Aurora Biannual: May 20th – May 21st

Spread over the entire day of Thursday, May 20th and Friday, May 21st until Mid-afternoon, academics, students, university leaders and administrators will come together to continue ongoing work, meet new colleagues and celebrate existing friendships.

The Aurora Spring 2021 Biannual commences with a plenary session featuring European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel (in a recorded address) and a panel discussion on the future of academic collaboration between British and other European universities following Brexit. Prof. Paul Boyle, the vice-chancellor of Swansea University, UK and EUA Vice-President, will discuss this and join a panel discussion with Prof. Yassine Lakhnech (president of the University of Grenoble Alpes, member of Aurora) and an Aurora student representative (TBC). The panel will be moderated by John Style, Vice-Rector International of the University of Rovira i Virgili.

The first full day on May 20th will end with a lively and informal virtual reception. Jón Atli Benediktsson will be introducing the incoming Aurora Secretary-General.

In between Plenary and Reception, the first Biannual day will offer many active Aurora task teams the time to sit and work together in parallel time slots in the morning and early afternoon. Simultaneously, the Aurora presidents will discuss their vision of Aurora’s future and the future benefits of being an Aurora university.

The afternoon will also feature four broad parallel sessions, each covering one of the more overarching themes of Aurora, such as “Education”, “Stakeholders”, “Academic engagement”, and “Sustainability”. Aurora welcomes president Joan Gabel of the University of Minnesota as a guest of honour. President Gabel will take part in the “Sustainability” session and share her views on the topic.

On Friday, May 21st, both the Aurora Universities Network and the Aurora European University Alliance will have a session of their respective supreme governance bodies: the Network General Council and the Alliance Board of Presidents. These formal meetings will be part of the first and second Friday parallel timeslots. The Aurora Network, General Council meeting, will run concurrently with many dissemination sessions in which Aurora Biannual participants can find out about tools and services being developed to help Aurora academics, students and administrators. The Aurora Alliance Board of President’s meeting will run simultaneously with more task team working sessions.

For more information on the biannual, please take a look at the programme below:  

Programme Aurora Biannual Spring 2021

Aurora COVID Student Conference – 14:00-17:00 BST, 7th May 2021

The University of East Anglia (UEA) are delighted to be hosting the second Aurora COVID Student Conference on 7th May from 14:00-17:00 (BST). This is a free virtual conference for students from across all Aurora Universities to hear from, and engage with, experts working at Aurora partner institutions who have been active in responding to and researching the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Confirmed speakers are Prof Helena Gillespie and Prof Yoon Loke (UEA), Ingibjörg Magnúsdóttir and Anna Bára Unnarsdóttir (University of Iceland), with Dr. Kelly Edmunds and Prof Neil Ward (UEA) also available for questions.

This conference should be of particular interest to students who are interested in infectious diseases or who are considering a project or dissertation related to COVID-19.  The conference will close with a discussion of the key themes that emerge during the plenary sessions. To register your interest in joining this free conference, please email Maria.Fox@uea.ac.uk before 13:00 May 7th 2021.

 

Conference schedule

 

14:00 BST

Opening Remarks

Prof Neil Ward (UEA, Norwich)

14:10

Counting the harm from COVID – an inexact science

Prof Yoon Loke (UEA)

14:50

The Icelandic COVID-19 National Resilience Cohort – preliminary results for students.

Ingibjörg Magnúsdóttir and Anna Bára Unnarsdóttir (University of Iceland)

15:30

Break

15:45

Internationalisation and Study Abroad After Covid

Prof Helena Gillespie (UEA)

16:25

Conference Discussion / Questions from attendees

Chaired Prof Neil Ward

17:00

Conference Close

 

 

Forthem Alliance – Webinar: Shaping a Fairer World with Sustainable Development Goals

The FORTHEM Alliance, is one of the 42 European University Alliances, and like Aurora, places an emphasis on the SDGs. The FORTHEM Students are organizing the webinar Shaping a Fairer World with Sustainable Development Goals: Gender Equality (SDG 5) and Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8)  FORTHEM student civic engagement project is inviting your students and staff to the discussion about sustainable economic growth, gender equality and decent work addressing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Students from the Aurora Alliance are very welcome to participate.  

Webinar: Shaping a Fairer World with Sustainable Development Goals: Gender Equality (SDG 5) and Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8) organised by the FORTHEM Student Civic Engagement Project “Understanding Agenda 2030 – Only one decade left”

Topic: The webinar concentrates on the balance between economic growth and sustainability, as well as the need of reaching gender equality in the world. The webinar is a part of the webinar series “Understanding Agenda 2030 – Only one decade left”.

Date: April 27th, 17:00 (CEST) | 18:00 (UTC +3).

Registration: jyufi.zoom.us 

The webinar is free of charge, available for everyone and organized in Zoom. 

Organiser: FORTHEM Student Civic Engagement Project “Understanding Agenda 2030 – Only one decade left” initiated by UN Association of Jyväskylä, Estudiantes por la FdE Ética and ESN Palermo – Erasmus Student Network.

Find more information about the project and the event on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

The project is a part of the FORTHEM Societal involvement initiative supporting student teams in implementing volunteering and education projects for development, solidarity and awareness in collaboration with NGOs or other local and regional associations. Find more about the initiative and FORTHEM here.

 

2021 Spring School on Transferable Skills

Are you interested in developing your professional skills? This may, our Aurora partners at the University of Naples Federico II offer a free online course, focused on developing skills in grant and CV writing, and how to get a faculty position. This program is open to all Master’s and Ph.d. students from within the Aurora Alliance, particularly those in a STEM-field (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathemathics).  

The course will give an overview of the breadth of interviews that can be expected on your interview journey and will provide a space to practice interview questions. We will discuss team management and gender equality in academia and research and how improv games may improve your work-life. 

This two-day Spring School will take place on Tuesday the 4th and Wednesday the 5th of May. Participation in this course will allow you to earn 2 ECTS-credits. For more information, please take a look at the Spring School’s website, or the flyer, containing the full program:

2021 Spring School on Transferable Skills Flyer 

Interested in signing up? Please contact internationalfarmacia@unina.it, before May 1st. 

Aurora Mini-Grants – List of awarded Mini-Grants

Friday, April 16, 2021 | After a very successful first call for applications, in which 27 applications were filed, the Aurora Central Office at Palacky University has finished its evaluation. It is our pleasure to announce the applications that will be awarded a Mini-Grant. 

Out of the 27 applications, eighteen project applications were chosen to receive funding. In total, more than 1,6 Million Czech Crowns have been awarded in this first round. The funding of these projects paid directly from the Rectorate’s sources, will serve to further strengthen the Aurora Alliance, and will directly benefit these projects set up by our Academics.

This pilot phase of UP Aurora Mini-Grants received a wide range of applications, spanning several different fields, from five of our faculties and research centers. Below please find the list of funded projects: 

 

Primary Investigator

Project Title

Barbora SITTOVÁ

Webinars on German grammar

David LIVINGSTONE

Promoting Mental Health among Students with Online Cultural Entertainment

Elona KRASNIQI

Evidencing online risks of youth’s mental health of those coming from state care, and foster care.

Filip KRAUS

Academic Networking on Researching Migration, Identities, and Sexualities in the Vietnamese Diaspora

František KRATOCHVÍL

Wordnets for low-resource languages: Creating a roadmap for using NLP technology to aid language documentation, description, and maintenance

Jaroslava KUBÁTOVÁ

Sustainable Social Enterprises

Lenka DZUROVÁ

Protein engineering in the collaboration with appropriate Aurora Partner Universities

Ľudmila LACKOVÁ

 Aurorization of the course Complex Analysis of Text and Communication Process

Lukáš ZÁMEČNÍK HADWIGER

Theory of Digital Humanities

Martin SOUKUP

Colonialism in 21st Century

Michal PEPRNÍK

Sharing expertise in English studies: Ph.D. workshops and international conference

Miroslav KOPECKÝ

Active aging – a healthy lifestyle

Pavel ZAHRÁDKA

Remix Culture in the Music Industry

Pavlína FLAJŠAROVÁ

Aurora-Shared Interdisciplinary Series of Lectures on Cultural Diversity

Peter TAVEL

Starting shot

Petra VACULÍKOVÁ

Cradle for Excellence in Social Sciences and Humanities (CROSS)

Silvie VÁLKOVÁ

Bringing Academic Writing courses in English up-to-date

Tereza MOTALOVÁ

Galileo for Open Science: Network of Stewards and Navigation Interface for the World of Open Science (“OS Galileo”)

Ordered alphabetically, based on the first name of the PI.

The applicants were asked to specify whether their project dealt with Education, Research, and/or Professionalization, with most proposals concentrating on either Education or research. 

The applicants were also asked to disclose the partner and associate partners named and included in the proposal. The University of Innsbruck and our associate partners from Kosice proved to be the most frequent collaborators.

Partner Universities – Click to Enlarge
Associate Partners – Click to Enlarge

In line with the overall vision and aims of the Aurora Alliance, applicants were asked to tie their proposals to one or several Aurora Pilot Domains. 

Pilot Domains – Click to Enlarge

The Sustainable Development Goals also hold an important position in all of Aurora’s endeavors. The applicants were asked to pick at least one of the SDGs and demonstrate how their proposal contributes to that goal. SDG 4: Quality Education and SGD 17: Partnership for the Goals were chosen most often, with SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being proving popular as well.

SDGs – Click to Enlarge

The UP Aurora Office looks back on a promising, successful pilot phase for its Mini-Grant scheme. We are looking forward to further developing the scheme for future calls, and above all, we look forward to seeing these Mini-Grants contribute to the excellent international projects our Academics will carry out! 

Join an Aurora Short Program or Summer School

Ready to make the most of your summer? Want to study in another part of Europe?

Learn a new skill, develop new knowledge to enhance your degree studies and graduate prospects?

All Aurora university students have the benefit of learning what’s on offer this summer at other Aurora universities, through this one-stop-shop of your Aurora options this summer*. From Global Health to International Criminal Justice and from Central Europe and European Integration to Global Transitional Sociology, there’s a range of subjects to suit everyone, and in many cases, special discounts are provided for students from other Aurora universities.

So what are you waiting for?

Click the button below to access the summer school courses, find out more, check dates and deadlines, and find out how to apply.

Would you like to be kept updated with Aurora university’s short courses and summer schools and associated funding opportunities? Please register your interest by completing this short form. You can also use the form to ask questions that we can direct to the appropriate Aurora university.

We hope you will be able to take the opportunity to study abroad at another Aurora university during your degree!

*Please note that some dates are to be confirmed and delivery modes may change due to unforeseen circumstances. Please get in touch directly with the hosting university for final details.

Report on Aurora Mini-Grant Scheme

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 | After a very successful first call for applications, in which 27 applications were filed, the Aurora Central Office at Palacky University has finished its evaluation.

The project applications and project evaluations are currently being reviewed by the Vice-Deans for internationalization, at their request, with the final outcomes expected by the end of this week. The selected projects are to be funded by the Palacky University Rectorate. 

This pilot phase of UP Aurora Mini-Grants received a wide range of applications, spanning several different fields, from five of our faculties.

The applicants were asked to specify whether their project dealt with Education, Research, and/or Professionalization, with most proposals concentrating on either Education or research. 

Click to enlarge

The applicants were also asked to disclose the partner and associate partners named and included in the proposal. The University of Innsbruck and our associate partners from Kosice proved to be the most frequent collaborators.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

In line with the overall vision and aims of the Aurora Alliance, applicants were asked to tie their proposals to one or several Aurora Pilot Domains. 

 

Click to enlarge

The Sustainable Development Goals also hold an important position in all of Aurora’s endeavors. The applicants were asked to pick at least one of the SDGs and demonstrate how their proposal contributes to that goal. SDG 4: Quality Education and SGD 17: Partnership for the Goals were chosen most often, with SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being proving popular as well.

Click to enlarge

The UP Aurora Office looks back on a promising, successful pilot phase for its Mini-Grant scheme. We are looking forward to further developing the scheme for future calls, and above all, we look forward to seeing these Mini-Grants contribute to the excellent international projects our Academics will carry out! 

Rector Jaroslav Miller: Membership in the Aurora Alliance could be UP’s ticket on the bullet train

How should universities strengthen their position and positive influence on the public space to help our society facing rapid changes with various challenges? By close cooperation on the international level and transforming the results of their research into practice. This is why UP has become a member of the Aurora Alliance. Together with its eight university partners from the Netherlands, Great Britain, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Iceland, Spain, and Italy, in the years to come UP and the Aurora Alliance will focus on the most pressing contemporary issues, such as societal responsibility, sustainable development, climate change, and digitalisation.

Why is the Aurora Alliance so important for Palacký University? What does our prestigious membership in the Alliance bring to the university? What possibilities and challenges will membership involve? How will students, academics, and other employees benefit from Aurora in their personal and professional growth? And how does it tie in with the future success of universities? Rector Jaroslav Miller answers these questions – and much more – in this interview.

Palacký University has been significantly “opened up to the world” under your tutelage and has begun to deepen its internationalisation. Regarding this important strategic partnership under the auspices of the European Commission, what are UP’s visions and plans? Primarily, how will the European Universities contribute to UP’s development?

If we refrain from reducing that question solely to one of financial benefits, then of course by its very nature the European Commission already supports international cooperation and interconnections in all forms and areas. The strategic partnership of universities trough the European Universities programme in my opinion is important in at least two aspects. Primarily, it helps all partners towards achieving qualitative growth; and secondly, it allows them to take part in truly grand consortia projects which will resolve a number of contemporary challenges in higher education. Digitalisation, sustainable development, top interdisciplinary research – these are all areas that transcend one institution and the confines of national borders.

The EC trough the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency also supports the Aurora European Universites Alliance of which UP has now become an official part. Aurora has the reputation of one of the the most important internatonal undertakings of UP since 1989. What do you think is ground-breaking about our membership in Aurora?

Our membership in the international Aurora Alliance has the potential to structurally transform Palacký University and make it much more competitive in comparison to the best European and world universities – in other words, it can lead to the highest qualitative phase of development in the modern history of UP. But, of course, that depends on us: whether we take advantage of this historic chance to transform, and whether we have the motivation to become better and aim higher. This is truly a chance without precedent because the European Commission has already demonstrated that it wants to give long-term support to the existing European University alliances. That means that if we will have the determination to work on ourselves, metaphorically we are buying a transfer ticket from the local train to the bullet train. My job has been to open the doors: we either get on board, or they will slam shut in our face, to our detriment.

The historian in me adds that Palacký University Olomouc, with respect to its ambitions and a history longer than 450 years, simply should not be content with the role of a “national university”, which in my opinion is an oxymoron. Quite the reverse, it must transcend the narrow confines of the Czech Republic and strive for a more prominent position – among the academies of Europe and the whole world. I’m firmly convinced that resting on our laurels due to the fact that we are a prestigious university within the Czech Republic is delusive, and actually causes harm to UP.

Which benefits will the Aurora Alliance bring to our university, and what can we contribute with from our end? Which opportunities will Aurora open up for our employees and students?

Personally, I’m in favour of the idea of “symbiotic growth”, which can bring significant, mutual synergistic effects. I’m referring to connecting study programmes and curricula between the individual university members in Aurora, and eventual harmonisation of the systems of quality and evaluation, a shared policy of sustainability, a much higher extent of academic and student mobility than we are accustomed to at present, the use of a shared study and research infrastructure, and joint participation in grand consortia projects. By the way, we are already successful in this area, because as part of the Alliance we were granted a large Horizon 2020, so called  SWAFs project for strategic research development  just last week. And I am sure that this is only the first of many. If we talk about specifics, in the future I can easily imagine, for example, a student studying their field in Olomouc, Amsterdam, and Innsbruck, and then getting a shared degree from these three universities or from the Alliance as a whole.

I’ll mention one area in which UP plays an absolutely key role within Aurora. Our university was entrusted with the coordination of partner relationships with associated universities from Eastern and Southeast Europe. This is an important part of the entire project and Olomouc has been given great leeway within it, as well as great responsibility.

Will the Aurora Alliance have a positive impact on student and employee stays and internships abroad? Will it expand opportunities for international mobilities?

Yes, indeed. Let me give you just one example. At present we are finetuning the first call for “UP’s Aurora Mini-Grants Programme”. The idea is to financially support trips by academics and doctoral students to any institution within the Alliance, with the goal of discussing cooperation on an academic project or in teaching. At the same time, we’re counting on foreign stays within the framework of shared practices in management and academic administration.

Will Aurora help expand and improve academic and scientific research at UP?

The European Commission has given a clear and explicit signal that it is committed to supporting university consortia which can prove their meaningfulness, and to support them both financially and politically in the long-term – not just for the three years of the existing European projects. The goal is to create closely connected university clusters which will be able to compete with American and now also Chinese universities, both in science and in modern approaches to teaching. Inside Aurora will we create tools (grants, shared infrastructures, co-projects, academic mobilities) that should lead to increased academic effectiveness for both the Alliance as a whole as well as individual universities.

Will membership in the Aurora Alliance help internal development at UP? Will it deepen cooperation between faculties, support modernisation of our infrastructure, and the like?

That depends on each one of us, on university management, faculty management, academics, and students. Technically speaking, the universities in the Aurora Alliance all rank somewhat higher in the global rankings than UP. That means that we have something to learn from our partners, and to implement within the context of Palacký University. The modernisation potential of our membership in the Aurora Alliance starts with teaching and continues through to research all the way to say, communications with the public. At the same time, it also means that our partners could learn something from us.

The universities in the Aurora Alliance are focused on collboraiton in the areas of environment, health, digitalisation, and cultural diversity. Why prioritising these areas, and how can universities help put these into practice?

I’m going to answer you a bit broadly: Universities must generally fulfill the role of the innovators, as institutions actively operating in the public space: articulating key themes and indicating direction. All of the areas you’ve mentioned are among the greatest challenges we face at present, and universities are institutions that have the potential to contribute to their solutions. As recognised knowledge-generating nd sharing insitutions, they have their responsibilities towards society. In addition, themes like environmental sustainabiility and health have long been a priority at Palacký University and form a significant part of our scientific and study portfolios. The area of health is one that has been really well integrated with digitalisation here because Olomouc is one of the national centres for the development of telemedicine, and sharing best practices forms one of the pillars of cooperation within the Aurora Alliance.

Civic responsibility and sustainability are among the main themes of the Aurora Alliance, and UP has recently been devoting itself more and more to that topic. In your opinion, how can UP benefit the region in this respect, and how can it help at the European level?

The theme of sustainability is integral to UP. For example, the Department of Development and Environmental Studies led by Assoc Prof Pavel Nováček at the Faculty of Science is one of the leading expert workplaces working on long-term sustainability from various angles. The expert potential of that department is one that I predict Aurora will make a lot of use of.

Civic responsibility is being expressed in many ways at UP. From providing stipends to persecuted academics from Turkey and Belarus, to the UniON Civic University, to the recent establishment of a Sustainability Commissioner at Palacký University Olomouc. In the course of my tenure as rector, I’ve endeavoured to make UP more active in this area than in the past, because I am convinced that civic responsibility is genetically coded in a university’s mission. And I think we’ve been able to achieve that.

One of the main visions of Aurora is to also operate outside the university, in the broader society…

You’re absolutely right. Aurora is based on the goal of open communications within society and articulating global challenges such as sustainability, digitalisation, and health in the context of an ageing population. We want to conduct intensive debate on these themes in the public space and show that how we resolve these challenges will determine our future. Universities, no matter how rich and strong intellectually, are not capable of resolving these challenges on their own. Local communities must be involved in awareness raising about shared responsibility, including each citizen. Universities can be role-models, pointing the way in this respect and setting the agenda.

Aurora is one of the European University alliances supported by the EC. Other Czech universities are interested in joining new future alliances. Currently, you are initiating broader cooperation with the 4 existent Czech universities in European Alliances. Why?

If I’m not mistaken, the EU has so far  supported 41 university alliances in total and is counting on the fact that between twenty to thirty of these (ca 150 European universities) will remain at the end of the pilot phase. The European Commission will continue to support them in the long-term financially. Our goal, of course, is that Aurora remains one of them.

In the Czech Republic, the members of the existent  alliances are Charles University, Masaryk University, and Czech Technical University in Prague. Recently, I initiated a joint meeting of the representatives of these universities with management at the Ministry of Education, the National Accreditation Office, and representatives from the industrial sector. We would like to reach the point where the Czech government would unambiguously declare its systemic support for these consortia, because membership in them has the obvious potential to increase the quality of the entire higher education sector in the Czech Republic. Together with the National Accreditation Office we are going to resolve  the practical issues that surround alliance activities, such as joint study programmes within the consortia, certifications called “microcredentials”, requalification courses which are key to flexibility in the labour market, etc. What I’m saying is that membership of four Czech universities in these consortia is important for the entire country, because it could initiate a number of fundamental structural changes even reaching outside of  academia. This is why we want to communicate with our partners and earn their support.

With the announcement of UP entering the Aurora Alliance, you also presented your visions of “global universities” – a kind of cluster of several closely connected European universities. What do you think would be beneficial about combining universities into a “super university”? And won’t universities lose a part of “themselves” in this vision of fusion with other universities?

UP will always remain an authentic and respected Central European university. At the same time, as I’ve said, I believe in integration, cooperation, in synergetic effects. Basically, I think these are the same impulses which led to the creation of the European Union. A number of fundamental contemporary challenges (climate, weaning ourselves off fossil fuels, the ageing population, etc.) cannot be resolved by nations themselves, so they must unite, cooperate, and remove the obstacles barring this synergy – whether they be languages, customs controls, or even national borders. And universities should not be ivory towers standing alone and indifferent, dotting the countryside here and there. If we’re talking about university clusters in connection with Aurora, I would personally welcome the process which I see as mutual growth. This comprises joint study programmes, compatibility of a system of quality and evaluation, sharing expertise, sharing research infrastructures, etc. I know it seems a bit visionary, but future development in  higher education can go in this direction, and 15 years from now in Europe we could have maybe two dozen similar university clusters which will be leaders both in research and in technological innovations, because they will be able to mobilise much greater intellectual and financial capital than individual institutions. And I am proud that Palacký University is part of this story.

What do you think the future strategy of internationalisation should look like at UP?

Palacký University should continue to remain a university open to all forms of cooperation with both our existing and new partners. We have truly excelled in this area over the past seven years, and I can proudly say that today’s UP is an successfully internationalised university, making use of a dense network of partnerships. In this respect UP also has the ambition to play the role of leader in excellence in internationalisation and among institutions providing systematic capacity building support to other universities in the region.

Our membership in the Aurora Alliance is another logical step in this direction. In the future we ought to aim for a qualitatively higher, and more versatile form of connection with universities in the alliance. Additionally, UP should develop its tools for virtual mobility, which will certainly remain in some form here even after the pandemic subsides. And I also welcome the expansion of another idea – the campus in Erbil (Iraq), if the conditions allow it. We are successfully teaching one accredited study programme there already, and I know of several other departments which are interested in operating in Erbil and are ready to do so. UP in this respect is quite exceptional as regards the Czech Republic.

__________

Text: Tomáš Franta

Photo: Vojtěch Duda

Originally published on zurnal.upol.cz

Student Event: Aurora Care and Compassion

The Aurora Student Council is delighted to be hosting the Aurora Care and Compassion Student event. This free virtual conference for students across all Aurora Universities is packed with engaging content to show students how Aurora cares for issues in modern society. The event will get students involved in activities and conversation across 4 key areas. These areas are Mental Health and Wellbeing, Open Educational Resources, Celebrating and Promoting Diversity, and Sustainability. Students’ participation in these activities and conversations will give them practical skills to take away and also help Aurora embed student voice into the heart of many exciting projects. We want students to learn about Aurora and equip them with the tools to champion Aurora’s values in their own universities.

The Aurora Spring Academic meeting will be hosted on the Gatherly platform, allowing you to freely move and chat with participants in groups of two or three or more.

If you are a student interested in any of these topics or you know of students that would be interested, click the link here to register your interest and come and join us on March 30th 2021.

Contribute to the Aurora community discussion regarding mental health using our hashtag,  #AuroraAllianceEU.  

 

More information about the program and schedule can be found below: 

Care & Compassion Programme

The sessions will occur twice in the day, giving participants ample opportunities to follow one of choice. A brief description follows below:

Isabel Ponce-Grosso // Introduction to Mindfulness // Mental Health and Wellbeing

This Mindfulness Introduction webinar is suitable for beginners and will cover some theoretical basics and discussion, followed by a guided meditation. It will also include tips to apply these skills into everyday life to help participants with their emotional wellbeing. They will also be directed to further available courses and resources if they wish to continue developing a mindfulness practice. 

Sylvia Moes & Anke Petschenka // Making OER possible – Raising awareness in the Aurora network // Open Educational Resources

Sylvia Moes & Anke Petschenka will introduce you to the world of Open Educational Resources on an international level. The session intends to explain the added values of OER and Open Education, the benefits for students, and how co-creation between staff members of Aurora and students takes place. The session ends with a discussion and sharing experiences.

Rodrigo Zapata // Be a Sustainability Leader today! // Sustainability

In this session titled: “Do you want to become someone who inspires and support action towards a better and sustainable world?” Rodrigo Zapata sheds light on several facets of embracing leadership in sustainability. Participants will gain insight on a) who a sustainable leader is, b) why and how anyone can become one, and c) surprising facts about leadership and sustainability. Rodrigo will also share a case study of the Go Movement and GOVU.

Jumara Stone // Unconscious Bias and Privilege // Celebrating and Promoting Diversity

We will be exploring the themes around bias and privilege that each of us holds in different ways. The session will introduce what an unconscious bias is, how we can look out for it, and why we use this bias. We will then focus on the privilege we have as individuals and how this enables us to move forward in life, more so than others. The session will end, focusing on being aware of such bias and privilege when we use our voice to support others.

Aurora Spring Academic Meeting

Meet peers facing similar challenges in providing students with high-quality education and with international opportunities in a forced online environment.

Learn what support Aurora is organising to assist academic teachers in meeting these challenges.

On March 30th, from 9 am to 1 pm (CET), Aurora is hosting its Spring Academic meeting. It will be a platform to meet with peers and discuss how to provide high-quality learning under the currently restricted conditions.

The Aurora Spring Academic meeting is a follow-up to the Aurora Community building event of January 28th, 2019, focusing on the same domains.

The Spring meeting is an event in the Aurora Alliance European University programme, which aims to strengthen the way in which Aurora students are equipped with the skills and mind-sets to act as social entrepreneurs and innovators in addressing societal problems.

The Event

The Spring Academic meeting aims at academic who feel attached to the following domains:

  1. Sustainability & Climate Change
  2. Digital Society & Global Citizenship
  3. Health & Well-being
  4. Culture: Diversity & Identity
  5. Social Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

The Spring event is organised mostly in parallel strands for each of the domains to meet. There will be ample time in the programme to freely discuss topics of mutual interest – in education, research, or otherwise. The core of the programme will be sessions on two key challenges in higher education with the current restrictions:

  • How are we as academic teachers finding our way from high-quality analogue (or offline) to digital (or online) education,
  • How can we continue to provide our students with a meaningful international experience, particularly in the pandemic and post-pandemic context,

Topics and tools

The Aurora Spring Academic event is an excellent opportunity to find out how your university’s participation in Aurora can be valuable to you: as a platform to meet with peers, find out how you can learn from and with each other, learn about the tools Aurora is developing to support the member universities in providing academically excellent and societally relevant education.

In the sessions, you will have the opportunity to discuss what you see as the most pressing issues in these two key challenges – and how these can be addressed.

With the maintenance of quality in virtual education, there will be specific attention to higher education’s value beyond the subject-related knowledge and skills.

With continued international dimensions with less physical mobility, there will be specific attention on tools and platforms for virtual mobility and online joint courses. Please take a look at the table below for the full proposed schedule:

Spring Academic Meeting Programme
Proposed Programme

The Aurora Spring Academic event will be hosted on the Gatherly platform, which allows you to freely move and chat with participants in groups of two’s or three’s or more.

Info-desks

Before and after the sessions, you may visit info desks on the various tools and platforms developed in the Aurora European University Alliance programme; see below under the programme description.

You can stop by the info desks of your interest and get in touch with the colleagues involved.

Take-aways

So what can you expect as takeaways from this event?

  1. Meet, discuss and arrange follow-up contact with peers on your issues and concerns in the transit from analogue to high-quality digital education and/or students’ international opportunities
  2. Find out about existing good practices in high-quality digital education and virtual international experience
  3. Learn about useful Aurora tools and platforms for these challenges and meet the experts who can help you use them.

To register for the Aurora Spring Academic Meeting, please sign up here

Follow this page for more updates on the event. A pdf containing the full program for the event can be found using the following link: Aurora Spring Academic Meeting – Moving from Analogue to Digital with Quality- How Do We Do That