The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities

The University of Bern is a proud member of The Guild of European Research-Intensive Universities (The Guild), which comprises 22 of Europe’s most distinguished research-intensive universities in 16 countries. This association is dedicated to enhancing the voice of member institutions, their researchers and students.

Meeting of The Guild with Rector Christian Leumann
Rector Christian Leumann (second from left) with counterparts from other European universities at a meeting of The Guild, October 2017 (Image: The Guild)

By actively participating in The Guild, the University of Bern has added its voice to those of its peers to have a unique collective influence on European research policy.

Currently, our researchers are active in no less than 12 working groups within The Guild's structure, with topics ranging from diversity to open science, from health to space.

"Joining The Guild was part of the University of Bern's internationalization strategy to enhance our standing as a player on the global stage. Membership facilitates our University's links to institutions with similar interests and support our quest to hit new international heights," said Christian Leumann, the University of Bern's rector.

"We are in a special situation as a Swiss university because Switzerland is not directly affiliated in full to the European research-funding landscape," added Leumann. 

"Any information we can gather from our sister universities in the rest of Europe is important to help us get an overall view on where we and they stand, where their problems are and how we can help each other," said Leumann.

Strong player

From The Guild's perspective, the University of Bern brings a number of strengths to the table.

"Bern is an extremely strong university, distinguished by research excellence across all fields and with world-leading expertise in a number of areas," said Jan Palmowski, The Guild's secretary general.

"The University has been influential in shaping The Guild’s key policy papers on Horizon Europe and on other topics, such as open science, and has been very influential in communicating its concerns as a Swiss university," he underlined.

Committed member

For its part, the University of Bern recently spearheaded the setting up of a new working group on diversity and inclusion. Its inaugural meeting took place in Bern in November 2019.

A few months earlier, it hosted The Guild's secretary general on a working visit to Bern.