The Palacký University in Olomouc has played host to representatives of the Aurora alliance universities to discuss the future of higher education and research in Europe
The Universitat Rovira i Virgili took an active part in the Aurora Biannual Autumn Meeting at the Palacký University of Olomouc in the Czech Republic on 16, 17 and 18 October. The representatives of the member universities of the Aurora alliance discussed the future of higher education in Europe with special emphasis on sustainability.
The programme included plenary sessions, expert panels, thematic debates and parallel activities, which served to consolidate the links between the universities in the alliance, bring the first phase of the project to a close and make progress on the joint projects. They have all signed the research collaboration agreement, which will facilitate cooperation between researchers and the sharing of scientific resources.
Representatives of European higher education and experts in sustainability and innovation took part in the various sessions, one of which was a talk by Marina Vives, from the URV’s International Centre, on COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) for virtual education and cultural exchange. John Style, lecturer at the URV’s Department of English and German Studies and one of the main driving forces at the beginning of Aurora took part in a round-table discussion on competency frameworks.
The active participation of the student body was another distinctive feature of this edition, with speeches by the president of the Aurora Student Council, Hanuš Patera. Xènia Roviralta, the URV’s representative on the Council, also attended.
The rector of the Palacký University, Martin Procházka, opened the meeting. In addition to pointing out that the meeting was intended to tie in with the celebrations of the 450th anniversary of the University of Olomouc, he also emphasised the success of the partnership in its pilot phase and the recognition of the European Commission.
The rector of the University of Iceland and president of the Aurora alliance, Jón Atli Benediktsson, also spoke. He recalled that in 2016, when the first meeting was held in Amsterdam, Aurora did not even have a name. Now, after fifteen meetings, Benediktsson said that he was very happy that this edition was part of the University’s anniversary celebrations.
The programme closed with a farewell ceremony which made a positive assessment of the meeting and emphasised the Aurora alliance’s continued commitment to excellence in higher education and research.