Scholars at Risk partners with higher education networks in Europe and around the world to encourage even more institutions committed to academic freedom to engage in SAR’s work and mission. Partner Networks involve a cooperation agreement between SAR and the ‘Partner’ that puts forward the following goals and objectives:

1. To reinforce the Partner by offering new activities and benefits to its existing institutional members;
2. To strengthen protection and promotion of academic freedom and related higher education values by increasing the number and variety of higher education institutions engaged in SAR activities, specifically by:

  • offering the Partner and its institutional members opportunities to participate in SAR activities;
  • encouraging them to participate in such activities, at their discretion, individually or in groups;
  • encouraging them to seek institutional membership in the SAR network, at their discretion;
  • coordinating services for the Partner and any institutional members that choose to take part in SAR partner network-related activities, including any joint projects which may be developed.

Networks of higher education institutions interested in exploring a partner network arrangement are invited to contact SAR and complete the printable partner network agreement.

Higher education institutions
European countries
National SAR sections
Major partner networks

To date, SAR has formed the following Partner Networks in Europe:

EUA-SAR Partner Network

With 850 members across 47 countries, the European University Association is the largest and most comprehensive organisation representing universities in Europe. 17 million students are enrolled at EUA member universities. As the voice of Europe’s universities, EUA supports and takes forward the interests of individual institutions and the higher education sector as a whole.

Magna Charta Observatory

In September 2015, Scholars at Risk and Magna Charta agreed to create a formal partner network including 802 universities in 85 countries.

UNICA-SAR Partner Network

UNICA is a network of 46 universities from 35 capital cities of Europe. Its role is to promote academic excellence, integration and cooperation between member universities throughout Europe. It seeks also to be a driving force in the development of the Bologna process and to facilitate the integration of universities from Central and Eastern Europe into the European Higher Education Area.

Compostela Group of Universities

Founded in 1993, the Compostela Group of Universities is an international nonprofit association that now consists of more than 60 universities in 27 countries. CGU seeks to strengthen the channels of communication between its member universities; organize events for the study and discussion of different issues related to international higher education; and promote mobility and collaboration between members as a basis for enhancing the knowledge of cultures and languages.

Communauté Université Grenoble Alpes

The Communauté Université Grenoble Alpes (COMUE) joined SAR as a partner network in January 2017. COMUE was formed in France in December 2014 and is comprised of six member and four associated higher education institutions. Its mission is to create a multidisciplinary research university with a high international profile and strong local connection that creatively serves society.


In 2012, universities, universities of applied sciences and universities of teacher education across Switzerland founded swissuniversities, a body dedicated to strengthening and enhancing collaboration among Swiss institutions of higher education and promoting a common voice on educational issues. swissuniversities also coordinates tasks and acts on the international level as the Swiss national rectors’ conference for its 30-plus members.

Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences

The academies engage themselves specifically for an equitable dialogue between science and society, and they advise politics and society in science-based issues that are relevant to society. They represent sciences across institutions and disciplines. Established in the scientific community, they have access to expertise and excellence and can therefore contribute specific knowledge to important political questions.

Academy for Research and Higher Education (ARES)

As the federation of francophone universities in the Wallonie region of southern Belgium, ARES coordinates the activities of 127 higher education institutions. ARES supports the participation and development of its member institutions in their local and international collaborations by promoting the international visibility of higher education.

International Migration, Integration and Social Cohesion (IMISCOE)

IMISCOE is the largest European network of scholars in the area of migration and integration. The focus is on comparative research and publications, in the IMISCOE book series as well as in the journal CMS. The annual IMISCOE conferences is a key moment in the agendas of most migration scholars in Europe. In addition, IMISCOE contributes to the training of young researchers and their exchange throughout Europe. Also, IMISCOE plays an important role in the mutual dialogue between researchers and society (policy, politics, civil society).

European Students’ Union (ESU)

The European Students’ Union (ESU) is the umbrella organisation of 46 National Unions of Students (NUS) from 39 countries. The aim of ESU is to represent and promote the educational, social, economic and cultural interests of students at the European level towards all relevant bodies and in particular the European Union, Bologna Follow Up Group, Council of Europe and UNESCO. Through its members, ESU represents around 15 million students in Europe.