In view of further strengthening collaboration in Europe, KU Leuven and UZH are entering into a strategic cooperation. “Both universities share common values and goals, in particular in research excellence, teaching and innovation. With this new bilateral partnership, two key contributors in Europe will continue to shape the university system of the future,” said UZH President Michael Schaepman after signing the agreement in Zurich.
Luc Sels, Rector of KU Leuven, stated: “I am delighted that KU Leuven formalized its ties with our esteemed partner, the University of Zurich. With our new collaboration agreement, we aim to enhance and increase mobility, further boost our joint research, and engage in mutual learning on innovation systems. The University of Zurich is a valuable source of inspiration for all facets of university life. Collaboration with Swiss partners in general and the University of Zurich in particular has been crucial to the impact of our research. Full engagement of Switzerland in Horizon Europe is essential to realize our joint ambitions.”
KU Leuven and the University of Zurich have a strong track record in research collaboration: the institutions are jointly involved in 15 large-scale collaborative European research projects. They also count almost 700 joint publications in the past five years, primarily in the medical field. Moreover, KU Leuven has emerged as a popular exchange destination for UZH students.
The two institutions have agreed to boost mobility and increase collaboration on related issues, such as summer schools and the recognition of credits. A systematic institutional exchange on technology transfer and innovation systems has also been put on the collaborative agenda. In light of jointly mapped opportunities and challenges, the two universities will further explore joining forces in their collaboration with other global partners.
To kick-start new and innovative collaborations, UZH and KU Leuven will provide seed funding for joint initiatives between members of the two universities. For example, the UZH Global Strategy and Partnerships Funding Scheme financially supports joint collaboration initiatives of UZH and KU Leuven.
UZH and KU Leuven are among the most innovative institutions of higher education in Europe. Both universities are members of the prestigious academic networks League of European Research Universities (LERU), the European alliance Una Europa, and the global network Universitas 21. These networks bring together like-minded universities from all around the world to create collaborative opportunities for their students, professional staff, and researchers.
Building on the existing network connections and deepening bilateral ties between the two institutions, the new strategic partnership is a significant step forward for both universities and a strong commitment to academic excellence, research innovation and global engagement.