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2021: a challenging, yet special year


2021 was a very special year for me as President of the University of Bremen, as our young university celebrated its 50th anniversary in the midst of the pandemic. I am proud and grateful that we managed to celebrate with a variety of (virtual) events such as lectures, workshops, science shows, guided city tours, and a big exhibition, but also with a reception at Bremen Town Hall on the historic date of the university’s establishment.

The EU Commissioner for Research, Mariya Gabriel, joined us by video message. To mark the University’s 50th anniversary, the annual YUFE Alliance meeting was held in Bremen too. Among others, political representatives of the respective YUFE regions attended – including Bremen’s Mayor and the Bremen Senator for Science.

Furthermore, in September, my term as President of YERUN came to an end after two years. It was a time of intensive networking, ambitious ideas, and valuable cooperation with the members of our Young European Research Universities Network. 

My term of YERUN presidency happened to fall during a special and challenging time. The global pandemic confronted us with unprecedented obstacles. COVID-19 changed our way of living, working, teaching, researching, cooperating, and communicating.

Nevertheless, I felt that we grew through this experience and learned to adapt our network to unusual circumstances. We explored possibly even more dynamic ways of communication and working together. When I look back at our countless activities during the past two years, I see a very efficient and productive collaboration.

I strongly believe that YERUN will continue to grow and settle in its role as the voice of young research universities. Moreover, we will establish ourselves as a platform to connect, create synergies, and stimulate ideas. I am proud that the University of Bremen is part of it and I am glad that I could serve as President.

Cover photo: Professor Bernd Scholz-Reiter, President of the University of Bremen and former President of YERUN. Copyright: Matej Meza / Universität Bremen

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