Becoming a UNICA member

General UNICA membership criteria

  1. UNICA is a network of universities from the capital cities of Europe. It is clear, therefore, that all European capital cities are eligible for inclusion and it has been accepted in recent years that this means capital cities of countries rather than regions. Several of the larger cities (Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Paris, Lisbon, Moscow) have more than one university as members.
  2. Members must be committed to high quality teaching and research and strive for excellence in both areas at the European and international level. This is crucial to the Network and it is central to our membership criteria.
  3. The universities must be publicly funded and comprehensive providing degrees at Bachelor, Master and Doctoral level. This excludes private universities, and it also excludes purely business, science, or engineering universities. However, this does not mean that universities lacking the full range of faculties are completely ineligible, as there may be valid national reasons for the restricted range. Judgement is required on each application.
  4. The General Assembly is of the view that more emphasis should be put on co-operation and integration within the Network than on expansion for its own sake.


As approved by the UNICA Steering Committee, Brussels, 19 February 2009

Once the candidature of a University is accepted for consideration by the SC, the SC will proceed as follows before placing the membership application on the agenda of the UNICA General Assembly:

The SC will verify whether:
1. The University is based in a member state of the Council of Europe
2. The candidature of the University has the support of two UNICA Universities located in two different non-neighbouring countries.

  • The quality of the University-Candidate will be evaluated.
  • The two Universities that support the candidature take the responsibility for the quality of the University-Candidate.

3. The candidature of the University will be put again on the agenda of the SC for consideration.

The SC agrees that:

  • UNICA does not aim to increase the number of Member University significantly.
  • One member per capital is the rule. Exceptions have to be justified.
  • Before considering the candidature of a University located in an “already-UNICA- capital”, the opinion of the previous members in the capital is requested.


UNICA membership application in 5 steps

  1. University interested in becoming a UNICA member sends an expression of interest to and the expression of interest is put on the agenda of one of the upcoming UNICA Steering Committee meeting.
  2. If the University meets the criteria mentioned above and the feedback from the UNICA Steering Committee is positive, the institution is invited to formally apply for UNICA membership by submitting a membership candidacy form and an official letter on behalf of the University's academic leadership (Rector/President). 
  3. Membership application is reviewed by the UNICA Steering Committee before being presented to the UNICA General Assembly.
  4. Membership application is placed on the agenda and voted upon by the UNICA General Assembly, which takes place at the end of each calendar year (usually in October/November).
  5. The membership is counted starting from the new calendar year which follows the membership approval, e.g. in case a university is accepted as member at the UNICA General Assembly in November 2018, it officially becomes member on 1 January 2019 and receives the first annual membership fee request for the year 2019. 


More information:

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