Essex is one of ten young universities helping to create one of the first true European Universities through the Young University for the Future of Europe (YUFE) alliance. We’re working with these partners from higher education, and the non-governmental and private sector to shape the future of European higher education by establishing a European University that's open to all.
If you're a bachelor student in your second year or above, you'll have the opportunity to study for a European diploma, by compiling your own curriculum from all courses offered across the eight YUFE universities. In addition, the YUFE Virtual Campus will host all members’ online course offers.
A YUFE student card will offer you access to facilities everywhere, and you will have opportunities to volunteer or follow internships. Your diploma will also list your achievements relating to language learning, professional training, job shadowing, community volunteering and all the other opportunities YUFE offers.
At Essex we have one of the most international academic communities in the world. We believe it is more important than ever to forge international partnerships with universities which share our mission and values. YUFE will play an important role in transforming the higher education sector in Europe by driving forward innovation, staff and student mobility, and enriching the economic, social and cultural life of our region.
For our part in helping to establish one of the first truly European universities, we will offer incoming and outgoing students and staff so much more than conventional exchange placements; they will be fully integrated into our institution, and can make use of all the services and take advantage of the strong connections between YUFE institutions.
Within YUFE's operational work areas we are pleased to be leading on Diversity and Inclusivity activity and co-leading on Staff Journey activity. We are also actively involved in other operational areas, including Quality Assurance, the Student Journey, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Cities, Communications and Sustainability.
"If you're not sure you’re going to have time, or you can’t see how it’s going to benefit you, I’d say look into it because it's a good way to complement your studies. And a good way to push your learning into areas that you might not otherwise explore. It's a good opportunity, and it's all free!"
We had a keen interest from Essex students in joining the YUFE Introduction Offer, which started in October 2020, and all 100 students completed the offer in December 2020. The YUFE Diploma Supplement Track applications are now closed, and some 100 students will have the opportunity to study for the diploma, 10 of which will be Essex students.
This diploma track will be underway from January 2021 onwards, and students attending will take academic courses at the nine other YUFE universities, participate in the YUFE Academy and induction courses, and take up at least one YUFE activity such as language training or community engagement. Students completing the diploma will improve not only their academic performance, but also the diploma recognises efforts in mobility, language learning, professional training, job shadowing and community volunteering. Further updates are published on the YUFE website.
YUFE is dedicated to being open and inclusive – that means access regardless of prospective students’ socioeconomic or cultural background. We are currently developing the admissions criteria for the YUFE Diploma Supplement Track.
If you are a member of University of Essex staff and want to find out how you can support YUFE and get involved with events and development initiatives for staff, including early career researchers, please contact Dr Nadine Rossol, Deputy Dean of Partnerships (Europe).
YUFE will play an important role in transforming the higher education sector in Europe by driving forward innovation, staff and student mobility, and enriching the economic, social and cultural life of our region.
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing the lives of people all over the world. It is changing the way we work, the way we learn, and the way we live. Naturally, the pandemic also has had an impact on the YUFE alliance.
Our aims remain the same we’re working towards building a young, student-centred, non-elitist, open and inclusive European University. One of its key components will be the physical, blended and virtual mobility of students and staff.
With restrictions on movement and gatherings enforced all over Europe, it becomes increasingly important to emphasise the importance of online education opportunities.
In response, the YUFE alliance has decided to put increased emphasis on its virtual campus rather than mainly focusing on the time after COVID-19 – when physical mobility will be possible again. This online platform will virtually connect citizens, students and staff all over Europe.
Our hope is to reap the benefits of our virtual platform and further strengthen the online resources that all academic institutions in YUFE have already put in pace since they have had to move their classes online swiftly. Through these combined efforts, YUFE is determined to reach its goal of having the first YUFE students starting in the academic year 2020-2021.
We’re always guided by the needs and interests of students and staff. We’re consulting with our YUFE partners, students, governments and other European University alliances, to try to develop accessible solutions and answers to the many questions people are asking about our project. There are no 'manuals' or 'guidelines' that we can fall back on in this exceptional situation.
It is challenging working together across borders without being able to meet face-to-face for such an extended period of time.
However, the commitment of everyone working on YUFE is shining through, with an abundance of virtual meetings, which allows us to move forward in a coordinated way. This, with the unique sense of community students and staff generate is allowing us to build activities and solutions over the upcoming months.
The YUFE European University will enable prospective students to choose from programmes offered at each of the eight YUFE universities. To allow access to all systems and facilities of these universities, the alliance will introduce a YUFE student card, valid at all participating universities. The official language of YUFE study programmes is English, but students who spend a period at a university in another country are encouraged and supported to learn the language of their host country. When they have successfully completed their studies, students receive a European diploma that will be valid anywhere in Europe. The diploma will not only acknowledge students’ academic performance, but also acknowledge their effort in mobility, language learning, professional training, job shadowing and community volunteering.
To guarantee accessibility for as many students as possible, YUFE is preparing to set up a virtual European campus. Part-time students or interested citizens who want to follow a single virtual or physical course can also make use of the YUFE offer. Students will be given the opportunity to contribute to the community in their neighbourhood, and to foster a culture of mutual support in all YUFE cities and communities. YUFE students will be immediately immersed in the local and regional society and will thus be the catalyst for further European integration.
The YUFE programme itself pays a lot of attention to the specific regions in which the eight YUFE universities are located. When it comes to internships, for example, every university will work together with local authorities, the business community and other organisations. These collaborations are based on challenges that are of great importance to the YUFE regions. In Limburg, for example, the region of the coordinating institution Maastricht University, the Brightlands ecosystem will be an excellent setting to implement the joint YUFE approach. In Cyprus, students will contribute to the development of more efficient public transport in the capital Nicosia. In Essex (UK), YUFE projects will contribute to solving socio-economic disadvantage the eastern region.