The Universities

The Summer Universities are international hubs that gathers hundreds of young people, youth workers, experts from the field and decision makers for a week. Plenary moments and side meetings encourage dialogue between all the stakeholders of the event and increase confidence between decision makers and young people.

In each “University” a number of youth-led and youth-oriented organisations have the possibility to run their own activities (trainings, seminars, board meetings…) within a dynamic and participatory context which encourages networking, cooperation and peer-to-peer education.

The activities taking place within the Universities allow for the sharing of knowledge and good practices, the planning of future actions to empower young people and the designing of common messages advocating for youth participation.

At the Universities it is possible to experience first-hand intercultural dialogue and explore all dimensions of global citizenship through various approaches based on the non-formal education methodology. 

The Summer Universities are promoted by the Network on Youth and Global Citizenship. 


Check the video to know more about the model and the approach of the Universities:

So far the following has been organised:

20 editions of the The University on Youth and Development – since 2000;

7 editions of the The Mediterranean University on Youth and Global Citizenship – since 2013

7 editions of The African University on Youth and Development – from 2009-2015

11 editions of The University on Participation and Citizenship – from 2002-2013 (not active anymore)

2 editions of the Meta-university (online) – 2020 and 2021


Research paper for the 10th anniversary of the “Network on youth and global citizenship”

This research evaluates their impact over Years, highlighting significant outcomes in capacity building, partnership development, and confidence building among young people and institutions.

 Read the research paper. 

The Network

The Network on Youth and Global Citizenship is a partnership facilitated by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe that gathers youth-led organizations, international youth platforms and governmental institutions from Europe, the Southern Mediterranean and beyond. 

The Network was set up in 2011 as an informal platform of dialogue and multilateral cooperation at interregional level in the youth field.

The organisations part of the network join their efforts for the definition of a common agenda and for the promotion of initiatives fostering democratic participation and global citizenship among young people.

The exchanges of information, opportunities and good practices among members allow to explore policy mechanisms and discover new tools for youth development in order to increase the recognition of youth as agents for positive change.

The principles and standards of the Council of Europe and the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development are the at the centre of the network’s work.

Annual themes

Every year the Network on Youth and Global Citizenship proposes a theme representing the thread that connects all the activities taking place in the framework of the Universities that same year. The plenary sessions and all the other common moments of the University (the “Joint Programme”) explore the annual theme, connecting all partners’ activities and engaging all the participants involved in them.

For the period 2018-2020* the Network agreed on a three-year cycle under the umbrella theme "the UN Sustainable Development Goal 16: peace, justice and strong institutions

The umbrella theme, representing the overarching priority of a three-year cycle, is broken down every year into specific annual focuses according to the three pillars of the SDG16: peace, justice and strong institutions.

This approach will unfold different, but complementary, elements ensuring greater impact and coherence in the medium term.

Annual themes of the SDG16 cycle - Concept notes:

2018: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies.

2019: Youth and justice.

2022*: Build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions.

*Due to the pause imposed by the COVID 19 pandemic in the year 2020 and 2021, the cycle will be concluded in 2022

Follow us





 Pictures selection 

 Contact us

+351 213 584 030

Rua São Caetano, 32

1200-829 Lisbon - PORTUGAL

nsc reference documents