Join the First Series of Aurora Peace Talks

Join us from September for the first series of Aurora Peace Talks. This lecture series will feature talks by our colleagues from Kharkiv and beyond, and allows them to share their experiences and expertise.

Kharkiv city is one of Ukraine’s most important economic and industrial centres and the second biggest educational center in Ukraine,  known as the city of students and youth.  About 300 000 students (12 000 foreign ones)  found their home in one of the Kharkiv’s 11 universities and 38 higher educational institutions, including both public and private universitas, academies and specialized institutes.

The city and the region have since 2022 come under heavy attacks as one of initial targets of Russia’s invasion. The city and the region have been bravely fighting off the aggression.

 In the last month the town has been experiencing yet another wave of  heavy attacks with random bombardments of civilian object causing civilian casualties, evacuations and displacements of several thousand of its residents.  

Given the location of the city and Khakriv region, the situation for its citizens will remain precarious for long time ahead and we have in Aurora been working dedicatedly to provide the needed support, especially to our partners at Karazin Khakriv National university.

The speakers in this lecture series come from Karazin university but also other universities in Khakriv as we  want  to provide platform for their voices to be heard in these most challenging times for them. This first series in particularly features talks from Kharkiv Scholars at Risk at Copenhagen Business School.

The Peace Talks lecture series allows our colleagues to speak out, share their experiences but also their expertise as academics in addressing the devastation and future post-war recovery and peace building needs.

Support them by joining the following inspiring Talks, starting form September this year:

  • Between Copenhagen and Kharkiv researching resilience
    • 26th of September 2024, 15.00 CET | Serhii Prokopenko, MSc
    • Zoom Link
  • Energy communities as the key for Ukraine’s energy security
    • 17th of October 2024, 15.00 CET | Albina Dioba, Ph.D.
    • Zoom Link
  • Becoming Part of a Community: The Process of Ukraine’s Accession to the European Union
    • 4th of November 2024, 15.00 CET | Assoc. Prof. Manuele Citi
    • Zoom Link
  • Public Discourse and Academic Research in Representing People Under Occupation: Are war-caused conflicts transformable?
    • 16th of December 2024, 15.00 CET | Prof. Yuliia Soroka, Ph.D.
    • Zoom Link

For more information on the Aurora Peace Talks lecture series, contact Selma Porobic.







Aurora Staff Training in Ohrid Equips Academics for International Teaching

On the 18th of April, the first Aurora Capacity Development Staff Training took place in Ohrid, North Macedonia. In a bid to enhance global learning opportunities, the COIL Staff Training, the event aimed to empower educators with the necessary tools and knowledge to implement Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL).

This event the first in a series of trainings, organised in the framework of Aurora’s Capacity Development Programme. These are organized by Palacky University Olomouc and VU Amsterdam, together with the associate partners. The aim of these training events is twofold. Firstly, we aim to strengthen the capacity of the Aurora associate partner universities for academic excellence and societal relevance. Secondly, we support them in establishing themselves as regional hubs for sharing best practices.

Bringing together a group of 30 participants, mainly from the University of Tetova and South-West University “Neofit Rilski”, the Aurora Ohrid Staff Training marks a significant step towards fostering cross-cultural educational collaboration. Led by COIL-expert Marina Vives from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili, the workshop provided the participating academics deep dive into the utilization of COIL, opening the doors to internationalize their curriculum together with other Aurora universities.

The training started with an icebreaker exercise, an important best practice when setting up a COIL. Then, Marina introduced the participants to the concept of COIL, and shared more best practices. The participants where then divided in groups and encouraged to start working on a COIL-course themselves. In a short time, the participants made promising, interdisciplinary COIL course concepts. The participants were excited to develop these concepts further and put them into practice.

Preceded by meetings between Aurora representatives and the management of the University of Tetova, the event set the stage for future collaborations. The staff training event empowered our associate partners to unlock their international potential through COIL. Through that, they will be able to further develop the internationalization of their institutions.

Save the date: International Conference on ‘The Role of Higher Education in Peacebuilding’

The Aurora Karazin University Peace Education Hub invites you to a 5-day International Conference on ‘The Role of Higher Education in Peacebuilding’ hosted by the Unit for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Innsbruck, from the 17th to 21st of February 2025.

This conference aims to bring together international experts – both academics and practitioners in the peacebuilding sector – with higher education policymakers from the Aurora Universities Alliance and its partners, to discuss how the higher education institutions in Ukraine and elsewhere can become a driver of peace and sustainable development.

More information, including the call for papers will be announced soon! 



Call for Incentive Research Collaboration

To foster tangible scientific and academic collaboration, this call aims to promote cooperation between researchers, and create new or consolidate existing scientific relationships. Its vision is to build robust scientific communities among the Aurora universities and raise awareness about Aurora on a broader academic level. This call will be repeated on an annual basis for at least four years and supports three key actions: 

Incentive and Collaborative Research Projects

This action supports concrete exploratory research activities by research teams with single or multiple disciplines that put forward the complementarity of competences and approaches.

Thematic Summer Schools

This action supports the organisation of thematic summer schools focused on disciplinary training for early-stage researchers and serves as opportunities for career development, knowledge sharing, and network/community-building.

Short-term Research Secondments for Early-stage Researchers

This action supports short-term mobility in a research laboratory or unit of an Aurora 2030 full-member university.

Submission Process

To submit a proposal for the three key actions, please read the Call for Incentive Research Collaboration and fill out the respective forms listed below: 

Once completed, please e-mail the application to with the subject: Submission to Aurora Research 2024 Call_(Name of Principal Investigator)_(University of Principal Investigator). File name: Proposal KA (1,2, or 3)_Name (Principal Investigator)-University (of Principal Investigator)_(project acronym).

The deadline for the submission of proposals is 12 p.m. (CET) on April 30, 2024.

Aurora’s MoU on Sharing Infrastructure and Resources paves the way for research collaboration

On October 17th, the signing of the Aurora Research Infrastructure and Resources Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was one of the highlights of the Aurora Fall Biannual 2023. Thirteen Aurora universities, including the Aurora Associate partners and the Université Paris-Est Créteil, signed under this significant commitment to research collaboration within the Aurora Alliance.

The MoU serves a clear purpose and has two main objectives. Firstly, the MoU defines the intentions of partner universities to collaborate in research cooperation, focusing on Aurora’s mission and pilot domains. It aims to provide researchers within the alliance access to shared resources at partner institutions. 

Secondly, by working closely together, these universities will bolster their global research standing. They will promote international cooperation across diverse research areas and share research resources and data with research groups.







For those interested in exploring the MoU in detail, a publicly accessible version is available on the official Aurora website. This document showcases the commitment of universities to research collaboration and global knowledge sharing. 

Access the MoU

Aurora welcomes its universities to contribute their research infrastructure resources. By sharing resources and knowledge, you not only enrich your institution but also engage with a global community of research excellence. 

Ready to join this collaborative effort? Add your research infrastructure resources here.


Looking back at the Aurora Fall Biannual 2023

Last month, Palacký University Olomouc hosted the Aurora Fall Biannual 2023 on October 17th and 18th for in Olomouc, Czechia. The event brought together over 200 participants hailing from 18 universities from within the Aurora community and beyond.

Watch the Aurora Fall Biannual aftermovie

The Aurora Fall Biannual focused on taking stock of Aurora’s achievements as part of the European Universities initiative.

These European developments took center stage in the plenary sessions and panels:

  1. Aurora Pilot Phase: Aurora Model Alliance?
  2. The impact and role of European Universities on future of Higher Education in Europe
  3. Alliance Exchange – Balancing Education, Research Innovation and Social Responsibility
  4. Toward student-centered European University Alliances

Aurora’s commitment to sustainability was also highlighted during the event, with an opening presentation and plenary session dedicated to Aurora’s work on making our community greener and more sustainable.

Collaboration within Aurora was further strengthened by the momentous singing of a Memorandum of understanding on the sharing of research infrastructure, as well as the signing of the second version of the Multilateral Aurora Mobility Agreement (MAMA).







Next to the retrospective of Aurora’s remarkable accomplishments, the Aurora community came together to look forward to the exciting prospects that lie ahead.Participants also engaged in thought-provoking Thematic sessions on prominent Aurora topics suchs as COIL, the Aurora Competence Framework, and Technology Transfer.  

Want to relive the biannual or catch up on any sessions you missed? You can watch back the recordings of the plenary sessions below:

🎥 17/10/2023 –  Day 1

🎥 18/10/2023 –  Day 2

You can find a selection of photos below, the full photo gallery of the biannual can be downloaded here.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Transdisciplinary Conference on Sub/urban Studies

We invite scholars and researchers from various disciplines to submit papers for an upcoming interdisciplinary conference on Suburban Studies that takes place on May 13-14, 2024 at Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic. The conference aims to explore the intersection between various scholarly fields and the suburban experience, and how literature and other media have portrayed, shaped, and reflected suburban life and its evolution.

Transdisciplinary Conference on Sub/urban Studies 

Suburbanization has been a dominant trend in global urban development in the past century, with urban spaces and suburbs becoming the residence of choice for millions of people around the world. This transformation has had a profound impact on the social, cultural, economic, and political dynamics of urban areas. Literature, history, sociology, psychology, geography, geoinformatics and other disciplines have provided the methodology and research that has been important for the examination, critique, and celebration of the modern suburban experience, from its inception in the early 20th century to the present day.

We welcome papers that address various aspects of suburban studies from the perspective of diverse scholarly discipline, including but not limited to:

  • The representation of suburbs in literature
  • Suburban identity, history, and culture
  • Suburban sprawl and environmental issues
  • Class, race, and gender in suburban spaces
  • The impact of suburbanization on urban development
  • The influence of suburban literature on popular culture
  • Suburban fiction and the coming-of-age narrative
  • The portrayal of domesticity and family life in suburban literature and media
  • Suburban architecture and design
  • The role of suburban communities in civic engagement and politics
  • Periphery vs. centre

Submissions may be in the form of individual papers, panel proposals or round tables. Individual papers should be no longer than 20 minutes in length, and panel proposals should consist of three to four papers. Please include an abstract of no more than 250 words for individual papers, or 500 words for panel proposals, along with a brief biography and contact information.
The conference will take place on May 13-14, 2024 at the Arts Centre of Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic, and will feature keynote speakers, panel discussions, workshops and round-tables. Selected papers will be published in a scholarly monograph by a major international publisher.

Conference language: preferred English, possible French

Please submit your proposals by October 30th, 2023 to Notifications of acceptance will be sent by December 31st, 2023. We look forward to your contributions to this exciting and interdisciplinary conference on Suburban Studies

Conference organisers and committee:

  • Pavlína Flajšarová Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic,
  • Jiří Flajšar, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • Marie Voždová, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • Vít Voženílek, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • Jaroslav Burian, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • Jakub Žejdlík, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • Florian Freitag, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany
  • Becky Nicolaides, San Diego State University, San Diego, USA
  • Andrew Wiese, San Diego State University, San Diego, USA
  • Mauricette Fournier, Université Clermont Auvergne, France

BA/MA/PhD students 50 Euros
Post-docs 80 Euros
Academics 100 Euros
Guests 25 Euros
Participants from project universities (Palacký University, Duisburg-Essen, Université Clermont Auvergne) FREE

The conference is co-financed by the Erasmus+ programme under the project Urbanism and Suburbanization in the EU Countries and Abroad: Reflection in the Humanities, Social Sciences, and the Arts (2021-1-CZ01-KA220-HED-000023281).

Aurora Newsletter – July 2023

Aurora has released its latest newsletter taking a cloaser look at the exiting developments surrounding our upcoming Aurora 2030 programme. In the newsletter we also look forward to the Aurora Fall Biannual, which will take place in October, in Olomouc.  

Next to that, the newsletter contains interesting news on participation opportunities as well as community news from our active and engaged Aurora Community, including an internview with our very own UP Aurora Education Coordinator, Marketa Semberova.

You can read the newsletter here.

Want to stay updated, and be among the first to read about the latest Aurora developments? Why not subscribe to the newsletter!

Aurora’s European University programme secured continued funding

Aurora’s European University programme secured continued funding

Palacký University Olomouc is delighted to announce that the Aurora European University programme has secured a second round of funding under the 2023 European Universities Initiative Call by the European Commission. This ensures that Aurora can deepen its existing cooperation and continue its mission in higher education transformation.

Michal Malacka, Vice-rector for strategy and external relations commented that: “Aurora’s successful continuation to the next phase is a great achievement of the entire Aurora team and community. It is also a great reward to a hard-working Aurora team at UP, and we are excited to continue building our European University with 8 excellent strategic partners.  For UP, Aurora ensures important partaking in the European higher education developments.”

The upcoming Aurora 2030 consortium, led by the University of Iceland, has been granted funding for a four-year period. This programme, which received 90/100 evaluative points from the Commission, builds on the significant progress made during the 2020-2023 pilot phase. Aurora President Jon Atli Benediktsson joyously shares:

“I am delighted that Aurora 2030 has been awarded a four-year continuation grant by the European Commission. This is a strong vote of confidence in Aurora’s mission to equip students with the skills and mindsets needed to address societal challenges. This new grant will allow us to continue working closely with our partners across Europe and beyond.”

The new programme will feature both a continuation of existing, as well as completely new Aurora activities. UP has significantly increased the role it will play in this new programme, with UP Aurora Institutional Coordinator, Selma Porobic commenting:

“I am very pleased to announce that UP has increased its leadership in a number of activities in the next Aurora programme, including Capacity Building and Community Engagement Work focusing on CEE countries and Ukraine, Engaging Regional Ecosystems and Stakeholders, Aurora Sustainable Campus, Aurora Student Community, and overall Sustainability of Aliance 2030+. We have also secured co-leadership in Education for Sustainable Devlopment, Innovative pedagogies, Academic collaboration, Social entrepreneurship and Innovation, Communication and dissemination, as well as Student services.”

More information on Aurora’s goals and priorities for this renewed commitment can be found here.

The Czech National Agency for international education, Dům zahraniční spolupráce, was also happy to congratulate UP being among the select Czech universities awarded continued support by the commission. They provided an overview of continuing and newly funded European University Alliances with Czech members here.  

About Aurora
The Aurora 2030 consortium comprises the University of Iceland (UIce), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA), University of Innsbruck (UIBK), University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE), Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Palacký University Olomouc (UP), Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV), Université Paris Est Creteil (UPEC), and the University of Napoli Federico II (UNINA) as well as seven associated academic and non-academic partners including University of East Anglia (UEA), South-West University “Neofit Rilski” (SWUNR), Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice (UPJSK), the University of Tetova (UT), Kharkiv National University, European Forum Alpbach, Information Centre on Academic Mobility and Equivalence (CIMEA) who together span 13 countries.


The Aurora Student Conference brought together the Aurora Student Community

We are thrilled to share the highlights of the Aurora Student Conference, organized by Palacky University Olomouc on the 26th of May. The conference brought together the diverse layers of Aurora Student representation and was organized to foster connections, building a strong sense of community among students.

Held in conjunction with the Aurora Creative Writing Workshop, the Aurora Student Conference provided a unique opportunity for participants to engage with fellow Aurora students, from across various programs. This integration added an exciting dimension to the conference, allowing students to come together and forge new friendships.

With a total of 32 participants from nine different universities, the Aurora Student Conference was a melting pot of enthusiastic individuals. The group comprised members of the Aurora Student Council, dedicated Student Ambassadors and Champions, as well as members of the general student body.

What made this conference truly special was the pre-existing connections that many of the students had formed through previous Aurora opportunities, such as the Student Schemes, Biannuals, and other events organized across the alliance. These established bonds served as a strong foundation, enhancing the value of the event by deepening connections and fostering a genuine sense of belonging within the Aurora community.

Student mental health took center stage during the conference. Hanus Patera and Lucie Badurova, Student Council representatives for Palacky University Olomouc, led a compelling peer-learning workshop on mental health and mindfulness. Their insightful and practical approach to the topic truly resonated with the attendees. In addition, Niels Hexspoor facilitated an workshop on intercultural communication and competences, empowering students to reflect on and develop their intercultural skills.

Furthermore, the Aurora Student Conference provided a platform for an in-person meeting of the Aurora Student Council. While the council members convened, the session was also open to students who were not part of the council, promoting inclusivity and amplifying the diverse voices within Aurora.

As the conference drew to a close, participants were invited to a joint dinner. It was a delightful conclusion to an eventful and rewarding gathering.Stay tuned for more exciting events and opportunities to engage with fellow Aurora students as we continue to grow our Aurora Student Community.

Report – Aurora Student Conference