Associations and University Networks


Columbus is a non-profit association, founded by the European University Association (EUA) and the Association of Latin American Universities (AULA).It the first Euro-Latin American network that focuses primarily on cooperation between university leaders and institutional development.

Columbus has been promoting cooperation between European and Latin American institutions of higher educations since 1987. Its consolidated network of higher education institutions and decision-makers of university management is a platform where university leaders can identify and implement institutional strategies to respond to new challenges. It benefits from the support of the European Commission, UNESCO, governmental organizations and its members.

The association’s mission comprises:

  • Promoting multilateral co-operation in higher education.
  • Disseminating innovative experiences in key areas of institutional management.
  • Guiding universities through their adaptation and internationalization processes.
  • Circulating information on key subjects and new trends of higher education and concerning cooperation and financing opportunities.

Columbus creates networks in specific fields, identifies and provides access to funding opportunities, and organizes seminars on current issues and training workshops based on proven methodologies for university leaders, as well as study visits. It also evaluates and improves academic programmes, provides consulting services for institutional development and access to a consolidated network of experts in Europe and Latin America.
Columbus currently comprises 51 member institutions, 35 in Latin America and 16 in Europe.

EUA – European University Association

The European University Association (EUA) represents and supports higher education institutions in 47 countries, providing them with a unique forum to cooperate and keep abreast of the latest trends in higher education and research policies. Members of the Association are European universities involved in teaching and research, national associations of rectors and other organisations active in higher education and research.

EUA is the result of a merger between the Association of European Universities (CRE) and the Confederation of European Union Rectors' Conferences, which took place in Salamanca, Spain on 31 March 2001. As a centre of expertise in higher education and research, EUA supports universities by:

  • Promoting policies to enable universities and other higher education institutions to respond to growing expectations regarding their contribution to the future development of a knowledge society for Europe
  • Advocating these policies to decision makers at different levels and ensuring that the voice of universities is heard
  • Informing members of policy debates which will impact on their development
  • Developing its knowledge and expertise through projects that involve and benefit individual institutions while also underpinning policy development
  • Strengthening the governance, leadership and management of institutions through a range of activities targeted at mutual learning, exchange of experience and the transfer of best practices
  • Developing partnerships in higher education and research between Europe and the rest of the word in order to strengthen the position of European universities in a global context.

EMUNI University

The Euro-Mediterranean University (EMUNI University) based in Slovenia is one of the six priority areas of the Union for the Mediterranean. It was established as international network of universities (179 members from 38 countries, GA 2010).

The mission of University includes:

  • Approving the quality of higher education through the implementation of postgraduate study and research programmes;
  • Establishing a university environment fostering cultural diversity;
  • Ensuring administrative, operational and material infrastructures which enable successful development of the university education.

AULP – Association of the Portuguese Language Universities

AULP is an international organization consisting of members and associates (Universities and Higher Education and Research Institutions of the seven Portuguese-speaking countries and Macao) which pursues the aim of promoting cooperation between universities and higher education and research institutions through increasing exchange of researchers and students, encouraging reflection on the role of higher education and developing joint scientific and technological research, as well as widespread exchange of information.

Boasting of 20 years of experience, AULP multiplies efforts to strengthen the ties and to promote joint action among its members, with the aim of recognition of the importance and strength of the Portuguese-speaking community and, above all, of their higher education and research.

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