Partners and Networks

One way to develop lasting and meaningful cooperation is to establish formal treaties with a select number of partner universities in the Global South. In addition to our longstanding relationship with the University of the Western Cape in South Africa the university has added the Anton de Kom University in Suriname as strategic partner.

Anton de Kom Universiteit van Suriname (AdeKUS)

Utrecht University has partnered with the AdeKUS in 2021, linking the universities together by signing a Memorandum of Understanding.

University of Western Cape (UWC)

Utrecht University and the University of the Western Cape (UWC) have a history of collaboration stretching back to the 1980s. In June 2019, an updated Memo of Understanding was signed to establish the strategic partnership.


Our development is also tied to learning from and collaboration with other universities and educational institutions from all over the world. Through our networks we are able to do so.

Coimbra Group

Since 2020, the UU has been a member of the Coimbra Group, a network of more than 40 European universities that cooperate and share knowledge on a number of different terrains such as innovation in education and Open Science. Relevant for global engagement is our participation in the working group on development cooperation. We also participate in the Coimbra Scholarship scheme for young researchers from the Global South. In 2022 we have awarded the first three scholarships to researchers from different African countries, who will come and stay in Utrecht for up to three months. In awarding scholarships to students from the Global South, the UU can expand its knowledge and position itself among the other universities in the fields of Open Science, innovation in education, etc.

For more information, visit the website of the Coimbra Group

International Association of Universities (IAU)

IAU is the only large international network of universities that counts among its members many institutions from the Global South. It is an NGO that was founded in 1950 as part of UNESCO. As one of the founding members, UU has been involved in setting up this NGO from the beginning. With its now more than 650 member organisations, the focus is on inclusive, fair and ethical internationalisation of higher education, Sustainable Development Goals (and its integration in higher education) and improving the role of technology in higher education.

For more information, visit the IAU website

Knowledge Equity Network (KEN)

The logo of KEN is visible against a white background

Limited access to knowledge is a barrier to finding and implementing solutions to the major global challenges. KEN will be an educational partnership which is aimed at countering inequality in science and education. The network has three focus points: open access, open education and equitable partnerships. Utrecht University joined the network in 2023, signing the Declaration on Knowledge Equity and committing to the goals of the network.

For more information, visit the KEN website

Platform for International Education (PIE)

The Platform for International Education (PIE) is a platform of Dutch organisations that are active in worldwide international cooperation in higher education and research. PIE is part of NUFFIC and lobbies for properly designed and well-funded government programmes for lower and lower middle income countries in the Global South. It supports the promotion of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and inclusiveness in development. PIE and its members have created a very useful tool to access information about funding for projects that involve partners from the Global South, please click this link to see the tool.

For more information, visit the PIE website