Circle U. Challenge

The Circle U. Challenge will empower students from across the alliance to develop solutions to authentic challenges posed by civic partners such as university hospitals, local authorities, and charities in the cities and regions of the Circle U. partner universities.

Photo: Colourbox

What is the Circle U. Challenge?

The Circle U. Challenge is an initiative aimed at empowering students from across the Circle U. alliance to develop sustainable solutions to real-life challenges. It consists of a number of Challenges provided by Challengers (these are university hospitals and local authorities in the cities and regions where Circle U. universities are located).

There are six challenges to choose from and any student or student team can apply to any of them (not just the Challenge their university is organising). The programme runs from October 2022 till May 2023, with a final in-person event in Belgrade in May 2023.

The programme fosters the development of transferable skills – communication, teamwork, problem-solving, creativity, and multilingualism - and supports students in acquiring interdisciplinary and intercultural understanding.

Who can participate?

Full-time students of all years of study (BA, MA, and PhD) from the following Circle U. universities can apply to participate in this programme: Aarhus University, University of Belgrade, King's College London, UCLouvain, Université Paris Cité, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and University of Oslo.

Registration has closed

The deadline to register for the challenges were 15 October 2022.

Why get involved?

Illustration: Benoît Raucent
  • Develop skills related to communication, problem-solving, team building, and disruptive thinking, as well as delivering pitches, writing business plans, fundraising, and marketing.
  • Work on real-life challenges with civic partners and develop solutions that could make a real difference to communities.
  • Earn a certificate of participation and entrepreneurial experience that will enhance your CV
  • Gain international experience and network with peers from across Circle U.
  • Have a chance of attending the final in Belgrade.
  • Receive follow-up support from your home university, and the chance to apply to any accelerator programs they offer.

How it works

Full-time students of all years of study from seven of the Circle U. universities can apply to participate in this programme. Students can apply to solve any Challenge from any of the universities, regardless of whether it is their home university and whether there is any Challenge proposed by their university. Students should apply to solve the Challenge of their choice, and will receive full support while working on the solution!

The programme is designed so that students can either apply as individuals, or as an already formed team. Matchmaking and team formation is the phase when students will be put together, new teams will be formed and new members will potentially be added to the already-formed teams.

Once the application is submitted, all students will be contacted by their university who will inform them about the work to be done and the process of forming teams.

The final, interdisciplinary teams will begin their work on developing solutions for the selected Challenge in the three-week educational and interactive Bootcamp programme. At the end of the Bootcamp phase, a pitching session will be held for each Challenge, where all the teams that have chosen that same Challenge will present their solutions. The selected teams will then enter the next phase of the programme – the “Mentored solution development” and work on further developing their solution until the final event in Belgrade in May 2023.


Software Solution for the University Clinical Centre of Serbia

You have an opportunity to develop software to manage data on professional development fast and precisely, helping the University Clinical Centre of Serbia solve the problem sustainably and become a better employer.

Improving Mental Health for Lambeth Residents

Designed in collaboration with Lambeth London Borough Council and South London and Maudsley Hospital (SLaM), the challenge at King’s aims to address the critical issue of mental health in Lambeth. Participants will be asked to work together in teams to address the challenge of mental health for residents within the age range of 0-25. 

Creating an Eco-responsible Hospital

The goal of this challenge is to unite healthcare professionals, patients, policy makers, private stakeholders and students, independently from their academic background in order to provide sustainable and feasible solutions to this challenge that combines global health and climate change!

Aarhus Eats Greener

Aarhus Municipality is the owner of the case at Aarhus University, asking how they can engage and motivate their citizens to change their present food habits (in regards to accessing, handling, eating) to food habits with a lower CO2 footprint.

Car-free Livability

By establishing car-free zones, Oslo is both inventing and re-inventing how we use our city. Join us as we explore opportunities and solve challenges that arises when people, not cars, crowd the streets of Oslo.

Photogrammetry of the Grave’s orbitopathy patients

By designing solution, photogrammetric measurements based on the face photograph, students will improve patient care and satisfaction, help clinicians to assess all components of GO, and make a base for better research in the field.


If you wish to find out more about the Circle U. Challenge, you may get in touch with the contact person for your university.


Once the application process is completed, Circle U. universities organise a matchmaking programme for their students with the aim of creating interdisciplinary teams. Both individual students and teams can apply for the programme, while the universities’ task is to match the applicants and form teams that will then enter the “Bootcamp” phase of the programme.

After a series of interactive and educational Bootcamp sessions lasting for three weeks, the teams will pitch their initial solution proposal in front of a jury, who selects the teams going through the next phase - the “Mentored solution development”. In this last phase of the programme, the teams, under the guidance of experienced mentors, work intensively on the development of their solutions and pitch them at the Challenge final event in Belgrade in May 2023.

  • September–October 2022
    • Call for applications and Matchmaking
  • November 2022
    • Bootcamp
  • November 2022
    • Pitching day
  • December 2022 – April 2023
    • Mentored solution development phase
  • May 2023
    • Final event


The Circle U. Challenge enables students from different universities to connect and collaborate among themselves and develop innovative solutions with the help and guidance of experienced, professional mentors. Each student team has a lead mentor (monitoring the team’s work from the beginning to the end of the programme), and can also benefit from the opportunity to consult with the international pool of mentors who are experts in various fields related to business development.