U7+ University Alliance

The U7+ University Alliance is an international alliance within the G7 process and develops incentives for action to address global challenges. Since the alliance’s foundation in 2019, the University of Mannheim has been an active member.

The U7+ Alliance was established on the initiative of the French university Sciences Po and sees itself as an international coalition of universities that work together beyond the boundaries of countries and continents. It is the first international coalition of university presidents. Their objective is to structure and advance the universities’ role as global actors and to encourage the governments of the G7 countries to take action. Alliance members meet annually to establish a common agenda and identify key areas for coordinated action. Together, the U7+ university presidents pledge to take concrete action on behalf of their institutions to address the world’s most pressing challenges at local, regional and global levels.

“As places of knowledge and education, universities have a special responsibility when it comes to addressing global challenges such as climate change, increasing digitalization and growing social inequality. The alliance allows us to learn from each other, to develop common best practices and to work more effectively towards meeting global challenges.”

Prof. Dr. Thomas Puhl, President of the University of Mannheim / Credit: Stefanie Eichler

In 2019, at the first summit of the U7+ Alliance under the patronage of French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée Palace in Paris, the university presidents of the alliance, including Prof. Dr. Thomas Puhl for the University of Mannheim, agreed on six principles for action on global challenges, i.e. increasingly polarized societies, community engagement, climate change or technological transformations. Universities should not only conduct more research and develop solutions in these areas, but also commit themselves to applying best practices on their own campuses.

The University of Mannheim made a commitment to further promote the internationalization of its campus, to organize courses for students on topics discussing climate and sustainability as well as to facilitate university access for socially disadvantaged young people. Furthermore, the university will strive to support the interdisciplinary research on renewable energies, sustainability and equal opportunities, and to share more research results with the interested general public.

In June 2022,  Puhl was elected to the Presidential Steering Committee of the U7+ Alliance for a two-year term. The committee represents the U7+ Alliance externally and proposes thematic priorities.

See the Website “U7+ Alliance of World Universities”

List of the participating universities

Measures adopted to date

  • 2024

    At the Summit in Italy, themed Inclusive Education for Inclusive Societies, the members of U7+ called on G7 leaders to work with them to support increased global access to higher education as a means of enhancing inclusion, building the next generation of leaders, and contributing to stable, flourishing societies.

    To the news article

  • 2023

    In view of the preparations for the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, the “U7+ Tokyo Statement: Universities as Engines of Innovation for Peace and Security” was adopted. In it, the members of the university alliance call on G7 heads of state to make peace and security a top priority in light of the global political situation, to strengthen peace and security education, and to protect academic freedom. The U7+ universities also committed to provide learning opportunities on conflict causes and peacebuilding methods, as well as to allow students and researchers displaced by conflict, persecution and humanitarian crises to teach and learn at their universities.

    See the press release

  • 2022

    With regard to the G7 summit in Elmau, the members of the U7+ alliance published a statement urging G7 leaders to bolster academic freedom. In the statement, the alliance warns the leaders that a resurgence of autocracy is thwarting the institutional autonomy of higher education and its ability to fulfill its mission. “The crisis of democracy, evident in rising political extremism and polarization, has threatened the freedom of some university faculty as individual scholars to address controversial topics in research and teaching,” the statement read.

    See the complete statement
    See the press release (in German)

    Together with other member universities of the U7+ Alliance, the University of Mannheim has published a statement in which they harshly criticize Russia for attacking Ukraine. Additionally, they call upon international higher education institutions to stand up for the victims of the conflict. In their statement, the universities also reaffirm the commitment to ensuring the safety and the wellbeing of Russian students, teachers, and staff members on their campuses. At the same time, they commend the bravery of those who are speaking out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

    See the press release (in German)
    See the U7+ universities’ statement on Russia’s attack on Ukraine

  • 2021

    On the occasion of the COP26 conference in Glasgow, the U7+ Alliance declares their commitment to reduce emissions and extend education opportunities related to climate change. The University of Mannheim is taking action in various areas to achieve these goals: Sustainability is being established as a central topic in the range of courses offered by the European University ENGAGE.EU. With the new Vice President for Sustainability and Information Provision and the working group on sustainability, new structures are established within the university to incorporate the topic within the university and to develop a university-wide climate strategy.
    See the press release (in German)
    See the statement on the occasion of the G7 summit

  • 2020

    The members of the U7+ Alliance adopt measures to foster intergenerational justice. They promise to increase their efforts to train responsible and active citizens at their higher education institutions. In addition, they want to focus on research on climate change and climate protection, work toward equality and inclusiveness in society and promote interdisciplinary research. By educating future generations and by cooperating with the most diverse stakeholders, such as the G7, the U7+ Alliance wants to find solutions for complex, global issues.
    See the press release (in German)

  • 2019

    The U7+ universities set objectives to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Furthermore, they identify tried-and-tested processes to reduce the carbon emissions of a globalized world, promote courses on climate, biodiversity and sustainability for students of all programs, and set guidelines on the ethical use of artificial intelligence and digital technologies.
    See the press release (in German)


Dr. Maartje Koschorreck

Dr. Maartje Koschorreck

Deputy Director of Communications / Media Spokeswoman
University of Mannheim
President's Office
Schloss Ostflügel
68161 Mannheim