Foresight Unit


To meet the great challenges of our world, IFCU has also set up a series of specific projects with the partnership of internationally recognized experts, most of them from member universities.

These Research or Research-Action projects aim to respond to major contemporary issues such as those related to the global migration crisis or the Amazon.

In addition, IFCU, in connection with the current issues of its member universities concerning their organization, is developing a major program related to the recognition of the specificity of the Catholic University in the promotion of integral education in all its academic, human, social and political dimensions (Integral Campus project).


With its partners, the International Federation of Catholic Universities is working on the theme of « Migrants and Refugees ». It is a question of rethinking the role and responsibilities of universities and taking concrete action to reach out to migrants and refugees where they are, in order to foster their integration, to promote knowledge and know-how as vectors of growth, to perfect the construction of young people, to allow, if possible, the return to the country and its reconstruction. This project aims to create a network of academic and non-academic institutions to reflect and create together the teaching, research and support tools needed to respond to the global crisis of migrants and refugees.

University social responsibility

The past few years have seen various worldwide ranking systems for universities created, within a competitive context. These rankings have been based mainly on the performance of universities in terms of graduates and research publications. Public policy tends to take into account assessment standards made up of the same type of criteria and dismiss essential values Catholic universities struggle to put forward in today’s societies.

IFCU is undertaking a process of reflection with the goal of implementing a reference framework based on the level of social responsibility of universities, as well as on their positioning coherent with their Catholic character. This project is timely as many of our member universities are currently reflecting on their own Catholic identity and the concrete way in which the same should be implemented both within and outside their premises. International rankings based solely on the evaluation of scientific impact don’t highlight nor showcase the vital support universities provide at a human, professional and spiritual level to their student base.

This project thus aims firstly to provide Catholic universities with a new reference framework for their self-assessment, in order to help them to better detect their specificities and various criteria that could help them, among others, in the promotion of their Catholic identity. For the future of our universities, such a project is crucial and will provide a new type of positioning on the university market, which highlights extremely valuable actions that have been disregarded so far by the higher education community.

IFCU wishes to create a university ranking system in order to:

  • Contribute to the positioning of Catholic universities as communal and social actors;

  • Provide increased visibility for all the existing socially respectful practices within Catholic universities;

  • Identify templates for the best practices which might constitute a source of inspiration for universities within the IFCU network;

  • Encourage member universities to improve their communal and social policies and practices;

  • Propose a credible alternative to pre-existing university ranking systems on a national, regional and international scale.