UNIC European University

Welcome to UNIC, the European University of Post-Industrial Cities! European Universities are networks of higher education institutions in EU countries that work together for the benefit of students, teachers, researchers and the surrounding societies.

Mobility, diversity and urban development

UNIC’s mission is to increase mobility and inclusion and to build the European Education Area. UNIC was launched in autumn 2020.

The cities in the UNIC alliance face similar societal challenges as they transition to a post-industrial, service-based economy. Through research and teaching, universities in the UNIC network aim to actively support urban development. A common goal is also to genuinely involve all levels of society in this development by supporting and utilising the diversity and pluralism of urban residents. 

A European University offers students opportunities for mobility, and an array of international courses. For Oulu and the university staff, UNIC enables participatory research cooperation for urban development, also through international cooperation. 

Cooperation between UNIC universities is long-lasting, and objectives for the first years include:

  • A shared campus between UNIC universities to create an opportunity for studying towards joint degrees between the universities, and to educate, research, work or share services in international, physical and virtual ways.
  • CityLabs events to address the challenges of changing cities through co-creation.
  • The Superdiversity Academy to create models for organising inclusive education for a diverse population.

Join us in urban development!

The universities included in UNIC cooperate with the cities where they are based. One of UNIC's objectives is to strengthen urban cooperation networks and the societal impact of universities through participatory and inclusive research. UNIC's post-industrial theme is ideal for developing Oulu, as the city has recovered from a low point in the technology industry and heading towards a new kind of growth. 

The University of Oulu develops the CityLabs operating model jointly with Bilbao and Liége to bring together students, companies and other operators based in the cities in cross-organisational events through workshops, idea competitions and co-creation. The aim is to discover key challenges shared by the cities and jointly develop solutions that will be presented at the CityLabs festivals. A CityLabs festival is planned in Oulu for May 2022, in connection with a conference that brings the entire European University to Oulu. 

The CityLabs cooperation group will include representatives from the City of Oulu, the Oulu Chamber of Commerce, Vuolle ry, and the University of Oulu Student Union.

Contact the Oulu UNIC team

  • Operative Leader Johanna Bluemink, johanna.bluemink[at]oulu.fi, tel. +358 50 3709505
  • UNIC Project Manager Henna Määttä, henna.maatta[at]oulu.fi, tel. +358 50 4700859
  • CityLabs Coordinator Mia Kemppaala, mia.kemppaala[at]oulu.fi, tel. +358503668303
  • Project Planner Annina Vahera-Chibnik, annina.vahera-chibnik[at]oulu.fi, puh. +358 50 3244194

The UNIC European University includes

  • Bilbao, University of Deusto, spain

  • Bochum, Ruhr University Bochum, Germany

  • Cork, University College Cork, Ireland

  • Istanbul, Koç University, Turkey

  • Liège, University of Liège, Belgium

  • Zagreb, University of Zagreb, Croatia

  • Rotterdam, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands (coordinator)

  • Oulu, the University of Oulu, Finland

Strengthening the quality, attractiveness and competitiveness of European higher education

Deepening cooperation in the EU supports the objectives of the University of Oulu to conduct impactful scientific research as part of the international scientific community and to promote high-quality education. European Universities are an EU-wide flagship initiative for higher education, and they are a key element in the construction of the European Education Area. On average, the European University networks consist of seven higher education institutions. The EU supports the sustainable and structural development of European Universities with a total of EUR 287 million. Read more on the European Commission's website > 

“Being included in a European University is a seal of quality for the University of Oulu. With this cooperation, we will be able to develop the inclusiveness, digitalisation and attractiveness of higher education in Europe and Oulu, and we will get a vantage point to the creation of European curricula.”

Tapio Koivu, Vice Rector of Education at the University of Oulu