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University of Bern joins ENLIGHT

This year, Swiss universities can participate in European University alliances as “associated partners” for the first time. The University of Bern joined ENLIGHT as from 1 December 2022.


Swiss universities are fighting to retain their connections to European networks. They do so under difficult conditions since Switzerland was excluded from Horizon Europe and Erasmus+. Now Swiss universities have the opportunity to join European University alliances as "associated partners". On 1 December 2022, the University of Bern was elected as associated member member by the ENLIGHT Governing Board.

“Even though our researchers still urgently need Switzerland's association to Horizon Europe, to be part of the most important research network in the world, joining ENLIGHT is an important step for us to retain our connections in Europe and promote exchanges as well as cooperation," says Christian Leumann, Rector of the University of Bern.

The ENLIGHT universities cooperate closely in areas where the University of Bern can contribute actively, such as health, climate change, digitization or renewable energy. ENLIGHT members work together to create conditions where research can flourish and collaborate closely in learning and teaching. "ENLIGHT membership is an opportunity for the University of Bern to remain an active part in a rapidly-changing European higher education landscape," says Virginia Richter, Vice Rector for Development at the University of Bern.

“As a comprehensive university with a strong research focus, the University of Bern is an ideal extra member for ENLIGHT, fully matching our vision is to break down barriers to shared learning and research between universities. In this way, we want to enable students to tackle the societal challenges of today as well as of tomorrow,” states Guido Van Huylenbroeck, Director for Internationalisation of Ghent University and project coordinator of ENLIGHT Erasmus+.

Six member universities of ENLIGHT, including the University of Bern, are also members of The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities, an association of 21 renowned research-intensive European universities in 16 countries. The Guild represents its member universities, researchers and students in Brussels, whereas the European University alliances work towards shared campus activities.

The University of Bern is a public institution, based in Switzerland’s capital city, with a strong focus on providing excellence in research and teaching. The university has approximately 19,500 students who benefit from a full range of courses in most disciplines at undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as continuing education. It also hosts international research platforms, national centers of competence in research and trans- and interdisciplinary programs. The University of Bern offers state-of-the-art facilities to students and teaching staff at its eight faculties. The current annual budget is CHF 939 million of which CHF 367 million stem from third-party funding for research.


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