European Networks

YUFE: a new European university 

We’re part of the Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE) Alliance.

Essex is one of ten young universities helping to create one of the first true European Universities through the Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE) Alliance. We’re working with 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.

How it works

Undergraduate (second year or above) and postgraduate students can undertake additional study alongside their University of Essex degree, by compiling their own curriculum from courses offered across the YUFE universities. The YUFE Virtual Campus and catalogue gives information about what’s on offer. and students have access to a student portal to track their progress and achievements.

Students may also have opportunities to volunteer, follow internships, learn or practice another language, undertake professional training, and take part in community volunteering. Upon completion, students receive certificates listing all achievements relating to the YUFE opportunities they’ve participated in.

With YUFE, students have the opportunity to engage with the expertise of ten leading, research-driven institutions and connect with a wider student across Europe.

Studying with YUFE is free, however travel and accommodation costs may be incurred if selecting courses that are delivered in-person at a partner institution.

"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!"
Beatrice Carniato second year Politics, Philosophy and Economics student, University of Essex 

Applying to take part in the YUFE student journey

The next YUFE Student Journey application round is open from 3 April – 26 May 2023.

Undergraduate University of Essex students must have completed their first year of study achieving a minimum mark of 50. All students studying at a YUFE university must have an English language level of B2 or higher.

As the YUFE Student Journey is still in its pilot phase, each university in the YUFE partnership is restricted to submitting 60 applications, from which 40 students will be selected to participate based on their application, including explaining their motivation. We recommend that you submit your application as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

To apply, students need to create an account and complete the application form on the YUFE Student Portal on the YUFE Virtual Campus. Candidates will have to upload their details, along with motivation letter and sign a co-creation agreement.

If you are interested in participating in the YUFE Student Journey during the 2023-24 Autumn Term in-person at one of our YUFE Partner Institutions, please advise the YUFE Essex Team by emailing before 16 April 2023.

Why YUFE is important to Essex

At Essex we have one of the most international academic communities in the world. We believe it is now 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, as well as 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.

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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 YUFE vision

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.

Studying throughout Europe

The YUFE European University enables students to choose from programmes offered at each of the ten YUFE universities. The official language of YUFE study programmes is English, but some courses are offered in local languages. Students who spend a period at a university in another country are encouraged and supported to learn the language of their host country. There are also opportunities to take part in remote activities to learn and practice another language.

YUFE recognises and rewards each activity students participate in by awarding certificates and Stars upon completion, acknowledging academic performance and effort in mobility, language learning, professional training, and community volunteering.

Regional focus and impact

The YUFE programme pays attention to the specific regions in which the YUFE universities are located. With internships, for example, every university works with local authorities, the business community, and other organisations. These collaborations are based on challenges that are of great importance to the YUFE regions.

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Get in touch
Find out more from our YUFE team at Essex.