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International alliances

International Networks

Circle U.

In November 2018, Aarhus University entered into an alliance with a number of research-intensive universities under the aegis of the European Universities initiative. The alliance is called Circle U. Members in addition to Aarhus University are:

  • Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
  • King's College London
  • Université catholique de Louvain.
  • University of Oslo
  • Université de Paris
  • University of Belgrade

The alliance has formulated a preliminary vision:

“By 2030, we have created a cutting-edge, student-centered, and flexible European university campus in service to global society. The alliance will educate future generations that will be able to take on international leadership, thereby contributing to the creation of the public good.


The European Universities Initiative

In September 2017, Macron gave a speech at the Sorbonne in which he laid out a number of visions for the European Union, including a proposal to create at least 20 European Universities by 2025. He described these European Universities as “a network of universities across Europe with programmes that have all their students study abroad and take classes in at least two languages”. According to Macron the European Universities are also to serve as “drivers of educational innovation and the quest for excellence”.

This led the commission to encourage the emergence of the ‘European Universities’, consisting of a bottom-up network of European universities that will allow students to earn degrees by combining studies in several EU countries and contribute to the international competitiveness of European universities.

These networks are to develop a long-term common strategy for education, as well as for innovation and research if possible. They must also be founded on an understanding of a common campus that imposes no barriers on student and employee mobility. The European Universities will be beacons of excellence and drivers of the attractiveness and competitiveness of European education.

The new alliance will now begin the process of developing the activities and elements which will be fundamental to the collaboration. 

The Alliance's website

Coimbra group

Founded in 1985 and formally constituted by Charter in 1987, the Coimbra Group is an association of long-established European multidisciplinary universities of high international standard. The Coimbra Group is committed to creating special academic and cultural ties in order to promote, for the benefit of its members, internationalisation, academic collaboration, excellence in learning and research, and service to society. It is also the purpose of the Group to influence European educational policy and to develop best practice through mutual exchange of experience.

Coimbra Group universities are among our top partners when it comes to incoming and outgoing student mobility at Aarhus University. In addition to this Aarhus University is currently involved in an Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window project with 10 other fellow Coimbra partners. The project involves student, staff and researcher mobility to and from Latin American Universities. The University also participates in the Coimbra Group Scholarship Programme for Young African Researchers and Scholarship Programme for Young Professors and Researchers from Latin American Universities, which have enjoyed considerable popularity among the target groups.

Scholarship Programmes

See current calls for the Coimbra Group Scholarship programmes: 

Utrecht Network

The Utrecht Network is a representative European-wide network of universities cooperating in the area of internationalisation. The group is particularly committed to such areas as student and staff mobility, summer schools, the internationalisation of curricula, joint curricula and double/joint degrees. 

The Utrecht Network represents 31 European universities in 28 countries, co-operating in the area of internationalisation in the broadest sense of the word.

European University Association (EUA)

The European University Association (EUA) represents and supports higher education institutions in 46 countries.  Members of the Association are European universities involved in teaching and research, national associations of rectors and other organizations active in higher education and research.

EUA provides members with a forum to cooperate and keep abreast of the latest trends in higher education and research policies. The Association’s mandate in the Bologna process, contribution to EU research policy-making and relations with intergovernmental organizations, European institutions and international associations, ensure its capacity to debate issues which are crucial for universities in relation to higher education, research and innovation.


2011 EUA Annual Conference

Around 450 university leaders and other higher education stakeholders gathered at Aarhus University in the middle of April 2011 for the annual EUA conference.


Euroscience is a grassroots organization for researchers, science administrators, policymakers and individuals with an interest in higher education, science and technology. Euroscience represents all European scientists of all disciplines as well as universities, research institutions and business members from the knowledge industry.

Euroscience is working to strengthen ties between science and society and to provide an open forum for debates on higher education, science and technology policies in Europe. The organization is active in European research policy discussion and is working to ensure that its members play an active role in the shaping of EU policies regarding the development of the European Research Area.

Euroscience organise international meetings and events – best known is the biennial Euroscience Open Forum (ESOF) – and publish position papers on topics within the area of research and higher education.


Columbus is a non-profit association, founded by the European University Association (EUA) and the Association of Latin American Universities (AULA). The Association includes 53 member universities -33 Latin American universities and 20 European universities.


Southern African – Nordic Centre (SANORD) was founded at a meeting of universities from seven countries at the University of the Western Cape. It is designed to further multilateral academic cooperation between the Southern African and Nordic regions and to strengthen the capacity of all member institutions to address new local and global challenges of innovation and development. The leadership of member institutions meets annually for discussion and planning of joint endeavours.

The Centre augments the many bilateral agreements and collaborative projects between institutions in both regions.  It builds on the deep relationships of trust which have developed between the regions over many years, and on shared fundamental values of democracy, social equity and academic engagement.

The founding universities are from three Southern Africa and four Nordic countries: Aarhus (Denmark), Bergen (Norway), University of Malawi (Malawi), University of Namibia (Namibia), Turku (Finland), Uppsala (Sweden), and Western Cape (South Africa). Membership was open to all full universities in the two regions by the time of the first conference in December 2007.

The Centre has its physical base at the University of the Western Cape, where the secretariat is established. Extensive information about member institutions and the two regions, as well as valuable research and teaching materials are made available to SANORD members on its website and other activities associated with the Centre, such as specialist workshops and seminars, takes place in a different settings and institutions, depending on which members organise them.

Head of School of Culture and Society is a Sanord Board Member

For more information about Sanord contact: Katrine Solvang, Dean’s Office, Faculty of Arts 

Regional Centres


The Sino-Danish Center for Education and Research (SDC) is a joint project on education and research between the eight Danish universities, the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science, the University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (UCAS) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). The overall aim of SDC is to promote and strengthen collaboration between Danish and Chinese research and learning environments for the benefit of both countries.

Sino-Danish Center is currently located in the center of Beijing and from 2017, it will be located at The House of the Danish Industry Foundation located on UCAS' Yanqihu Campus in Huairou District, 60 km northeast of Beijing city center.

SDC in Beijing offers seven unique Master's Programmes jointly developed by Danish and Chinese research environments:

More than 50 PhD students are financed through SDC funding. 

Nordic Centre - Fudan

Aarhus University holds a collaboration agreement with the prestigious Fudan University in Shanghai, China. The partnership covers student- and staff exchange and academic collaboration.

Aarhus University is a member of the Nordic Centre at Fudan University in China. The objective of the Nordic Centre is to foster mutual understanding between Nordic countries and China through the support of Nordic and Chinese students and researchers so that they can obtain a deeper mutual understanding and knowledge of language, culture and society. This is achieved through exchange programmes, seminars, summer school and research collaboration.

23 Nordic member universities from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden along with Fudan University constitute the Nordic Center.

How may AU-researchers use Nordic Centre FUDAN?

Nordic Centre FUDAN supplies both planning resources, financial resources and offers a working place to researchers from member universities who wish to set up conferences and seminars at Nordic Centre FUDAN.
Researchers may also apply for one-month fellowships at FUDAN University. Apply with the Nordic Centre Coordinator. Learn more

Download the handbook for visiting scholars at the Nordic Centre in Shanghai
Download a one-pager about opportunities for researchers at Nordic Centre in Shanghai

Nordic Centre, Fudan University
220 Handan Road
Shanghai 200433

Nordic Centre - India

Nordic Centre India is a network of 22 Nordic universities and institutions with research and education interests in India and Southeast Asia. There is an NCI office in one of the Nordic member universities as well as an office and a small Guest House in New Delhi.

Nordic Centre India offers targeted courses to Nordic university students both as short summer programs and semester stays. The courses are taught in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Mumbai. NCI assists in obtaining researchers permit both from the Nordic office and from the office in Delhi.

Particularly for AU staff and students:

Staff from member universities enjoy priority in the use of the facilities in New Delhi. Students from member universities enjoy priority to participate in the courses in India. NCI only assist researchers from member universities.

Current activities include:

  • The establishment of a joint language program for BA Hindi students in a number of NCI member universities
  • The establishment of joint MA courses for students in NCI member universities


SANORD is the South African-Nordic Centre promoting dynamic multilateral cooperation between research institutions. SANORD is a non-profit, membership organization of institutions of higher education and research, committed to advancing strategic, multilateral academic collaboration between institutions in the Nordic and the Southern African regions, as they seek to address new local and global challenges of innovation and development. Its activities are based on the relationships of trust built up between the regions over many years.

The Southern African-Nordic Centre is a partnership of 23 research-based higher education institutions from Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Malawi, Zambia and South Africa.