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  • Presenting Aurora’s Capacity Development and Eastern Partnership at ACAs “What’s New in Brussels”. 
06. 02. 2023 / 17:33

On the 2nd and 3rd of February, Selma Porobic was invited to ACA’s (Academic Cooperation Association) seminar “What’s new in Brussels? – Recent Developments in European Policies and Programmes”  to share Aurora’s pioneering work on Eastern Partnerships exemplified by its Capacity Development Support (CDS) programme with special focus on its institutional support to the V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University in Ukraine.  

In her session, “Working with Global Regions – Eastern Partnership“, Selma Porobic shared the results and best practices of Aurora’s unique CDS programme in Central & Eastern Europe, and how it was transformed into a tailor-made support scheme to address the needs of the war-affected Aurora associate partner, V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University. These activities set Aurora apart from other European University Alliances.  Since  March 2022, as Ukraine Support Coordinator in Aurora, and in a close collaboration with Karazin’s leadership, she has been fully managing the emergency response as well as designing and implementing the long-term, systemic and institutional support for this partner university in Ukraine, which include fundraising, relocating displaced academics and staff, and joint online education on peacebuilding. More detailed information can be found here.   

In this panel, Selma also introduced the continuation of this engagement in the next phase of the Aurora Alliance’s programme as part of the work package Capacity Building and Community Engagement. During the next four years, another fully dedicated task team, Karazin University Peace Education Hub, led by Palacký University Olomouc, plans to work towards further strengthening of the Karazin University’s capacity for education and training in conflict transformation, and peace building within the wider Kharkiv region.

After two consecutive years online due to COVID, ACAs flagship seminar “What’s new in Brussels?” was this year organized in-person in Brussels, providing a full overview of the latest developments in the European Higher Education Area, with a global perspective.  

The 2023 agenda offered a wide range of high-level panels and gathered various policy advisors, membership associations and European Commission representatives, such as Vanessa Debiais-Sainton, Head of the Higher Education Unit  at the  Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sports and Culture. The sessions addressed the latest trends in the European higher education and research and innovation including the European University Initiative’s policy developments and long-term funding, as well as other areas of European University Strategy like Diversity and Inclusion. Different approaches, opportunities and programmes for global partnerships were also introduced focusing regional collaborations within the Eastern Partnership, Western Balkans, Sub-Saharan Africa & South Mediterranean.