The Young European Research Universities Network is proud to present its new Strategy 2021-2025!
The Young European Research Universities Network (YERUN) warmly welcomes the publication of the European Commission's Communication “Achieving the European Education Area by 2025”. Such an ambitious Communication certainly comes at a unique moment, as the COVID-19 pandemic and the digital and green transitions are accelerating changes in the European education and training landscapes. Consequently, it seems important to develop new initiatives, foster investment in education and training, and achieve a stronger cooperation between the EU Member States so that all European citizens can benefit from high-quality education and training.
The Young European Research Universities Network (YERUN) warmly welcomes the publication of the Communication “A New ERA for Research and Innovation” and believes in its potential to push the European Research Area forward. In particular, YERUN strongly supports the European Commission’s will to: strengthen the national investments in R&I; further promote Open Science practices; promote diversity and inclusiveness; engage citizens, local communities and civil society; increase the cooperation between higher education and research; and strengthen synergies between EU programmes, including Horizon Europe, Erasmus, European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and private investments.
On 30 September, the European Commission published the Communication on achieving the European Education Area by 2025, along with an updated Digital Education Action Plan. In these forward-looking documents, a new vision is set for the European Education Area to be achieved by a set of ambitious actions and initiatives. We had a look at the areas proposed and saw what YERUN members are already doing on topics such as: making pupils at school passionate about research and STEM, boosting data literacy and Artificial Intelligence, and promoting gender equality, innovative teaching methods and green infrastructures. Furthermore, you will also find some research pieces and dates of key events happening at our members. Enjoy your read!
More than ever, the global Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the true value of excellent research, innovation and education. In the campaign “Seize our common future”, launched in July 2019, fifteen university associations representing more than 800 universities have called for an ambitious long-term EU budget for research, innovation and education to boost efforts to solve the manifold future challenges.
After four months since the beginning of lockdowns across Europe due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, on Monday 6 July YERUN has published a Reflection Paper on The World of Higher Education after COVID-19. The paper is structured in three parts: the first, "What has changed so far", is an overview of the challenges that we have taken stock of across our networks and the solutions identified so far by our members; the second part, "What is coming next" explores three possible post-COVID-19 horizons; the third and last part, "What can we gain", identifies those opportunities coming from this challenging situation that we should not miss.
On Christmas Eve, the European academic community received both a good and a bad ‘gift’: as the EU and the UK finalised negotiations for their future trade relationship it was agreed that the UK will participate in the EU’s research programme, Horizon Europe, but that, unfortunately, it will no longer take part in the future Erasmus programme, which will be replaced by a new UK mobility scheme called ‘Turing’.
December: the time of the year when we take stock of the past twelve months, the lessons we have learnt and what we are looking for in the year to come. For 2020, this exercise is particularly interesting, considered how exceptional this year has been for the entire world. Some YERUN leaders have shared with us their thoughts on the past year with a view to the one that is fastly approaching. The optimism sparked by their words is inspiring, as it shows the will to catch the opportunities that this year has offered us: those linked to increased collaboration, inclusiveness, flexibility, sustainability, social engagement, just to name a few. From the YERUN Brussels Office, we thank them and wish our members and the entire European education, research and innovation community a nice and safe Christmas and a happy new year! Silvia, Chiara, Inês.
The year 2020, a truly unusual year, is coming to an end. Who would have thought last Christmas that a previously unknown virus would disrupt our plans to such an extent?” says Prof. Michael Weber, President of Ulm University in his Christmas speech.
In a little while, 2020 will be behind us. There was no way I could have predicted what was to come a year ago. The corona crisis has overtaken us and is still gripping us. With the start of vaccination, there is hope, but at the same time we know that we are not there yet and that 2021 will also be a difficult year. Despite this, I am optimistic. That optimism stems from my respect for the way students and staff have responded to all the constraints they have faced overnight. What we thought impossible was achieved in a short space of time. From on campus to off campus, from offline to online. Where possible, we have succeeded in having education and research take place in our buildings. Ultimately, the physical encounter is an indispensable part of an academic community.
At Brunel, the safety of our staff, students, visitors and local community continues to be our top priority as we have been through a year in which the teaching, learning and broader experience of our students has differed considerably from those of previous generations.
It has been a turbulent year for universities. However, despite the huge challenges we have faced, many of the outcomes have been positive. This was summed up for me recently when DCU Governing Authority member Sharon McCooey (Head of LinkedIn Ireland) stated that the pandemic has “cemented the crucial role of Universities” in society.