International Federation of Catholic Universities
The first moves to create a federation of Catholic universities were made in 1924, thanks to the work of the Catholic Universities of Milan (Italy) and Nijmegen (Netherlands). In 1925, 14 universities were represented at the meeting held at the Catholic University of Paris, France, and in 1927 the first Directory of Catholic universities was published. What was then called the Foederatio Universitatum Catholicarum was formally established in 1948 by decree of the Holy See, and approved the following year by Pius XII. It took the present name in 1965. Recognised by the Holy See as an International Catholic Organisation, the IFCU is a member of the Conference of ICOs. As an NGO, it has consultative status with UNESCO and the Council of Europe.
IFCU aims to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and the construction of a more just and more humane world in the light of the Christian faith and thanks to the leaven of the Gospel. The Federation pursues this by promoting joint reflection on the mission of universities, and through active cooperation between Catholic higher education and research establishments; it represents Catholic universities in dealings with international organisations and institutions; it contributes to the development of higher studies with a Catholic approach; it aims above all to guarantee a high quality of university work and to have an adequate distribution of Catholic academic institutions in different parts of the world.
The IFCU organs are the General Assembly, made up of delegates of the member universities and associate universities and institutions, with decision-making powers, which meets every three years and elects the members of the Executive Board; the Executive Board made up of the President, three Vice Presidents, the General Secretary and 12 Board members; the Secretariat, which is responsible for implementing the decisions of the General Assembly; the Centre for Coordination of Research, which offers members of the Federation guidelines for coordinated research, information, and access to a world network of experts and considerable scope for debate (colloquiums, congresses) and dissemination (publications). An integral part of the structure of IFCU are the Sectoral Groups and the Regional Groups. The sectoral groups, made up of faculties, departments, institutes or schools of the member universities sharing common scientific disciplines or areas of study, teaching and research, are led by theologians, philosophers, economists, political scientists, agriculturalists, specialists in medical sciences, communications, the family, and the environment; they work both to consolidate, develop and disseminate their knowledge and to strive to attain the academic, ethical and spiritual values of the Federation within the IFCU member institutions. The Regional Groups are made up of universities in the same geographical area. Examples of these are the Federation of European Catholic Universities (FUCE), the Association of Catholic Universities and Institutes of Africa and Madagascar (ACUIAM), the Association of Southeast and East Asian Catholic Colleges and Universities (ASEACCU), the Organisation of Catholic Universities in Latin America (ODUCAL), the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities (ACCU) in North America, and the Xavier Board of Higher Education in India. Their purpose is to meet the specific and immediate interests of their own particular regions, according to the rationale of the Federation’s aims.
IFCU has a membership of 192 academic institutions, as follows: Africa (6), Asia (56), Europe (44), North America (40), Oceania (2) and South America (44).
Idem Aliter, the newsletter in French, English and Spanish, also available online on the IFCU web site.
Fédération International des Universités Catholiques
21, rue d’Assas - 75270 Paris - France
Tel. [+33]1.44395226/27 - Fax 1.44395228