Fédération Internationale des Universités Catholiques (FIUC)

Fédération Internationale des Universités Catholiques (FIUC)
HE Network
Year of foundation: 
Member since: 
International Federation of Catholic Universities


Institutional postal address: 
21, Rue d\'Assas 75270 Paris cedex 06, France
Institutional e-mail: 
Institutional phone: 
0033 1 44 39 52 26
Institutional fax: 
0033 1 44 39 52 28

Mission / Vision

In 1924, the l’Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milan, Italy) and the Katholieke Universiteit Nijmegen (Nijmegen, Netherlands) took the first step towards bringing Catholic universities together in a Federation. The purpose at the time was to deal with specific issues which were of common concern. The universities came together the following year at the Institut Catholique de Paris, where representatives from fourteen institutions met. The first directory of Catholic universities was published in 1927.

It was only after the Second World War that the Fœderatio Universitatum Catholicarum was fully established. Created by a Decree of the Holy See in 1948, it was recognized by Pope Pius XII in 1949 and became the International Federation of Catholic Universities (IFCU) in 1965. 

A watershed moment in the history of the Federation came in 1967, when the IFCU was recognized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), thereby becoming an Associate Non-Governmental Organization with consultative status.

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Every Catholic university is unique, with roots in a specific country and region with a culture unlike any other. While these institutions are often compared, each has its own history, assets, problems and objectives, its specific way of finding a niche in the field of education, research and services and also of honoring its academic, cultural, social and spiritual commitments.

This diversity is not only an asset; it is both fundamental and essential. At the IFCU, we purpose to defend it in the very spirit of what we are: a federation. Each member must feel as though it has found a safe haven. The IFCU is a communal house built from all the materials of the world.

From all the materials of the world: non-Catholics, and even non-believers, all work with us to carry out joint research, partnership and exchange projects. In the chorus of voices that calls for knowledge and justice, that champions universal science and awareness, the International Federation of Catholic Universities has its own, one with a specific tone. It is this that we invite you to discover or rediscover.

Main activities

IFCU, which currently represents around 220 universities and higher education institutions settled all over the world, carries out a series of activities benefitting all its members and partners.

IFCU is present in all the continents through its Regional associations, which implement projects that respond to specific cultural and geographical needs.

Its Training department offers training in a wide range of essential issues in various continents, such as university leadership management, campus ministry enhancement, research methodology and trends, intercultural communication, humanistic management, university social responsibility.

Its International Center for Research and Decision Support (CIRAD), which promotes and coordinates interdisciplinary research, is structured around 4 poles: 1) a Research Unit, aiming at implementing collaborative reserach projecs in four thematic areas (education and higher education, youth and societies, states and ideologies, social and health issues) and strenghtening sectorial working groups in the field of education, philosophy, family issues, political sciences, theology, psychology, health sciences and social sciences ; 2) an Evaluation Unit that conducts evaluations of research and development projects, institutional policies and organizational structures ; 3) a Foresight Unit, particularly devoted to keep track of major trends in higher education worldwide ; 4) a Quality Assurance Agency to help self-assessement of member universities.

Some of its major current projects focus on working towards the inclusion of students with disabilities in universities, understanding and fighting school drop-out in Asia, ranking framework reference on university social responsibility, building an integral campus, and creating a platform for fostering university partnerships and internationalisation.


  • UNESCO. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • The Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP)

Sponsored by

  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry of Business and Employment. Department of Research and Universities
  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry for Foreign Action and Open Government