The European Commission announced today that EUniWell – the European University for Well-Being – has been awarded continued funding through the ERASMUS+ European Universities Initiative, giving EUniWell the opportunity to build on becoming a European University and to further establish itself as a leading voice on well-being.

After a successful three-year pilot phase, the EUniWell Alliance has grown from seven to eleven member universities from eight different countries across Europe.

The current member universities in EUniWell Alliance: Universities of Birmingham (UK), Cologne (Germany), Florence (Italy), Inalco (France), Konstanz (Germany), Linnaeus (Sweden), Murcia (Spain), Nantes (France), Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Semmelweis (Hungary), and Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Ukraine).

In its proposal for 2023-2027, the Alliance members proposed to expand its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education, research, innovation, transfer and community engagement. The European Commission has approved the project with European funding of 14.4 million Euros for the next four years.

„Semmelweis University has greatly contributed to this success, and we remain committed to fulfilling our responsibilities within the EUniWell Alliance. Despite the exclusionary EU decision regarding the Erasmus educational and Horizon research programmes, we will continue the work we have started, and thus, according to our plans, cooperation with the EUniWell partner universities will continue in the future,” stated Prof. Béla Merkely, Rector of Semmelweis University.

With the renewed support from the European Commission, EUniWell continues to build on its initial progress and become a sustainable European University focused on well-being. Chief Development Officer Prof. Beatrix Busse expressed her enthusiasm regarding the announcement: “This is a crucial moment for EUniWell, as we can now fully realise our vision of becoming a trailblazer in the field of well-being in Europe and globally. With this renewed support from the European Commission, we can continue to build on the progress we have made in the first three years and further transform the impact we have within our institutions and society at large.”

During the next four years, the EUniWell alliance will continue to create a new paradigm for higher education focused on multidimensional well-being, on a personal, societal, and planetary level. Its multidisciplinary and intercultural approach aims to provide its students, researchers, staff, and society with the skills and knowledge necessary to address the complex challenges facing our world today, from individuals’ mental health to planetary climate change.
The latest Erasmus+ call awarded a record sum of €402.2 million to further the rollout of the European Universities Initiative. EUniWell’s selection as a recipient of continued funding from the European Commission reaffirms its position as a leader in the field of well-being and as a valuable contributor to a sustainable and inclusive future.

This renewed funding further motivates EUniWell to continue its pursuit of fostering well-being, sustainability, and inclusivity to have a positive impact on society. Our mission aligns with the Council of the EU, which has noted that “well-being is a principal aim of the European Union”. This next phase of our journey will allow us to build on the progress made already and to refine our innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education, research, innovation, transfer and community engagement. EUniWell is excited to continue working towards our shared vision of a better future for all.

EUniWell alliance would like to express its gratitude to the dedicated team members and institutional stakeholders, academics, administrative staff as well as students, whose tireless efforts have been crucial in achieving this significant milestone. We would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the European Commission for their continued support of our mission to create a new paradigm for higher education.

Looking back

With the support of EUniWell, Semmelweis University has successfully organized various events and taken part in professional programmes in recent times.

On 22-23 June 2023, the PhD Scientific Days Conference took place at Semmelweis University, attended by numerous PhD students from EUniWell partner universities. Following that, on 24 June, the first EUniWell Early Career Researcher Talent Hub workshop was held within the framework of the EUniWell Research Training Academy. Young researchers from six countries participated in interactive workshops on “Open Science and Data Management” and “Storytelling in Science Communication.”

On 15-16 June 2023, the EUniWell IT working group held a professional meeting at Semmelweis University, with representatives from six universities in attendance, including Murcia, Nantes, Cologne, Birmingham, and Konstanz. Semmelweis University was represented by Péter Somogyi, Vice-Director of Information Technology, and Zoltán Lantos, Director of the Department of Health Promotion Methodology at the Faculty of Health Sciences. Graham Harrison, Managing Director of EUniWell, emphasized that EUniWell would provide half a million euros for the next four years to establish a shared infrastructure, which is the largest budgetary package in the entire second phase. This funding will be used for the implementation and introduction of existing and new digital infrastructures, as well as the development and management of EUniWell’s common educational platforms, digital services, and the establishment of hybrid classrooms.

In June 2023, the winners of the fifth round of the EUniWell Seed Funding Program were announced. Among the nine winning projects, Semmelweis University’s Department of Pathology and Experimental Cancer Research plays a leading role in the project “Tackling the taboo of cancer through contemporary art”, represented by Dr. Richárd Kiss.
Semmelweis University is also a partner in three other winning projects: “UNIMATTER – University students matter!” involves Dr. Beáta Pethesné Dávid and her colleagues from the Institute of Mental Health, “Trauma and Well-Being” involves Prof. Zsolt Unoka and his colleagues from the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, and “Technology Transfer of Peptides for the Well-being Economy” involves Dr. István Mándity from the Institute of Materials and Environmental Chemistry.

The winners of the first round of the Well-Being Research Incubator Program were also selected in June 2023. Among the five supported projects, Semmelweis University plays a leading role in the project “Interkingdom microbial interactions for translational innovations (IMiTI)” and collaborates in the project “Campus Food” represented by Anna Éliás from the Faculty of Health Sciences.

This year’s EUniWell Summer School on “Health Inequalities in Europe” took place in Birmingham between 26 and 30 June. Semmelweis University participated with Dr. Edmond Girasek from the Institute of Behavioural Sciences as a speaker, along with five PhD students and colleagues.

Semmelweis University, in collaboration with Tempus Public Foundation, was represented at the NAFSA International Conference and Education Fair held in Washington from 30 May to 2 June. Dr. Ádám Orosz, EUniWell Project Manager, represented both Semmelweis University and the EUniWell consortium.

EUniWell Teacher Education Arena pilot courses concluded in Murcia from 22 to 26 May. One-week courses were organized in Cologne in March, in Florence in April, and in Murcia in May, with the participation of students from András Pető Faculty, as well as Dr. Ibolya Túri, Vice-Dean and member of the EUniWell Teacher Education working group.

From 8-12 May, the EUniWell Staff Training Week held in Florence provided an excellent opportunity for Semmelweis University staff to engage in international exchange and collaboration in intercultural communication, conflict management, as well as diversity and inclusion.

On 4 April 2023, the 5th EUniWell Rectors’ Assembly took place at Linnaeus University in Växjö, Sweden. Participants included Dr. Béla Merkely, Rector of Semmelweis University, Dr. Miklós Kellermayer, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and professional leader of the EUniWell project, Dr. Marcel Pop, Director of International Relations and strategic leader of the EUniWell project, Dr. Ádám Orosz, Attila Matiscsák, and Eszter Turopoli, EUniWell project managers, Sloan Kudrinko, EUniWell Chief Student Officer, as well as students involved in organizing the EUniWell Mental Health Symposium held in Budapest in October 2022 and participating in the EUniWell School Ambassador Program held at Semmelweis University in March 2023, representing the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Health Sciences. The main objective of the meeting in Sweden was to define the strategic goals of EUniWell for the next four years.

In light of the European Commission’s announcement on 3 July 2023, the strategic discussion was successful, and the plans submitted by the EUniWell consortium were deemed deserving of support. We wish all the consortium members success and fruitful cooperation.


Eszter Turopoli

Directorate of International Relations

Photo: EUniWell