Essex is proud of its role in two trailblazing European collaborations which offer exciting opportunities for educational collaboration and student mobility. Here, our new Deputy Dean of Partnerships (Europe) David Briggs explains why staff and students should get involved in these innovative partnerships.

The University of Essex is a founding member of both YERUN (Young European Research Universities Network) and YUFE (Young Universities for the Future of Europe).

Both these partnerships offer exciting and innovative opportunities for staff and students at Essex in terms of:

  • Joint research collaborations
  • Staff mobility
  • Student mobility

Strengthening research collaboration

YERUN - Young European Research Universities Network - brings together 22 like-minded young universities from across Europe, with the aim to strengthen and develop cooperation in research, academic education and service which benefits society.

Since YERUN was launched in 2016, the network has established various initiatives, with a focus on education and research collaboration, PhD partnerships, open science, research mobility, EU policies, sustainability and graduate employability.

Its primary objective is raising the voice of young universities in Europe via a dedicated strategic representation and lobbying action and strengthening their cooperation, maximising opportunities to collaborate in areas of mutual interest and benefit.

YERUN provides access to a large network of like-minded institutions, which we can collaborate with - from joint research projects and joint programmes to guest lectures and knowledge exchange.

One initiative is the annual YERUN Research Mobility Awards which enables early career researchers from YERUN institutions to establish new research collaborations within the YERUN network, either in a physical or in a virtual format.

Find out more about Essex and YERUN

Building a new European University

YUFE - Young Universities for the Future of Europe – brings together ten young research-intensive universities and four non-academic partners across Europe with a shared vision to create one of the first true European universities.

There are a multitude of benefits to the Essex’s membership of the YUFE European University Alliance, from enhancing our status as a European and Global University and greater access to collaborative research funding to a strengthened relationship with our individual partners. 

The YUFE Student Journey is a key part of the Alliance, providing mobility for students between YUFE institutions.

How students can get involved

  1. Undergraduate students can take part from their 2nd year or at any point for postgraduates.
  2. Students can take individual modules, at any YUFE partner, either intra or extra-curricular.
  3. Students can study at one or more YUFE institution for a whole term (Autumn or Spring Term) either entirely in-person, or physically in one institution, whilst taking virtual modules in other institutions.
  4. Students can incorporate study towards YUFE modules/rewards with their year abroad (on an undergraduate 4-year course including year abroad).
  5. Students can engage in YUFE extra-curricular activities, including the YUFE Academy, language activities and Challenge Teams, either virtually or physically to earn YUFE Stars. 

How academic staff can get involved

Academic staff can engage with YUFE, mainly through offering modules through the YUFE Student Journey, or contributing modules to the YUFE Minor Programmes. The current offering to YUFE students at the University of Essex include virtual modules delivered by  History and Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies and face-to-face modules delivered by History, Economics, Government, Sociology and Philosophy and Art History.

Benefits of YUFE Student Journey

Mobility via the YUFE student journey has several benefits to both students and the institutions, including: 

  • Student experience enhanced by a broader range of optional modules and academic expertise from YUFE partners.
  • Enhanced student cultural and global awareness through studying modules at multiple locations
  • Enhanced teaching, learning and student experience through integration of YUFE students on Essex modules
  • Improved student engagement through the ability to gain additional credit and study in multiple locations
  • Enhanced student outcomes aided through the development of a range of transferrable skills.Students benefit from diversity and inclusivity training before their YUFE studies.

More information on the YUFE Student Journey, including feedback from our academics, already engaged in delivering YUFE modules, as well as students undertaking the journey, can be found on the Essex YUFE webpages.

I would encourage you to consider and discuss the opportunities to be involved within your department.

To find out more, or discuss any of this further, please contact David Briggs, Deputy Dean Partnerships (Europe) by emailing