UP in prestigious alliance with EU universities for social responsibility and sustainability

Reproduction: UP Žurnál
Tuesday 14 July 2020, 9:20 – Text: (eds)

Social responsibility, sustainability, digitalisation, cultural diversity. These and other key issues will be addressed by Aurora, an alliance of nine universities from across Europe. Palacký University Olomouc is also a member of this prestigious project, approved and supported by the European Commission on July 9.

Universities that have decided to join the Aurora network will focus in the coming years not only on sharing their students, experts and expertise, but also on close cooperation with private, public, and civic organisations. The aim is to direct joint activities and future graduates towards an innovative approach to the issue of sustainable development and social responsibility in various forms. Emphasis will be placed on such regional development that could be easily integrated into larger European structures and systems.

“The issue of social responsibility and sustainable development is one of the key visions of our university for the coming years. I am therefore extremely happy that Olomouc managed to be included in such a prestigious university project. Cooperation with like-minded European partners will help us to develop our science, excellence in research, and society more effectively; it has the potential to advance our university to the European level in so many areas,” said UP Rector Jaroslav Miller.

Other members of the Aurora alliance include the University of Iceland in Reykjavík, the University of East Anglia in Norwich, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Rovira i Virgili University in Tarragona, the University of Duisburg-Essen, the University of Innsbruck, Copenhagen Business School in Copenhagen, and the University of Naples Federico II. In addition to the aforementioned objectives, the key elements of joint cooperation will also include modernising educational approaches and strengthening the balance in European education, research, and innovation. That is also why universities in Western, Central, and Southern Europe are represented in the alliance, while other Central and Eastern European universities have been assigned to the Aurora alliance as partners.

“Our membership in Aurora is positive for us not only in terms of social responsibility and sustainability, but also in terms of strengthening internationalisation. The development and deepening of the international environment at UP is part of our main strategy, and such a form of cooperation facilitates it all the more,” said Martin Kudláček, UP Vice-Rector for International Relations. Outstanding results in internationalisation were one of the reasons why UP was awarded the prestigious prize of the EIAE 2019 European Association for International Education.

A more comprehensive strategy and plans of the Aurora University Alliance will be presented in the coming weeks and months on the official website. Aurora raised interest among the members of expert jury in the second call of the European Universities initiative, for which 62 potential university alliances applied. The European Commission has selected 24 of them. Last year, 17 alliances succeeded. The project of university alliances is financially supported by the Erasmus+ and Horizon 2020 programmes.