UNICA Days in Brussels | 28 February – 1 March 2024

The first edition of the UNICA Days took place in Brussels, from 28 February to 1 March 2024. The event was open to the whole UNICA community as well as to partner organizations, European stakeholders, and policy makers, and intends to mark a significant step towards shaping the future of the network. The UNICA Days featured some of the key topics and audiences charting a course for Europe’s Higher Education environment.

Under the overarching theme “Navigating the Future: Strengthening Democracy through Education and Research“, participants had the chance to network with their peers from around the UNICA membership and meet with stakeholders and decision-makers shaping Higher Education policy in Europe.

The event covered three key topics for our community:

  1. The democratic mission of universities ahead of the EU Parliament elections 2024
  2. The developments in transnational cooperation on education in Europe
  3. The visions for a new European research and innovation strategy

More about the theme

As the European elections 2024 approach, we are fully aware of the interconnectedness of Higher Education and European politics. Democracy, anchored in active citizen engagement, inclusivity, and well-informed decision-making, highly benefits from the pivotal role of universities. These institutions uniquely empower individuals by providing them with knowledge, promoting critical thinking skills, and fostering the capacity to contribute meaningfully to the advancement of society. Moreover, through research and innovation, universities provide the knowledge for evidence-based decision-making and policy development to address societal challenges.

In this way, the intersection of Higher Education and democracy becomes a cornerstone for societal development and progress. This was, therefore, the ideal moment to leverage the collective capacity of UNICA member universities and make the community’s voice heard among decision-makers, stakeholders, and partners in Brussels, marking a significant step towards shaping the future we aspire to create.

Information from the event

Presentations from the event

The democratic mission of higher education. Perspectives from the Council of Europe“, by Marie-Anne Persoons, Vice-Chair of the COE’s Steering Committee for Educations

The UNICA days in pictures


Photographer: Robert-Gaël Maleux (https://www.instagram.com/gaelmaleux/)

Explore information of the initiatives announced during the UNICA Days:

UNICA Days in Brussels | 28 February – 1 March 2024

European Parliament Info Hub & University Foundation, Brussels



Laura Brossico (laura.brossico@unica-network.eu)

Thibaut Le Forsonney (thibaut.leforsonney@unica-network.eu)