustainability and socioeconomic improvement
  • Encouraging a deeper understanding of the institutional, regional, and national ecosystems in which we operate
  • Sharing opportunities, be they virtual, blended, or physical, for partners to join existing institutional, bilateral, or multilateral initiatives
  • Encouraging peer-learning activities in a way that will maximise their impact on individuals, other participating institutions, and the wider community
Ljubljana, 21 November 2022

Signed by, for and on behalf of:

  • University of Babeș-Bolyai (Professor Daniel David)
  • Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Professor Jan Danckaert)
  • Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (Professor Tiziana Lippiello)
  • CY Cergy Paris University (Professor François Germinet)
  • Technische Universität Dresden (Professor Ursula Staudinger)
  • University of Gothenburg (Professor Eva Wiberg)
  • Kyungpook National University (Professor Jin San Kim)
  • University of Ljubljana (Professor Gregor Majdič)
  • Monash University (Dr Cecilia Hewlett)
  • NOVA University Lisbon (Professor João Sàágua)
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Professor Josep Oriol Amat Salas)
  • Université Internationale de Rabat (Professor Abdelaziz Benjouad)
  • Stellenbosch University (Professor Hester Klopper)
  • University of Warwick (Professor Stuart Croft)