Group: For Academics

Amsterdam Aurora Biannual 2019

On October 27th -29th, the 7th Biannual of the Aurora Universities Network was organized by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam at the Griffioen and the university campus. The nine Aurora universities discussed the future of the Aurora Network and specifically the proposed Aurora European Universities Alliance.

This Aurora European Universities programme will be part of the EU funded European Universities initiative which aims to revolutionize the quality and competitiveness of European Higher Education. The biannual consisted of a plenary, a general council meeting, 11 parallel Aurora working groups spread across two days; and also a social program.

During the plenary session, VU associate professor Nana de Graaf interviewed some leaders of key groups in Aurora: on the students’ activities (Elisabet Brynjarsdottir), the Sustainability group (Tavis Potts) and the Diversity group (Karen van Oudenhoven-van der Zee) as well as the groups of vice-rectors for education (Neil Ward), and research (Jon Atli Benediktsson).

At the second part of the plenary session, some tips of the veil of the Aurora Alliance proposal were unveiled and discussed, yielding relevant input on what is currently lacking within the network and how the Aurora Alliance can create an environment including a study experience, career opportunities that Aurora might bring and that is not presently there.

The Biannual saw the third Diversity and Equality award being won by Inserlab during an informal reception at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

The working groups continued on the second day of the biannual. The students, as well as the Aurora communications officers, spread out over the working groups to learn and experience the intergroup dynamics. The day ended with a lunch and an inspiring farewell speech from Aurora Board member and VU Amsterdam President Mirjam van Praag at the new homely and green study space on the second floor of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. This study space is a co-created by the University Library (UBVU) and students to experiment with furniture, decoration, and furnishing.

Next Aurora Biannual: Reykjavik, May 2020 (dates to be announced).

Please view the video and pictures below to re-experience the Amsterdam Aurora Biannual.

Adaptation to Climate Change, Including Societal Transformation

The Research and Innovation Days was the first annual policy event of the European Commission, bringing together stakeholders to debate and shape the future research and innovation landscape.

Aurora has developed a position paper with statements on the future mission area “Adaptation to Climate Change, including Societal Transformation” in order to help shape this mission in view of the European research and innovation program Horizon Europe. Please click the button to find the paper.

Aurora Endorses Open Letter to European Commission R&I

Ecsite, a European network of science centres and museums, invites all organisations carrying out science and research engagement to sign an Open letter to the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Carlos Moedas.

In this Open Letter, Ecsite urges the European Commission to meaningfully engage with citizen and be more ambitious on science engagement. To do so, the Commission should rely on cost-effective actions led by experienced and committed science engagement organisations, all over Europe. A statement from Ecsite:

Despite the mobilisation of the science engagement field in the past years, there is no equivalent of the current ‘Science with and for Society’ (SwafS) strand in the new framework programme, Horizon Europe. The involvement of citizens in the co-creation and co-design of the R&I agenda has nonetheless been made one of the objectives of the programme by the EU Commission. Ecsite strongly supports this co-creation initiative. However, we have identified critical gaps in the citizen involvement strategy as currently planned by the Commission, which is why we are inviting all science engagement organisations to sign an Open letter to the European Commissioner for Research and Innovation, Carlos Moedas.

Through the gesture of signing,  AURORA acknowledges the urgency and supports the initiative. This will allow citizens to participate in the Research and Innovation days taking place in fall this year, as well as to engage them in the full process of strategic planning and programming of Horizon Europe. This is in line with our previous statement of 5 December 2018 

Find the Open letter below. Signing is possible till 27th of June 2019.