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.

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).

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.

Integral Campus

The IFCU has launched the first stage of an ambitious work program aimed at supporting universities on pedagogy and systemic university management inspired by Catholic values: the international survey « Integral Campus ».

Conducted in resonance with the Synod on Youth, this survey, for which the work began in October 2017, was finalized in July 2018. It was realized thanks to the testimonies of 21 universities of the Federation.

The international study « Integral Campus Program » has three objectives:

1. Share within the Federation the bold and innovative educational initiatives of member universities related to:

  • education to ethics,

  • student service learning,

  • education of the whole person,

  • support offered to students to help them develop their professional, personal and citizen lives,

  • the transmission of the Catholic intellectual and moral tradition,

  • the creation of a « university culture / atmosphere » embodying Catholic values in a palpable and experienced way on campus.

2. Highlight the strategic and operational solutions found to respond to the challenge of creating an « integral Catholic university »: an authentically and fully Catholic university community whose members (professors, staff, students), whether Catholic or not, are united around the respect, the learning, and the transmission of the founding principles of the Catholic intellectual and moral tradition – integrating a scientific, philosophical, spiritual, contemplative, ethical and universal solidarity in action,

3. Identify relevant actions that the IFCU should lead for the 2nd phase of the Programme starting year 2018/2019 in order to help and accompany better rectors and their teams in the achievements of their missions: by giving them practical and useful tools aimed both at stimulating their thinking and the efficiency of their work on the ground:

  • opening of the survey on good practices to all voluntary universities;

  • creation of a website dedicated to the sharing of success stories of our universities;

  • inter-university workshops;

  • linkage with relevant partners;

  • development opportunities;

  • training, assessment tools, etc.

Please click below to download the study:

2018 Final Report « Integral Campus Study - Survey of the Practices and Challenges of Catholic Universities in Integral Education, Accompanying Students, and Achieving Their Academic Mission »

If you are interested to participate in the global survey, and want to be involved in the 2nd phase of the Integral Campus Program, please fill out the form below:

Questionnaire sent to universities