Group: For students

Study Together Online | StudeerSamen

To help support our students and teachers during these difficult times, StudeerSamen seeks to bring online educational support to the foreground.

StudeerSamen (Study Together) started as an initiative at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam to address the increasing study pressure and burnout rate among students. In the academic journey, it is essential to make study support more accessible and flexible for students. In doing so, they create an environment whereby students at the university can more easily share their acquired knowledge and experience with other students.

By making online educational support more accessible, StudeerSamen helps universities to facilitate education during these challenging times. The platform helps students to get in touch with each other to make educational support possible. Students are able to use StudeerSamen to find a study buddy and contact them to arrange a buddy session online. The platform of StudeerSamen is now also available to all universities of the Aurora network. University students can sign up free of charge by clicking the button below to support a fellow student.

StudeerSamen aspires to expand its contribution to education at universities further. Therefore, they look forward to working more closely with partner universities. Interested? You may reach out at partner@studeersamen.nl.

Impact of COVID-19 on Erasmus+ Webinar

The current pandemic COVID-19 poses severe implications on worldwide student mobility, especially for Erasmus+ students.

The Erasmus Student Network and European Students’ Union hosted a Q&A Webinar to discuss the implications of COVID-19 for international students. Both organizations had a chance to address questions to the European Commission regarding the challenges international students are facing due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Guests of the webinar included Oana Dumitrescu and Elena Tegovska from the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education and Culture (DG EAC), as well as representatives from the Erasmus+ National Agencies of Italy and Germany.

The recording of the webinar, as well as the transcription, are available by clicking here.

Aurora becomes Endorsing Partner Network of the SDG Accord

The Aurora Sustainability Group has identified the SDG Accord, an initiative of the Global Alliance, as a light-touch way for Aurora members to show their commitment to the SDGs and report on their work regarding the SDGs.

The SDG Accord is administered by the Environmental Association for Universities & Colleges [EAUC] and endorsed by the UN’s HE Sustainability Initiative.

The SDG Accord invites institutions to sign up (at the most senior level) to a series of commitments around the SDGs and, as part of those commitments, to compile a light touch report. Those reports are aggregated annually across the global HE/FE sector and presented to the UN. They demonstrate the scale of the impact of tertiary education against the SDGs. As of May 2019, over 110 institutions from 80+ countries had officially signed. The Board acknowledges that Aurora institutions are all at different places in their SDG journey.

We believe that signing the SDG Accord provides a clear, unambiguous baseline commitment that we should all be able to support. Therefore, we invite you to sign the Accord as a shared, collective and demonstrable public commitment to the SDGs. Meanwhile, as a sign of support, we have become an Endorsing Partner Network.  The University of Aberdeen, the University of East Anglia, the University of Naples Federico II, the University of  Rovira i Virgili, University of Innsbruck and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam have all signed the Accord.

Simultaneously, the Aurora Student Council has requested the Aurora Board that the member universities of the Aurora Universities Network declare a climate emergency.

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.