It evokes the strong links and commonalities that bring us together to create ground-breaking and innovative alliance aiming at a deeper level of integration.

Universitas Montium, written in Latin, stresses a common heritage and the fact that UNITA universities all speak Romance languages, and are committed to fostering linguistic diversity and to the development of rural and cross-border mountain territories.

Our slogan ‘Climb your future’ reflects our commitment to supporting the aspirations of our graduates and our communities by fostering their resilience to cope with life’s challenges.

Who we are

We are an alliance of universities and a legal entity (UNITA GEIE) from seven countries with different sizes and trajectories gathering together nearly 250,000 students and 21,000 staff members:


The UNITA Universities are located in rural, mountain, and cross-border regions across Southern, Western and Central-Eastern Europe, in ecosystems sharing similar challenges and impacted by core-periphery dynamics.

The UNITA GEIE (UNITA European Economic Interest Grouping) is a starting point towards a new model of legal entity serving the purposes of European universities. Through this tool we will design the trajectory to transform the alliance into an institutionalised European university that deals with UNITA assets, accelerates policy convergence, facilitates the pooling of resources and houses universities that keep their autonomy.

Our more than fifty associated partners represent different actors in each regional ecosystem, including the socio-economic sector, public authorities, a quality assurance agency, policy makers and civil organizations.

Together, we constitute a unique ecosystem that ensure the transformative impact and the sustainability of our new University model.

Read the full UNITA Mission statement

Our values


We share a strong commitment to contribute to the development of our societies and territories in a European dimension, including the awareness of a shared European citizenship and the contribution to the permanently ongoing construction of European identity.

We actively and increasingly use Romance languages in addition to English in education, research, innovation and management, thus enhancing linguistic diversity and promoting inclusion but also resorting to them as a tool for projecting UNITA beyond Europe taking advantage of our languages in large regions of the world, particularly in the Americas and in Africa.

We are strongly committed to promoting the European democratic values of peace, human dignity and human rights, equality, diversity and inclusion, and to the construction of a fully-fledged European University fostering the European way of life.

We believe in:

  1. Democratic participation
  2. Societal and civic engagement
  3. Diversity
  4. People empowerment
  5. Inclusiveness
  6. Environmental responsibility

Governance, Management and Quality

The governance of UNITA aims at building the model for an institutionalised European university and ensuring the fully operational and measurable implementation of alliance Tasks and deliverables in a quality framework with academic and societal impact.

For this purpose, the partner institutions are committed in:

  • Update and maintain the governance structures, and further develop a model for an institutionalised European university through long-term visions and strategies both for effective and inclusive governance at partner and alliance level, and per policy domain, (e.g. quality assurance, data driven governance and management, green, sustainability, digital, open data, open science, open education, lifelong education, linguistic policy, mobility.
  • Establish and maintain the management structures, in particular the UNITA Offices, fully integrating new partners, engaging students, academic and administrative staff, stimulating the involvement of associated partners.
  • Update and mainstream the UNITA Quality Assurance policy and assessment tools developed during the first phase, in accordance with the European Standard Guidelines.

Developing UNITA communities

UNITA supports the construction of communities of students, teachers and researchers, and administrative staff, by enabling policies for human resources, multilingualism, mobility and the promotion of the European way of life through the following actions:

  • Promote well-being, inclusion, gender and social equity, increase staff training and career development within the alliance, fostering intra-entrepreneurship and leadership capacity and connecting students’ organisations and initiatives.
  • Integrate and combine Romance languages learning and intercomprehension in existing programmes and produce micro-credentials on these topics for different learner profiles in the framework of a UNITA language policy.
  • Create and support communities of educators, researchers and innovators who share a common interest in a field of knowledge and want to develop the field further through exchanges of good practice and the launch of joint projects.
  • Achieve mobility opportunities for students and staff by embedding mobility as a structural feature at all levels of the alliance, with a particular emphasis on intra-alliance and rural mobility. Pave the way towards seamless mobility by reducing obstacles and simplifying procedures, including automatic recognition.
  • Develop and promote European citizenship and identity, the European way of life and a sense of belonging among the UNITA communities (students and staff), but also among the citizens, particularly the inhabitants of rural, cross-border and mountain areas, as well as regional authorities and associations, and contribute to the reflection and debate on these fundamental European concepts and values.

Associated Partners

Associated Partners are a key resource for UNITA in order to reach the objectives of the Alliance.

The staff working in the UNITA institutions is complemented by the following Associated Partners:

International organizations:

National Organizations:

Local Authorities:



Representatives of the socio-economic world:


European Economic Interest Grouping UNITA-Universitas Montium (EEIG)

In January 2023, the six universities belonging to the UNITA alliance (University of Turin, University of Savoie-Mont Blanc, University of Pau et des Pays de l'Adour, University of Zaragoza, University of Beira Interior, University of Vest din Timisoara) signed the founding act of the European Economic Interest Grouping UNITA-Universitas Montium (EEIG), the first in Europe. A signature that represents an effective tool to strengthen institutional collaboration between the members of the alliance and constitutes an important step towards the goal of the European University. The EEIG will make it possible to experiment with new ways of transnational cooperation to facilitate transnational academic collaboration at European level, in line with the European Commission's strategies in the field of higher education.

The main objective is to support the functioning of the alliance on the institutional missions of the university, serving an audience of over 165,000 students and more than 15,000 teaching and technical-administrative staff. The EEIG will offer students excellent training and research staff strengthened and transdisciplinary partnerships capable of promoting innovation in the territories concerned and with a European dimension.

More info»

Read the paper:
The Path towards the European University in the Current EU Legal Framework: the Unita – Universitas Montium Experience


EEIG governance structure »



EGAI Project

In april 2023 the project “EGAI – Unita as a Model for Institutionalized University Cooperation: from the European Grouping of Economic Interest to the European Grouping of Academic Interest” was launched. EGAI is funded through the ERASMUS+ program, within the call "Pilot institutionalised EU cooperation instruments to explore the feasibility for a possible European legal status for alliances of higher education institutions".

EGAI Project intends to examine, test and facilitate the use of a European Grouping of Economic Interest (EEIG) as an instrument of institutionalized university cooperation, with the final goal of designing a new grouping, the European Grouping of Academic Interest (EGAI).

EGAI includes the members of UNITA-Universitas Montium alliance, supported by national authorities in the field of higher education, the other Universities associated to Unita, the Italian authority competent for the registration of the EEIG (CCIAA of Turin) and other alliances or entities interested. Moreover, the project intends to achieve beneficial results for the entire European Academic Community, and notably those alliances wishing to test the EEIG.

A team composed by 15 legal and/or economic experts from all the partners will conduct an in-depth analysis to define the activities to be entrusted to the EEIG, the legal tools to ensure the sharing of personnel, data and material resources within the EEIG, and its economic and financial needs. The testing will be completed through the organization of a lifelong learning activity to be carried out by the EEIG. These analyses will lead to a proposal for the improvement of the existing institutionalised cooperation EU instruments. Results will be presented in a scientific conference and in a winter school at the conclusion of the project.


EGAI Project Kick off meeting video


Kick off program

Presentation of the EGAI Project
Barbara Gagliardi, EGAI project coordinator, Università di Torino

The EEIG as an Instrument of Academic Cooperation
Arnaud Lecourt, Université de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour

Testing the EEIG for Academic Cooperation: The Legal Tools
Ana Gascon Marcén, Universidad de Zaragoza

Testing the EEIG for Academic Cooperation: the Training Activities
Claudia Martins and Tatiana do Adro, Universidade da Beira Interior

The Contribution to the European Debate: The EGAI Winter School
Sorina Doroga and Raluca Bercea, Universitatea de Vest din Timișoara

Final Remarks and Perspectives: from the European Grouping of Economic Interest to the European Grouping of Academic Interest
Alexandre Guigue, Université Savoie Mont Blanc



EGAI - T 1.1 Final report of the Strategic Committee with decisions and recommendations 

EGAI - T 1.2 Quality Review Report (Final Report)

EGAI - T 2.1 Analysis on the object of the academic EEIG

EGAI - T 2.2  Toolkit of legal instrument

EGAI - T 2.3 Proposal of a new regulation framework 

EGAI - T 3.2 Assessment report 

EGAI - T 4.1 UNITA website section for Legal Entity

EGAI - T 4.2 Recording of the conference's speeches and discussions available



EGAI UNITA Webinar (14 September 2023)

GEIE universitaire et services d'intérêt économique général: quelques problématiques

Workshop on “Interpersonal Skills and Sustainability” (20-24 November 2023)

Conference “Paving the way for European Universities" (7-8 March 2024)

EGAI UNITA Webinar - Univeristy EEIGs and services of general economic interest: some issues (15 March 2024)

UNITA EGAI Project Spring School - A Journey Towards Enhanced University Collaboration (18-19 March 2024)




Barbara Gagliardi (Project Coordinator)

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