Highlights of the Aurora Autumn Biannual in Tarragona

Between November 15th and 18th, a UP delegation visited our partners at the University of Rovira i Virgili, to participate in the Aurora Autumn Biannual in Tarrgona, Spain. The biannual was a great success and an excellent opportunity to meet in person and strengthen the ties with all of our partners.

The Biannual combined plenary sessions with intensive workgroup and management meetings. The absolute highlight of the event was the signing of the Multilateral Aurora Mobility Agreement. This agreement opens up many new mobility possibilities for both students and staff, between all Aurora Universities. 

The momentous Multilateral Aurora Mobility Agreement was signed by UP Rector Martin Prochazka.

During the Biannual, the Aurora top-management met twice, during the Aurora Presidents’ Strategic session and the Aurora Council meeting. During these meetings, the Presidents and Institutional Coordinators of all Aurora institutions came together to discuss the progress so far, as well as the next steps and the road ahead. The ICs also met on Monday the 15th in preparation for the two Aurora top-management meetings on the following days.  

The plenary sessions covered topics such as the inclusion of soft skills and SDG-perspective in the teaching of Aurora Universities through the use of the Aurora Competence Framework, as well as approaches and opportunities to internationalization of the curriculum. Featured were several highlevel debates, with prominent keynote speakers such as Xavier Prats Monné, the former Director-General for Education and Culture of the European Comission.  

The voice of students was given center stage during the event. In the weekend before the start of the biannual, 

The agreement was signed by dignitaries of all Aurora Universities.

students for all Aurora Universities gathered in Tarragona early to participate in the Aurora Student’s Design Thinking Jam, and give their input on what the Aurora Universities can do to facilitate meaningful international experiences for their students.

The outcomes of this session, ranging from the need for Aurora Student Events to mental health support and tackling issues with inclusivity were presented to the Aurora community during the biannual by the students themselves. Palacky University was excellently represented by four its students from four different faculties: Hanus Patera (FF), Dominik Vorac (PdF), Serge Nengali (PF), and Dominik Hlubek (PrF).  

On the 18th of November, a dedicated Kick-off for the Aurora Research & Innovation program took place. During the kick-off the leaders of the various Aurora RI activities got together to present their activities and the way forward, identifying the where and how to collaborate most efficiently.

A full overview of the presented materials, as well as photos and videos taken at the event can be found below:




A part of the UP delegation.
The UP delegation, together with the University of Innsbruck‘s delegation.
The Aurora Research & Innovation activity leaders.

Aurora Competence Framework – Staff Training at Palacky University Olomouc

On Wednesday the 8th of December, Kees Kouwenaar will visit Palacky University Olomouc to provide a staff training session on the Aurora Competence Framework.  During this comprehensive session for educators, you will learn more about how to include soft skills in your courses and programs. 

Equipping students not only with the subject knowledge and skills but also with the proficiencies and mindsets to address societal challenges is one of the key objectives of Aurora’s Educational programme – Learning for Societal Impact. 

The Aurora Competences Training Workshop will show teaching staff how to easily integrate general academic and personal competences into the learning outcomes of their existing courses and modules. The Workshop will also familiarise the teaching staff of the Aurora universities and their associate partner universities with the intersection of these with the role of the SDG perspective in their teaching.

This training session is organized by the Aurora Capacity Delevopment Support (CDS) Team, as one of their planned CDS-Awareness Raising Events, which play a central role in strengthening the capacity of the Aurora associate partner universities in key innovative domains of internationalization and social engagement. As such, the session is open to our associate partners as well as local UP teachers.  

Please register here for the event 

Registration deadline: 01/12/2021

NB: Due to Covid 19 measures, we are able to host only 20 people. This will impact the number of selected applicants for the in-person training. In the selection, we will prioritise Aurora associate partner universities.  Face-to-face training will be followed by a networking day for the associate partner participants on 09/12/2021.

More information? Aurora Competence Framework Training DEC 8th UP – Invitation and Agenda

Olomouc ACF Training – Poster

University of Duisburg-Essen’s Spring School: Openness, Tolerance and Sense of Community Narratives and Realities of Contemporary Societies

There are many competing diagnoses and characterisations of contemporary societies: as capitalist, open, postmodern, transnational or polarised and divided. This Spring School aims to question such simplistic diagnoses and to analyse which, partly competing, partly complementary, ideas and hypotheses are hidden behind these labels. We want to understand which positionings and power relations are expressed in the various characterisations of contemporary societies and, based on this, question what is supposed to hold contemporary societies together – and whether it needs to be held together at all. In three panels we aim to investigate specifically how the humanistic ideals of public spirit and community, openness, and tolerance shape and are being shaped, striven for, as well as negotiated and contested by contemporary society. In addition, this Spring School features a performative societal laboratory, where we aim to generate a different, embodied and performative type of knowledge about the themes of the Spring School.

More information

The Spring School will take place in Duisburg, Germany in March 28th to April 1st 2022 and offers the opportunity to discuss recent advances in related research areas with highly regarded scholars in and invites students to present their related research agenda or outputs in three different and topically structured panels. Also we invite all participants to participate in an artistic performance with the aim to facilitate and foster reflection through collective action. The Spring School features panels on “Sense of Community in Transnational Societies,” “Cosmopolitanism and the post-developmental critique of open societies,” and “Politics of identity and cultures of (in-)tolerance.”

Registration requirements:

Please submit a brief CV (max. 1 page), an abstract on your doctoral research (max. 500 words), a motivation for your application (max. 250 words), an indication of preference of panel workshops (please indicate your priorities) and an indication of choice for the performative-participatory laboratory. The deadline for submissions is 10th of January 2022. Cost of registration is €400, including tuition, accommodation and meals.

Registration link

Registration process


Rethinking the “Dieta Meditteranea” in the Anthropocene – Hackathon

Taking place on the 6th and 7th of December at the University of Naples, Federico II, in this two-day hackathon we invite you to co-create conceptual solutions for rethinking the Mediterranean food economy, departing from the concept of the Mediterranean diet.

Man-made climate change, species extinction and other environmental factors linked to the condition of the Anthropocene will radically alter the conditions for food production and consumption in the coming decades. Indeed, the effects of these developments are already visible as farmers all over the world are faced with rising insecurity and unpredictability that derive from new weather, temperature and humidity patterns. At the same time, the food economy is changing: there is a new inflow of highly skilled, university-educated neo-rurals who bring with them novel conceptions of entrepreneurship and management; digital technologies- from drones and precision agriculture, via blockchains, down to ‘simple’ e-commerce sites- empower food production and distribution in new ways; and there is a re-discovery of ‘traditional’ foods and production techniques along with a novel appreciation of forgotten tastes and aesthetics.

How to empower alternative forms of production and consumption that are both productive and resilient? How will the Mediterranean diet itself change (through, for example, the introduction of formerly ‘tropical’ produce, like mangoes and avocados, that now grow in Southern Italy)? How to guarantee worker rights and ensure proper remuneration in a rural economy marked by a powerful role of informal economic networks as well as persisting structural racism? Further information can be found here.

Registration process and requirements: Applicants must send a one-page CV to afi.soedarsono@societing by 30 November 2021. Participation in the Hackathon is free of charge.

Rethinking Dieta Meditteranea in the Anthropocene Hackathon

Co-Creation Training Workshop – VU Amsterdam

The Co-creation Training Workshop which will be held on February 3rd to 5th, 2022 at the Athena Institute, Vrije University Amsterdam (VUA), the Netherlands, will provide a platform for Co-creation experts, practitioners, interested researchers and educators, Ph.D. students, and community partners to discuss and share knowledge and experiences on co-creation practices aimed towards connecting science and society. The main aims of the event are as follows:

  • Facilitate sharing of ideas and experiences on co-creation (best practices, pitfalls, innovations)
  • Connect co-creation experts, practitioners, students, and community partners from around the world
  • Build an engaged community of co-creation practitioners
  • Foster co-creation practices in research and education within and beyond the AURORA alliance

The full program can be found here.


Meet the Aurora Universities – Webinar Series

We may not have had the opportunity to visit all ten of the other universities, nor indeed those countries, but in the five years since Aurora began, how well do we really know our Aurora partners?

We’re all research-intensive with an international outlook, collectively supporting our students to become global entrepreneurs. But could you list the home country of each partner? Its academic strengths? Its research collaborations?

The Borderless Learning: Recognition and Mobility Group (WP3.3.1) is hosting a week-long series of webinars from November 2nd to 5th, aiming to answer questions from the very basic level – why would a student choose to study there – from its campus and location, to its courses, to its inclusive community. Each Aurora university will take just 60 minutes, all following a similar structure and format, to showcase itself to other Aurora universities.

Whether you’re a student, an administrative adviser or coordinator of placements, or an academic looking to strengthen your European partnerships; tune in (or watch the recordings) to find out more. You could just turn out to be learning about your next destination.

Get To Know Your Aurora University Study Abroad Partner Destinations – A Webinar Series for students and staff

Are you on a study abroad pathway? Interested in studying a short course abroad? Keen to experience living and learning in another part of Europe? Or helping to advise those that are? Join as many of these eleven webinars as you like! All will be live streamed and recorded for follow-up access.

Click here for the full schedule!


University of Innsbruck – (Service) Design Thinking Course for educators

This (Service) Design Thinking for educators course provides a way for educators to gain new perspectives on teaching, research, and problem-solving. It is a hands-on learning opportunity, not by talking about new teaching formats but by actually creating one.

During highly interactive sessions, you will work in teams and develop an exemplary course that intends to play with and maybe even breaks the traditional classroom boundaries.

To register within the University of Innsbruck, please use the VIS:online Tool of Universität Innsbruck and to register externally please send an email to personalentwicklung@uibk.ac.at.

Registration deadline is 15.11.2021.

The (Service) Design Thinking for educators

‘Transforming Higher Education through Collaborative Online International Learning (COIL) and (Community) Service Learning.’ – First CDS Training Event

On the 5th and 6th of October, the 1st Capacity Development Support (CDS) Training event organised by the South-West University ‘Neofit Rilski’, Bulgaria, in collaboration with the Aurora CDS Task Team at Palacky University and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. The two-day training event will take place in hybrid format.

The event is open to academic and non-academic staff of the Associate university partners and members of the broader CDS Network involved in teaching, students’ mobility, internationalization of study programmes and university social engagement.

In case of interest, please register to the event via this online form (https://forms.gle/XiFpf5znxKjHNEgv9). Registration is open until 1st of October.

More information, as well as the full program, can be found here.


CALL – Aurora Lecture Series ‘Environment and Care: Canadian Perspectives’

Our Aurora partners at the Canadian Studies Centre of the University of Innsbruck, together with Universität Duisburg-Essen invite you to participate in an innovative transatlantic teaching project. 

The Aurora Lecture Series ‘Environment and Care: Canadian Perspectives’ is looking for a diverse range of lectures on the Canadian perspective on Environment and Care from various disciplines, combining the Aurora Pilot Domains of Culture: Diversity & Identity and Sustainability & Climate Change and the Sustainable Development Goals.

If you are interested, send in your proposals for research-led teaching units (à 90 minutes) now!  including an abstract of 250 words at most which make reference to the following:

Please also indicate when (see “Sketch and rough time table” below) the contribution could be made.

The proposals should be forwarded to the Canadian Studies Centre of the University of Innsbruck (canada.centre@uibk.ac.at) by September 10, 2021.


The full pdf-version of the call can be found here.


Sketch and rough time table

Working title of the course

Environment and Care: Canadian Perspectives

Type of course unit

Optional (Interdisciplinary Competences)

Level of course

Bachelor (EQF 6)

Prerequisites (for students)


Referring Pilot Domain

Culture: Diversity & Identity

Sustainability & Climate Change

Referring SDG(s)

4, 5, 10, 11, 13, 16

Year of study


Semester of delivery

Summer Semester 2022

Number of ECTS credits allocated 

3 credits

Type of course

Lecture series (Ringvorlesung)

Course director



Other speakers/contributers 

Doris G. Eibl & Ursula Moser (University of Innsbruck)

Barbara Buchenau & Florian Freitag (University Duisburg-Essen)


Learning outcomes of the course:

Students can demonstrate a deeper insight into an environment and care sensitive understanding of Canada. They have become acquainted with exemplary research areas and are able to classify these in terms of the Sustainable Development Goals. Besides, this course aims at developing all forms of critical thinking, in particular with regard to the following competencies: System Thinking Competency, Anticipatory Competency, Collaboration Competency and Integrated Problem Solving Competency.


Course content:

The course, which is intended as an introduction to Canadian Studies, aims to present and discuss a number of recent developments in Canada through the lens of Environment and Care, which we see as key concepts for a future-oriented and sustainable understanding of different facets of the country. While the term “environment” refers not only to air, water, and land in or on which people or animals and plants exist, but also to circumstances, objects or conditions by which people or animals and plants are surrounded, the term “care” implies “everything we do to maintain, continue, and repair our ‘world’ so we can live in it as well as possible. That world includes our bodies, ourselves, and our environment, all of which we seek to interweave in a complex, life-sustaining way.” (Tronto/Fisher 1990, 40)

Along the focal points

·         Histories and Politics

·         Indigenous Contexts

·         Intersectional Issues

·         Literatures and Media

·         Mountain and Glacier Studies

·         Multiculturalism and Federalism

·         Urban Visions and Realities


Mode of delivery


Suitability for short term mobility

no (lecture series)

Planned topics

The course is planned as a lecture series from week 17 to 25 (an overview concerning the academic calendars can be found under Question 17 in the FAQ of Aurora Office Innsbruck):



Knowledge query based on questions concerning the single sessions

Passed (>60%) / failed (tbd)

Language of instruction


Registration procedure for non institutional Aurora-students and

See landing page Aurora Innsbruck

number of places available

No limitation

Criteria for the allocation of places (e.g. “first come first served”)

Not applicable
(no limitation of participants)


Students are asked to clarify the creditability of this course for their studies before registering! At Universität Innsbruck, the course is to be offered as a curricular course within the framework of Interdisciplinary Competences (elective module).