U21 Global Citizens

Universitas 21 Global Citizens is a three-week, online leadership development course, delivered by Common Purpose, a global not-for-profit organisation that specialises in Cross-Boundary Leadership, with 75 student spaces available per  institution.

Applications for Global Citizens 2024 will open in February 2024! If you are interested in joining the next cohort please complete the below expression of interest or if you are enrolled on the programme please see our Frequently Asked Questions for any queries you may have. 

Express your interest here!

Alternatively you can access the learning content from the Global Citizens programme via our on Global Citizens - On Demand programme. Please note that this programme does not include live sessions or a micro-credential.

Find out more about Global Citizens On Demand

Hear from 2020 participant William about his experience on U21 Global Citizen

U21 is a truly global network of universities that spans over 20 countries and time zones, and throughout the course participants engage with and learn from students across the globe.  

By developing ideas together, across borders and time zones, students develop the skills needed to thrive in the 21st century whilst tackling some of the world’s most pressing problems, outlined in the United Nation Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDG). With the support of Common Purpose’s trained facilitators, participants are guided to reflect on the improvement in their cultural competency and awareness throughout the course and how they, as individuals and as groups, can turn their learning into valuable global action.

Who is eligible to apply?

  • Any registered student (post or undergraduate) at a U21 member university.
  • All applicants must be over the age of 18 at the time of the course start date. 

Please note students who have previous completed U21 Global Citizenship (Oct 2020, April 2021) will not be eligible to take part again.

Who should apply for the U21 Global Citizens course?

A hexagon of 6 colourful quadrants

Anyone who:

  • Wants to connect, learn and discuss global issues with students around the world.
  • Is interested in social and environmental challenges. 
  • Wants to experience international co-operation and leadership.
  • Is looking for like-minded individuals to develop ideas for social change. 
  • Is thinking of taking part in the U21 RISE competition to win funding for a social enterprise innovation.

What can I expect from U21 Global Citizens?

  • Being part of an online cohort of up to 2000 student innovators across the world. 
  • A minimum of 9 hours of learning across 3 weeks of online engagement, discussions and development.
  • The opportunity to undertake independent study at a time that suits you via the U21 Global Citizens online platform. 
  • . Access to insights from global leaders who will share their knowledge and experience.

  • Time to work in smaller groups on the topics that interest you via additional, optional online workshops run in real-time with students across the world. These workshops consolidate learning and create connections. Students will have the opportunity to choose to attend sessions at a time that suits them. Times for option live session for March 2024 are as follows (please ensure you convert each time to your local time zone - depending on your time zones dates might fall the day before or after what is listed below):

Week 1 goes live – Mon 11 March 2024

Week 1 workshops (4 options) Tuesday – 03.00 – 04.30 GMT Wednesday – 05.00 – 06.30 GMT Wednesday – 17.00 – 18.30 GMT Tuesday – 13.00 – 14.30 GMT

Week 2 goes live – Mon 18 March 2024

Week 2 workshops (4 options) Tuesday – 03.00 – 04.30 GMT Tuesday – 14.00 – 15.30 GMT Wednesday – 05.00 – 06.30 GMT Wednesday – 17.00 – 18.30 GMT

Week 3 goes live – Mon 25 March 2024

Week 3 workshops (4 options)

Tuesday – 17.00 – 18.30 GMT Tuesday – 03.00 – 04.30 GMT Wednesday – 13.00 – 14.30 GMT Wednesday – 05.00 – 06.30 GMT

    Photo of Priyasha and Margarete.

    “My biggest learning came from talking with students from around the world, it was amazing to hear their perspectives and realise that we all have a common goal. It is encouraging to know that there are many passionate students with different resources that when all pooled we can make a major impact for the best.”

    2020 Participant, University of Connecticut


    What do I gain taking part in the course?

    Upon completion of the course all participants will be:

    • Equipped to take rapid action on the Sustainable Development Goal that you choose.
    • Able to step outwards and collaborate with diverse networks.
    • Ready to challenge preconceptions and better inform people’s perspectives.
    • Better equipped to operate across hierarchies.
    • Better prepared to live and maintain your values and integrity.

    All participants who complete the end of programme's final assessment will:

    • Receive a U21/Common Purpose micro-credential and badge which you can display on your LinkedIn profile, demonstrating that you have developed the skills to tackle complex global issues and stand up as a leader.
    • Gain access to the Common Purpose alumni community, with access to global leaders and opportunities to engage virtually.
    • Be in a position to move forward as an individual or with a group of like-minded individuals to progress their sustainable development goal. 

    Who are Common Purpose?

    Common Purpose is a not-for-profit organisation founded in 1989 that develops leaders who can operate across boundaries. They deliver face-to-face and online leadership programmes for multiple generations of leaders: from students to senior leaders in organisations and society.