Author: Niels Hexspoor

European Universities Forum at Palacký University Olomouc

On the 1st and 2nd of December, Palacký University Olomouc organises the European Universities Forum. This high-level event, organised in the light of the Czech EU presidency, will provide an opportunity to discuss and assess the role of European Universities Initiative pilot phase in the Czech higher education context and within the European aims of building the Higher Education Area.

This event will be an incubator for new ideas on the mobilisation of universities, in the broadest sense, to promote shared European values and a strengthened identity and also to improve the quality, attractiveness and international competitiveness of Europe’s higher education establishments.

This forum will be opened by the Czech Deputy-Minister for Education and brings together the participating universities from various Member States, the European Commission and, of course, all of the relevant stakeholders, particularly the alliances of European universities.

The two-day programme features:

  • Two high-level panel sessions addressing the priorities of the European Universities’ ambitions
  • Three “Alliance workshops” intended as spaces for exchanging best practices between Czech alliances and their top management focusing on research and education developments, offering initial feedback on their pilot phase to contribute to developing the next steps
  • A closing session, reporting on the panels and thematic sessions to contribute to Czech national and European level on the Future of European universities in Higher Education.

For more information on the event, take a look at euf.upol.cz.

Aurora Student Schemes 2022/2023

This autumn saw the kick-off of the Aurora Student Schemes, in which Aurora Students have the opportunity to sign up for the role of Student Ambassador and Student Champion. Ambassadors get the opportunity to take part in a variety of online and in-person workshops and events, together with other students from across all Aurora Universities, to boost the personal and professional development of the participants.

The role of Student Champion was created specifically for students that want to work on key Aurora topics, in addition to the joint activities provided to Aurora Student Ambassadors. After at least 15 hours of combined participation in the program and the working groups, participants will receive the  Aurora Student Champion certificate.

This year’s programme, led by Palacký University Olomouc, received 100 applications for the role of Student Ambassador. The majority of students that signed up were from the University of Naples Frederico II and the University of Iceland, followed by Duisburg-Essen, Innsbruck and East Anglia.

More information on the Aurora Student Schemes can be found at https://aurora-universities.eu/Aurora-student-schemes/.

Looking back at the International Summer School: Refugee Law & Rights

In support of our Ukrainian partners at V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, the International Summer School Refugee Law & Rights took place between the 15th and 25th of August, in Olomouc. The hybrid school, co-organized and implemented by Palacký University Olomouc and Karazin University, welcomed 24 participants both online and in person.

The participants came from six countries including United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Italy, Luxemburg, and Ukraine. They comprised both undergraduate and postgraduate students of social sciences, mostly from law studies, sociology, and human rights.

During ten dynamic days, the participants followed lectures, engaged in discussions and participated in an extensive evening program, during which the students had a chance to engage with professionals in the field, UNHCR experts, as well as a plenary sessions on Peace Building and Recovery with Karazin University Staff and Peace Education MA student from the University of Innsbruck.

As part of the ongoing Aurora Universities donations and support campaign for Karazin University, the school was able to provide 5 students from Karazin University free of charge online participation, and to engage another 5 university professors and 2 administrative stuff in its organization and full program implementation, alongside the UP and International experts.

A detailed report of the International Summer School on Refugee Law & Rights can be found here.

The full program of the summer school can be found here.

Aurora Student Schemes

We are pleased to announce that you can now apply for the Aurora Student Schemes for the upcoming Academic year 2022/2023. Become part of an international community of students by taking on one of the following two roles:

Student Ambassador

If you want to be a part of an international community of students, the role of Aurora Student Ambassador will be perfect for you.

In this role, you will be given the opportunity to take part in a variety of online and in-person events, together with students from across all Aurora Universities.

You can participate in several international workshops that will boost you personal and professional development. At the end of the year, we will invite you to participate in the Aurora Student Conference, where you will meet your fellow ambassadors.

Student Champion

This role is created specifically for students that want to go the extra mile.  You will directly work on the key Aurora topics, in addition to the joint activities provided to Aurora Student Ambassadors.

If you get at least 15 hours of combined participation in the program and the working groups, you will receive the certificate of Aurora Student Champion.

Program

The program for the student ambassadors and champions will take place between October 2022 to July 2023. In October, a first joint online session will serve as an introduction to the scheme and Aurora in general and you will be given information on the various working groups and activities you could join.

More detailed information on the program for the academic year 2022/2023 will be announced soon!

Application

The application is open from July 1st to September 18th, 2022.

Applying is simple, just sign up through the application form below.

Aurora Student Schemes – Application Form

If you have any questions, you can contact your local Aurora Office, or aurora.up@upol.cz.

 

Student Schemes – Workshops Concept Program

Aurora Student Schemes 22-23 – Flyer

Aurora Student Schemes 22-23 – Poster

Workshop Outcomes – Peace Education for Karazin University, and GRT inclusion in higher education.

On 30 June 2022, two workshops titled ‘Developing a Peace Education Programme for Karazin Kharkiv National University in Ukraine’ and ‘Removing barriers to Higher Education for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers’, were organised and moderated by Dr Spyros Themelis (UEA) and Dr Selma Porobic (Palacky University Olomouc) at the University of East Anglia (UEA). The two workshops, implemented under the framework of the Culture: Identity and Diversity pilot domain were a great success and will produce concrete outcomes in the future.

‘Developing a Peace Education Programme for Karazin Kharkiv National University in Ukraine’

One of the developing features of Aurora support to Karazin Kharkiv National University is peace education programme. Peace education is an emerging field focusing on peacebuilding efforts through education in situations of collective trauma such as war, mass displacement, and genocide. This pedagogy focuses on the creation of safe environments for teachers and students to foster dialogue and reflection by enabling sharing of their own traumatic (and often conflictual) narratives and supporting perspective-taking.

Under the guidance of Dr. Selma Porobić, this workshop brought together 14 experts from over 9 different institutions, and aimed to  explore a collaborative model focusing on the development of peace education programme for Karazin Kharkiv University. During the group discussion two set of questions were addressed. Group A focused on how to develop Peace education (PE) as integral part of general competences for academicians at Karazin, while Group B focused on researching PE in the ongoing war situation in the city of Kharkiv and in the Eastern Ukraine.

Among the most significant outcomes of this workshop, are the establishment of the International Expert team for peace education platform at Karazin University and initial planning of peace education programme including timeline for different components, research methods, staff training and COILs.

Thanks to the SPACE Network, represented in the workshop by Elke Kitzelmann (UIBK), an initial donation was made towards the realization of the Peace Education platform and further Aurora collaborations with Karazin University. In addition, collaborations with UIBK’s new MA Peace Studies program, under prof. Andreas Oberprantacher were initiated as well.  As part of International Summer School in Refugee Law and Rights, co-organized by Palacky University and Karazin University, on August 24th, students from UIBK’s Peace studies  program will engage with Karazin University’s MA students in the plenary session ‘ Prospects for Peace Building, Recovery & Reconstruction.

We look forward to engagement from more Aurora universities. Enquiries about the PE program at Karazin University can be sent to Dr. Selma Porobić, coordinator for Aurora support to Karazin University.

‘Removing barriers to Higher Education for Gypsy, Roma and Travellers’

Gypsy, Roma and Travellers (GRT) are the largest ethnic minority and at the same time the most marginalised in Europe. It is little surprise, therefore, that they are also one of the most, if not the most, underrepresented group in higher education.

This workshop explored the types of barriers facing Gypsy, Roma and Traveller students in accessing Higher Education and experiences of inclusion and exclulsion. In total 15 participants attended the event, including academics, practitioners, reseach students, as well as inclusion leaders in schools and local councils. Participants were of Roma and non-Roma origin and they shared perspectives from a variety of European countries (including Germany, Greece, Iceland,  Sweeden, the Czech Republic, Romania and the UK) and institutional contexts, including, schools, universisties, musuems and local couincils.

One of the outcomes of this workshop, was the decision to create a network of Roma inclusion research in higher education. It was also agreed that this network will aim to map national and international policies of inclusion and examine national and international reports relevant to the topic. Finally, it was agreed that the network will explore the possiblity of setting up courses on Roma education across the Aurora network and more broadly, and work with outreach officers to explore innovative practices on access.

Dr. Spyros Themelis, who led the workshop, will explore options for hosting a face-to-face meeting at the start of the new academic year. If you have any suggestions or would like to get involved, please email Spyros at: s.themelis@uea.ac.uk.

We welcome contributions from across all Aurora universities.