Aurora Student Schemes 2023/2024

Do you want to broaden your horizons? Are you looking to meet students from all over Europe and develop your personal Schemes? 

In that case the Aurora Student Ambassador or Students Champion programme is perfect for you. 

Sign up before December 31st and participate in the activities stretching from January to June 2024. 

Lucky participants will be invited to participate in the Aurora Student Conference in Tarragona, Spain in February. 

1. Student Ambassador

If you want to be a part of an international community of students, the role of Aurora Student Ambassador will be perfect for you.

In this role, you will be given the opportunity to take part in a variety of online and in-person events, together with students from across all Aurora Universities.

You will be offered several international workshops that will boost you personal and professional development.

Your journey as Aurora Ambassador will start at the Aurora Student Conference, where you will learn everything about Aurora, and meet peers from across the world.

2. Student Champion

This role is created specifically for students that want to go the extra mile. Building on what your learned during the Aurora Student Conference, you will directly work on the key Aurora topics, in addition to the joint activities provided to Aurora Student Ambassadors

Students that amass at least 15 hours of combined participation in the joint program and the working groups will be given the certificate of Aurora Student Champion.


Sign up using the link below to gain acces to all the opportunities Aurora has to offer.

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: Scholarly Book on Suburban Studies

We invite proposals for a forthcoming scholarly book on suburban studies. This interdisciplinary book aims to explore the complex, diverse, and dynamic nature of suburbs, their histories, and their futures. The book will seek to engage with a wide range of topics and themes related to sub/urban spaces, cultures, politics, and environments.

Call for Papers: Scholarly Book on Suburban Studies

We welcome proposals from scholars across various disciplines, including but not limited to literature, sociology, history, anthropology, urban studies, geography, geoinformatics, urban planning, environmental studies, and cultural studies. We are interested in contributions that critically examine suburbs as spaces of social, economic, and political inequality and exclusion, as well as spaces of creativity, innovation, and resistance. We encourage authors to engage with debates and discussions around issues such as suburbanization, gentrification, racial and ethnic segregation, environmental sustainability, and suburban history, cultures, and identities.

Proposals may address, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • The literary reflection of suburban culture
  • The histories and genealogies of suburbs
  • The social and cultural practices of suburban life
  • The politics and governance of suburban spaces
  • The environmental impacts of suburbanization
  • The racial and ethnic dynamics of suburbanization
  • The cultural production and consumption of suburban spaces
  • The relationship between suburbs and the urban and rural landscapes
  • The future of suburban spaces and their potential transformations

We welcome proposals for individual chapters. Please submit an abstract of no more than 500 words along with a short biography (no more than 250 words) and contact information. The submission deadline for chapter abstract is October 31st, 2023. Accepted proposals will be notified by December 31st, 2023. Full chapters will be due on July 30th, 2024.
Please send your proposals to If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Editorial board:

  • Pavlína Flajšarová Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic,
  • Jiří Flajšar, Palacký University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  • Vít Voženílek, 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

The book 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

Looking back at the inspiring Aurora Creative Writing Workshop

From the 22nd to the 26th of May 2023, Palacký University Olomouc and the University of East Anglia joined hands to host the Aurora Creative Writing Workshop.

 In a testament to the power of collaboration, the Department of English and American Studies of Palacký University Olomouc, and the esteemed School of Literature, Drama and Creative Writing of the University of East Anglia partnered to deliver an exceptional Creative Writing Workshop. This event embodied the spirit of international cooperation, fostering a vibrant exchange of ideas and nurturing budding writers.

Workshop participants representing the University of Iceland, the University of Duisburg-Essen, and Palacky University

Classroom with students participating in the workshop

During the workshop, participants embarked on a creative journey, delving into various writing genres and refining their craft. Guided by their instructors Andrea Holland and Logan Scott, this immersive experience kindled participants’ imaginations, allowing them to push the boundaries of their creativity and hone their writing skills.

The workshop’s true essence lay in the invaluable opportunity for writers to engage with peers from diverse cultural backgrounds. Participants represented 5 different Aurora Universities and hailed from various countries across the globe. The workshop program comprised an array of dynamic sessions, including writing exercises, and workshops. The Aurora Creative Writing Workshop connected to the Aurora Student Conference, allowing for even greater connectivety among Aurora Students. 

Throughout the week, participants explored the richness of cross-cultural perspectives, fostering a sense of global awareness and understanding. The week culminated in an inspiring public reading, during which the participants presented the work they produced during the week. 

Beyond honing their writing abilities, the workshop fostered connections that extended beyond the workshop’s timeframe. Through collaborative workshops, peer feedback, and social events, participants formed meaningful relationships with fellow Aurora students, laying the foundation for future collaborations and mutual support in their creative journeys. 

As we reflect on the Creative Writing Workshop held between the 22nd and 26th of May 2023, organized by Palacký University Olomouc and the University of East Anglia, we celebrate the transformative experiences, cross-cultural connections, and enduring friendships that were forged during this remarkable event. A detailed breakdown of the event can be found below. 

Report – Aurora Creative Writing Workshop & Aurora Student Conference

Aurora Three Minute Thesis – Livestream on 08/06 at 15:00 CEST

On the 8th of June (15:00-18:00, CEST) doctoral researchers from the Aurora Universities  compete against each other in the The Three Minute Thesis competition, as part of PHD Impact. The competition, organized at the University of Iceland, will be livestreamed via Zoom. Join online to follow the 30 participants or to support your colleagues and friends.

Aurora Three Minute Thesis – Flyer

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) is a research communication competition developed by the University of Queensland (Australia). Doctoral researchers have three minutes to give a persuasive speech about their thesis and its significance. The idea is to improve researchers’ academic, presentation and research communication skills required to effectively explain a research topic in three minutes and in language suitable for a non-expert audience.

The competition boasts a wide range of 30 talented doctoral researchers, from a variety of different dicsicplines, fields and backgrounds. Join online to learn more about their research and see which of the selected doctoral researchers will win. More information on the Aurora Three Minute Thesis competition, including a full overview of the participants, can be found here.

If you want to join the life stream, please register here.


Aurora Fall Biannual at Palacky University Olomouc

Join us at the Palacký University Olomouc on October 17th and 18th for the highly anticipated Aurora Fall Biannual 2023 in Olomouc, Czechia.

More information on the biannual can be found here.

Experience a retrospective of Aurora’s remarkable accomplishments and delve into the exciting prospects that lie ahead. Engage in thought-provoking high-level panel discussions on the future of European Higher Education and connect with colleagues from across Aurora and much more.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of something truly extraordinary. Register now to claim your spot at the Aurora Fall Biannual 2023.

Pre-register Now!

Connect with us on social media using #AuroraBiannualUP

UP and Aurora moving forward with the European University initiative

Palacký University Olomouc is happy to announce that the Aurora Alliance submitted its new proposal under the European Universities Erasmus + Call, for the intensification of prior deep institutional cooperation aiming at the systemic change of European Higher Education.

By setting innovative and diverse models of long-term institutionalized cooperation between higher education institutions across Europe, the European Universities initiative supports higher education institutions to achieve greater quality, performance, attractiveness and international competitiveness. It also promotes European values and a strengthen European identity.

In the next programme phase, from 2024-2028, the Aurora Alliance will be led by the University of Iceland and will welcome the University of Paris-Est Creteil as a full member, replacing the University of East Anglia, who will continue as an associate partner.  

The new bid will extend Aurora’s commitment to positively impact society through its main priorities: teaching and learning for societal impact, engaging and collaborating through inclusive communities, being pioneers in sustainable endeavours, and providing excellent challenge-based research and innovation support.

Together, the 9 Aurora partners will continue to deliver on the joint mission and vision of equipping students with social entrepreneurial skills and mindsets, building on the results achieved in the first phase.

The activities of the new proposal were written over the course of the last six months in a close collaboration with of the experts in the field from across 9 universities, the Institutional Coordinators and the Aurora Central Office in Amsterdam. It has three main objectives:

  1. Equip students and staff with the skills and mindset to become social innovators, changemakers and entrepreneurs;
  2. Foster academic collaboration and community building to establish a long-term Aurora identity; and
  3. Collaborate with external stakeholders and deepen student’s engagement in education, research and outreach.

Mirjam van Praag, President of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, said:

So far, it has been a pleasure to lead the alliance through the start-up phase of the first bid with various initiatives for Aurora staff and students that we really can be proud of. I am very confident in continuing our collaboration with the University of Iceland as the lead.”

Jón Atli Benediktsson, President of the University of Iceland and newly re-elected President of the Aurora, expressed how pleased he was:

“After seeing the hard work and dedication of the staff and students at our universities, I am confident that the Aurora collaboration will grow and create more opportunities for our students, faculty, and the greater community”.

From 2020-2023, Aurora has been part of the 44 European University Alliances co-funded under the Erasmus+ programme led by VU Amsterdam. The current call, for both new and the continuation of existing alliances, attracted a total of 65 proposals, gathering around 500 higher education institutions as full partners. More information can be found here.