The name UNITA – almost the same as Italian unità (unity) – evokes the strong links and commonalities that bring us together to create a groundbreaking and innovative alliance aiming at a closer integration.

The subtitle Universitas Montium, written in Latin, stresses that UNITA universities all speak Romance languages and are committed to fostering linguistic diversity and to the development of rural and cross-border mountain areas. 

 Spanish version | French version | Italian Vesion

Who we are

We are an alliance of six comprehensive research universities from five countries with different sizes and trajectories gathering together more than 160 000 students and 13 000 staff members. From west to east: Universidade de Beira Interior, Universidad de Zaragoza, Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, Université Savoie Mont Blanc, Università di Torino, and Universitatea de Vest din Timisoara.

We are based on a solid background of experience in strategic university networks and joint research, as well as in educational and innovation projects. We share a firm willingness to cooperate on the basis of mutual trust in a transformational project aiming at establishing a new model of increasingly collaborative and integrated teaching, research and innovation through enhanced mobility and with strong links to our ecosystems.

UNITA is not only composed of Universities, but also of relevant actors in each regional ecosystem represented by the socio-economic sector, public authorities, policy-makers and civil organizations

What brings us together


Besides sharing the commitment to contribute to the development of our societies and territories in a European dimension, we also have in common three constitutive key features:

  • we are located in rural and cross-border mountain regions across southern, central and eastern Europe: Serra da Estrela (Beira Interior), the Pyrenees (Pau and Zaragoza), the Alps (Savoie Mont Blanc and Torino), and the Banat Mountains (Timisoara), i.e. in ecosystems sharing similar challenges;
  • we intend to actively use Romance languages in addition to English, thus enhancing linguistic diversity and promoting inclusion;
  • we share innovative educational and research areas, especially in the fields of Renewable energies, Cultural heritage, and the Circular economy, in particular the Bioeconomy, which yield a considerable propagative impact, both in terms of the sustainability of the ecosystems and in terms of employability for students and citizens.

The choice of these three areas matches several areas of the Smart Specialization Strategies developed by our Regions, thus contributing to reinforcing the synergies between universities and local actors in terms of financial support from the EU and the provision of graduates.

Our values


The UNITA partners are strongly committed to sharing and implementing common values for an innovative, European and future-oriented university:

Social responsibility:

Foster collective awareness of commitment to social well-being in its different dimensions (social, environmental, cultural);


Democratic Participation:

Creating a participative European university by promoting student and staff involvement;



Use technical knowledge and skills to have a positive impact on protecting and improving the environment around us;



Promote the interaction of diverse peoples with a view to making society more just, more balanced, more equal and inclusive;


Personal Development:

Promote the search for knowledge as a way of improving social well-being and strengthening the individual's understanding, crossing geographical boundaries;


European University:

Creating a participative, open, inclusive and effective European university, contributing to strengthening a European Identity.

Our vision


The UNITA Alliance intends to build a fully-fledged European inter-university campus based on excellent teaching and learning, research and innovation, and on civic engagement. Its goal is to drive excellence in the European Higher Education area and become attractive also for students from other continents, especially Africa and the Americas, with whom we share common languages.

UNITA students will experience a challenging multilingual and student-centred environment, closely linked to research and entrepreneurship. They will be able to build flexible personalized curricula across the universities of the Alliance based on increased mobility, physical, blended and virtual, thanks to new tools and new digital spaces, and to the development of micro-credentials on inter-comprehension methods, especially among Romance languages.

This European University, committed to being open, inclusive and effective, will be developed through a step-by-step approach, involving students and staff in the project via participative governance, with a long-term vision leading to closer integration based on sustainability and aiming to become a model.

The Alliance is firmly committed to supporting the development of the societies and territories in which it is established, and particularly of those somewhat peripheral areas such as rural and cross-border mountain regions.

UNITA aims to respond to societal challenges and empower its students and staff to act as European and global citizens strongly committed to the UN sustainable development goals and the European Green Deal, and aware of cultural and linguistic diversity, and of the challenges facing rural and mountain territories.


Our mission


Our shared vision and values drive us to pursue these key objectives:

  1. Creating a participative, open, inclusive and effective European university.
  1. Developing excellent research-driven and student-centred education.
  1. Promoting multilingualism and the diversity of languages in Europe.
  1. Reducing inequalities between core and non-central regions through the sustainable development of rural and mountain areas.
  1. Creating an inspiring learning environment.
  1. Reaching Mobility 4 all.
  1. Contributing to strengthening a European Identity.
  1. Ensuring the continuity and uptake of the UNITA approach.



  • Excellence in teaching and learning strongly committed to our rural and cross-border mountain territories
  • Multilingualism promoting Romance languages and Inter-comprehension as inclusive instruments
  • Sustainability: Research and innovation in Renewable energies, Cultural heritage, Circular economy, in particular Bioeconomy, to strengthen our rural communities
  • European citizenship awareness of the challenges of climate change and of the importance of diversity in our common cultural heritage
  • Participation: student and staff involvement for responsible institutions fostering personal development

Associated Partners

International organizations:

National Organizations:

Local Authorities:




Representatives of the socio-economic world:


Geminae Program

Geminae Program - UNITA's partner universities around the world

Taking advantage of increased visibility and attractiveness of European Universities, UNITA aims to create a network of "sister" universities - the Geminae program- which will allow sharing best practices among universities.

This network of "sister" universities, based on the quality of the institutions, will be initially based on the active cooperation between Outside Europe Universities and UNITA’s partners, giving preference to institutions of romance language speaking countries. But Geminae aims to be a growing community of universities that will continuously increase its partners as time goes.

This project aims to cooperate with UNITA’s associate partners: the l’Agence Universitiarie de la Francophone (AUF), the Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos (OEI) and the Associação das Universidades de Língua Portuguesa (AULP). As these institutions are quite active in roman speaking countries outside Europe, their role will be key in identifying new partners and key cooperation topics.

The objective of the Geminae program is to broaden the exchange of best practices developed by UNITA in all areas, i.e. training, research, innovation and links with society. It will facilitate the mobility of students from these institutions to UNITA, and even encourage students to settle, at least occasionally, in UNITA’s countries and regions. Indeed, some UNITA regions are depopulating, and others need skilled workforce, in sum, all are looking for talented people to develop UNITA’s region economic and social activities, while increasing their competences and enjoying a rural and mountainous quality life.


UNITA will offer an important number of programs and destinations for students who prepare themselves through UNITA’s intercomprehension training. Thanks to these courses, INCOMING and OUTGOING students will move easily across Romance speaking countries as they will be able to communicate in French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Rumanian.

Cultural heritage, renewable energies and circular economy represent the key thematic areas of UNITA, they are the link between the past and the future of Romance countries. They are critical areas to support the necessary economic transition for the prosperity of UNITA’s rural and mountainous regions, all while tackling climate change and sustainable development. UNITA expects to cooperate with its Geminae partners in developing research and innovation projects, teaching programs and micro-credentials involving teacher-researchers, in a mutually enriching dynamic.

To finance these partnerships, UNITA and its partners will participate in different calls for projects, such as Erasmus+ capacity building projects or initiatives from the "African Research Initiative for Scientific Excellence" (Arise).

Best Practices

Universities live in a competitive and challenging environment and have to improve their quality to attract students while tackling with the demands of their societies. UNITA was born to serve its students and regions with this objective it aims to collect best practices in teaching and research but also those related with strengthening the links with the societies they pertain to.

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