Circle U. European University

Circle U. European University

The University of Vienna is pleased to have joined the European University Circle U. together with the University of Pisa on 12 November 2021.

 Video message from Rector Heinz W. Engl

English subtitles available

By 2025, Circle U. is an inclusive, research-intensive and interdisciplinary European university. Students, staff and partners from civil society, businesses and the public sector collaborate to jointly develop competencies and solutions for keeping Europe and our planet healthy, peaceful, democratic and prosperous.

- Circle U. Vision

 What is Circle U.?

© Circle U. (edited)

Circle U. is a network of research-intensive universities from across Europe which embraces the European identity in all its diversity and its openness to the world. The seven founding members of Circle U. are Aarhus University, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Université de Paris, University of Belgrade, UCLouvain, University of Oslo and King’s College London. The University of Vienna shares an relationship of trust and a commitment to a common vision for Circle U.’s future with these universities, which makes an excellent foundation for future collaboration. The University of Vienna already has many cooperation activities with these universities, which will now be expanded significantly within the framework of Circle U.

Circle U. develops initiatives for pedagogical innovation, interdisciplinary research cooperation and engagement with society in order to tackle global challenges together with local stakeholders and partners and to offer comprehensive and sustainable experiences for students. 

Circle U. is one of 41 university alliances which were founded in recent years as part of the European Union’s "European Universities Initiative", which was initiated by President Macron.

 What does Circle U. mean for the University of Vienna?

Membership of a European University Alliance opens up new horizons for study, research and international cooperation.

Climate change, democracy and global health

Circle U. currently has three thematic priorities which are central to the prosperity and sustainability of today’s society: climate change, democracy and global health. Students, academic staff, administrative staff and external stakeholders work together in "Knowledge Hubs" on teaching, research and innovation in these areas. The Circle U. universities are developing new joint research-based curricula, seminars and summer schools on these three topics, which will be implemented using innovative pedagogical approaches.  

Academic Chairs

A network of Academic Chairs at all Circle U. universities has a leading role in Circle U. Academic Chairs have the task of developing the three thematic priorities and driving them forward using innovative curricula, seminars and summer schools. The University of Vienna is delighted that Prof. Sabine Pahl, Professor for Urban and Environmental Psychology at the Faculty of Psychology (Climate Change) and Prof. Dorothee Bohle, Professor for Comparative Political Economy at the Faculty of Social Sciences (Democracy) will be the first Academic Chairs at the University of Vienna from January 2022 onwards.

Sabine Pahl © Pahl/private

Dorothee Bohle © Bohle/private


Circle U. seeks to create an inclusive European campus within which mobility is facilitated and promoted for students, academic staff and administrative staff – whether it be physical, virtual or through “blended learning.” Students, academic staff and administrative staff will have more opportunities to gain international experience at other Circle U. universities and to network with members of other Circle U. universities, including through virtual means.

 Circle U. Work Packages

Circle U.‘s tasks have been divided into seven Work Packages (WPs). Until the end of 2023, the University of Vienna is primarily participating in WP1, WP2, WP3 and WP5.

WP 1: General Management and Coordination

WP 2: Creating an Inclusive European University Ecosystem

WP 3: Circle U. Academic Chair Programme

WP 5: Socially-engaged Education and Research

 How can I find out more?

For more information and opportunities to get involved, please visit the Circle U. website or contact the International Office at the University of Vienna.