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Global Student Experience

U21 RISE Competition

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Do you have a voluntary social enterprise or environmental project that you would like to scale up, develop, and build? Are you looking for additional support and resources to grow your reach? Then U21 RISE is for you.

Grow your reach - increase your impact

To find our contribution to the U21 RISE competition, UZH is looking for active student-led projects that address environmental and/or societal development. Projects may be individual or group-led.

RISE is a U21 student opportunity, an international showcase of student achievement in sustainability and social innovation. RISE welcomes projects that focus on global challenges as outlined by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs).

Expert Support

RISE is designed to accelerate the scale and impact of student-led projects by connecting them with a network of experts in academia and industry. Alongside access to global support and invaluable expertise, teams will have the chance of winning prizes of USD 2000 each to further develop their project.


All UZH students are encouraged to enter individually or in teams. The project team must be led by a current UZH student or recent graduate (2 years or less). In a further opportunity for collaboration, inter-university student groups or societies from more than one  U21 university may also enter as a team. 

For more details please see the U21 RISE handbook.

Projects must directly address at least one of the UNSDGs and should be at the development stage, in other words, first steps to implement the idea need to have been taken.

If you do not yet have a project but would like help and inspiration to start one, check out the U21 RISE Aspire Hub.

Why enter?

Entrants will not only gain project-pitching experience, but will be able to benefit from invaluable input from practitioners from across the globe. Further, in addition to having the chance to network with fellow entrepreneurs, students will have the opportunity to win one of four USD 2000 prizes in seed funding to implement their projects.

In addition to the above, nominees to the RISE showcase will be part of a cohort of global finalists and be able to participate in a bespoke development package for student entrepreneurs. Nominees will receive a certificate recognizing their achievement as a RISE finalist, have the opportunity to receive pledges of support from U21s global network, and become part of an alumni network of global social innovators.

How to apply

Timeline and Key Dates

5 January 2024 UZH internal submission deadline (23:59 CET)
January/February 2024 Selected student team(s) develops a video outline
March/April 2024 Selected student team(s) produces video of 3 to 5 minutes duration (in collaboration with MELS)
22 May 2024


U21 RISE submission deadline
June 2024 Pledges and judging for RISE Awards
June 2024 U21 RISE winners will be announced


Weiterführende Informationen


RISE (Real Impact on Society and Environment)

Universitas 21 (U21)

U21 is a network of 27 research-intensive universities from six continents to exchange knowledge and perspectives.


Andrea Orbann Oechslin

Global Student Experience