Aurora is defined by both the shared values of its members and by the activities they undertake. Aurora started with the launch of the network in 2016. In the first phase of our collaboration, Aurora strategically prioritised maximising societal impact of research, strengthening diversity and inclusion, and using student engagement to drive innovation in teaching and learning. This resulted in a doubling of student and staff mobility across Aurora and a doubling of levels of research-based collaboration between members.
Aurora received a significant boost in 2020 when it became one of the 41 European University alliances. As such, we receive financial support from the European Commission through the Erasmus+ and the Horizon2020 Programme. The Aurora European University programme is the result of the shared ambition and endeavour of our students, academics, university leaders, and administrators.
Aurora graduates will be willing – and able – to bring value to society. They can contribute to solving society’s problems in a socially entrepreneurial and innovative way. Through the programme, we will help them develop the competences that allow them to make an impact and a difference in the world.
The Aurora vision is reflected in the four domains of the programme:
We want our student population to reflect as much as possible our rich and diverse societies. We aim to offer each student, regardless of background, a meaningful international experience. In all the different work areas of the Aurora European University programme, we aim to enhance the student experience.
For a brief overview of the different work areas of the Aurora European University programme, see below:
We will develop and implement a framework of general academic and personal competences, supported by progressive performance descriptors, to ensure students become social entrepreneurs & innovators.
Improve and extend the use of service-learning and international internships as specific Aurora pedagogical methods contributing to skills/values development.
Train academics and support staff in the use of service-learning and internships to enhance the development of students’ skills, attitudes, and behavioural intentions.
Make our student population reflect the talent in the communities we serve, without under-representation of any groups in our population.
Create an Aurora Education Area with ease of mobility for all.
Set up the Aurora Open Educational Resources platform.
To understand and overcome mobility and recognition obstacles students may encounter in their mobility across Aurora.
Open existing language-learning opportunities to Aurora students and staff.
Test and implement our innovations in competences, mobility opportunities, and addressing the SDG perspective in all programmes in the four domains: Sustainability & Climate Change; Digital Society & Global Citizenship; Health & Well-being; and Culture: Diversity & Identity.
Systematically equip and support academics in teaching for societal impact in areas such as skills & mindset, international experience, diverse classrooms and addressing the SDGs.
Strengthen the evidence base of Aurora education with big data analysis.
Through the European Universities Initiative, the European Commission has presented an ambitious long-term vision to build the universities of the future. The European Universities Initiative aims to equip a new generation of Europeans, willing and able to work together on the biggest societal challenges, in different languages, and across borders, sectors and academic disciplines.
The European Universities Initiative may bring about structural, systemic and sustainable change in two ways:
Deepening the way universities pursue their missions in education, research and innovation while making service to society central to their missions; and
Allowing the participating universities to serve as role models for other higher education institutions in Europe, create a strong positive impetus for transformation across the entire sector.