Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is a comprehensive research university, founded in 1880 and aims to contribute to a better world. A world in which justice, humanity, and responsibility for each other and for the world, are central. VU Amsterdam is ambitious in scientific research and education and encourages free and open communication of ideas. The university values academic freedom and independence. This independence is reflected in its name Vrije Universiteit; free from church, state and commercial interests. VU Amsterdam is committed to delivering academic value by developing academic character, embracing diversity and the orientation towards society.

Located at the VU Amsterdam campus in the heart of the Amsterdam business district, VU Amsterdam houses 10 faculties, has approximately 30,000 students of which 3,000 international students, 4,500 staff and offers around 70 international programmes. VU Amsterdam’s education and research are clustered around four interdisciplinary research themes: Governance for Society, Human Health and Life Sciences, Connected World and Science for Sustainability.

At VU Amsterdam, Esmee Paques is the institutional coordinator for Aurora:

University of Iceland

The University of Iceland, founded in 1911, is a progressive comprehensive research university, located in the heart of Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. Great emphasis is placed on strengthening research and educating young people, preparing them for taking an active part in society as well as making their mark on the global community. Currently, there are approximately 15,300 students enrolled, including over 1,500 international students. The University of Iceland is composed of five schools and 26 faculties and offers over 400 different study programs in all major academic disciplines. The University employs a large number of highly qualified academics who are a part of a strong global network within the scientific community. The University of Iceland collaborates with major stakeholders of society, promotes Icelandic culture and history, prioritizes sustainability and diversity, and places a strong emphasis on international collaboration in education and research.

At the University of Iceland, Fanney Karlsdóttir is the primary contact person for Aurora:

University of Duisburg-Essen

Founded in 2003 by the merger of two universities in the cities Duisburg and Essen, the UDE is one of the youngest universities in Germany. Located at the heart of the Ruhr metropolis, the university is like the region: dynamic, ambitious, and ever-changing. In the eleven faculties and four interdisciplinary research clusters – Nanosciences, Biomedical Sciences, Urban Systems, and Transformation of Contemporary Societies – the scientists develop ideas with a future. The university deliberately interlocks research and teaching as much as possible to promote exchange of knowledge and perspectives.

At the two campuses at Duisburg and Essen and at the university hospital, you meet 42,000 students from more than 130 countries. The university embraces diversity and strongly supports exchange and collaboration, both regionally – as with the neighbouring universities in the University Alliance Ruhr – and worldwide, as in the network Aurora, and with more than 250 Erasmus partner universities.

At the University of Duisburg-Essen, Petra Günther is the institutional coordinator for Aurora:

University Federico II of Naples

Founded by the emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Frederick II in 1224, the University Federico II is the world’s oldest state-supported institution of Higher Education and Research. Based in Naples, the University is rooted in a challenging and lively socio-economic context and aims at bridging southern Italy to the global scientific community. The University Federico II committed to its public mission, and its laic and pluralistic vocation, supports the independence, openness and inclusivity of teaching, learning and research.

As a comprehensive public university, Federico II offers high-quality courses in all academic disciplines, at all levels, allowing its students to pursue both intellectual development and the acquisition of professional skills. Federico II is also committed to quality research, societal impact and community engagement. The development of interdisciplinary and innovative teaching, learning and research are, therefore, among its priorities.

At Federico II, fundamental and curiosity-driven research as well as applied and out-put oriented researchers are highly praised, placing the University among the most active Higher Education and Research Italian and European institutions.

At the University Federico II of Naples, Alessandro Arienzo is the institutional coordinator for Aurora:

Universitat Rovira i Virgili

The Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) was created in 1991 by the Parliament of Catalonia. From the very first day, the university’s aim has been apparent: to place knowledge at the service of society to contribute to the social and economic development of the surrounding area, as it gradually transforms over time.

Located approximately 100 km south-west of Barcelona on the Mediterranean coast of Catalonia, the URV trains future professionals under the precepts of European harmonization, as a way of opening doors to a world of work without frontiers. With this aim, we currently provide over 130 different programmes of study in all areas of knowledge and at all levels, courses which are now enjoyed by over 14,000 students, with 34% of our 2,700 postgraduate students being international. The university has a staff of 2,900 members.

The special emphasis that the URV places on research allows it to play a leading role in regional development, especially in those areas that are closely linked to the region’s economic strengths: namely, Chemistry, Energy and New Materials, Nutrition and Health, Wine-making, Tourism, Housing, Heritage and Culture, ICT & Digital Economy.

At the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV),  Joan-Miquel Canals is the Institutional Coordinator for Aurora:

Universität Innsbruck

Founded in 1669, Universität Innsbruck is the largest research and education institution in western Austria, with more than 27,500 students and 5,500 staff and faculty members. Located in the heart of the Alps, Universität Innsbruck is a research university comprising sixteen faculties and 81 departments. Its research activities are organized along eight main research areas, namely physics, mountain regions, cultural encounters – cultural conflicts, scientific computing, molecular biosciences, digital sciences, functional materials science as well as economy, politics and society. Furthermore, interdisciplinary research platforms and research centres shape our research profile, organised in a structure designed to promote inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration among our staff.

International higher education rankings regularly prove that Universität Innsbruck plays a distinguished role as an education and research institution in the European higher education area and enjoys an outstanding reputation in many fields of research. Universität Innsbruck strongly believes that the knowledge it generates is not only meant for the few but should benefit society as a whole.

At Universität Innsbruck, Thomas Baumgartner is the Institutional Coordinator for Aurora:

Palacký University Olomouc

Founded in 1573, Palacký University Olomouc (UP) is the second oldest university in the Czech Republic with a leading position in Central Europe’s social, cultural and economic life. With its 8 faculties and more than 800 accredited study programmes, the university provides quality education in a variety of academic disciplines in both Czech and foreign languages. UP has over 25,000 students and more than 4.000 employees and is highly experienced in lifelong learning programmes, including U3A and university for children. Rooted in its long-standing tradition, UP combines the strengths of educational continuity with modern technological advancements and copious scientific and research activities. It has several international research centres dedicated to excellent research in medicine, natural sciences and humanities and is considered one of the four top universities in the country, achieving significant placements on the international level.  

UP leadership strongly advocates for social responsibility through public outreach and cooperation with the wider community. Thanks to its international research centres, such as Haná Regional Centre for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research, the Regional Centre of Advanced Technologies and Materials, the new Research and Educational Centre of the Faculty of Education and others, the university has both increased its applied scientific output and strengthened collaboration with the corporate sector. The long-term mission of the UP is to promote the involvement of students in all areas of research and to cultivate their critical and creative thinking by providing high-quality education in a broad range of disciplines. Continued Internationalisation of degree programmes as a quality advancement measure is among the key implementation activities of UP’s Strategic Plan.

In 2019, UP was awarded the prestigious Award for Excellence in Internationalisation by European Association for International Education.

At Palacký University Olomouc, Selma Porobic is the Institutional Coordinator for Aurora:

Copenhagen Business School

Copenhagen Business School (CBS) was established in 1917. Today CBS is one of the 8 Danish universities, with more than 21,000 students and 1,500 employees – faculty, PhD-students and administrative staff.

CBS is Denmark’s largest educational and research institution within business administration and economics in a broad sense. The university is committed to providing business-related education programmes and continuing education for the public and, in particular, the private sector.

Programmes are based on a strong and internationally renowned research base that CBS consistently strengthens. CBS has a Center of Excellence, funded by the Danish National Research Foundation, and has received five European Research Council Grants.

CBS is committed to communicating knowledge and new ideas to tomorrow’s business leaders and society. Its main contribution in this field is research and research-based education, and investment in research and high academic standards is crucial to CBS’s contribution to society.

Being a government-financed private institution, CBS receives most of its funding from the government. Government grants to the university sector mainly consist of an activity-based educational grant and a basic research grant that is, in essence, historically determined for each university. As a result, slightly under two-thirds of CBS’s income originates from educational activities. Today CBS is regulated by the Danish Universities Act 2003 under the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Higher Education.

Université Paris-Est Créteil

With 14 faculties, schools and institutes, one observatory and 32 research laboratories, Université Paris-Est Créteil (UPEC) has been active in all fields of knowledge since 1970. Each year, UPEC trains over 42,000 students and working professionals of all ages.

A major player in the dissemination of academic, scientific and technological knowledge, the university offers more than 500 training courses in all disciplines and at all levels. UPEC offers personalized support for all successes, thanks to undergraduate and graduate training, recognition of prior learning and lifelong learning opportunities. Furthermore, the university runs a growing number of apprenticeship programs in order to stimulate entrepreneurship and ease professional integration.

UPEC has built its strategic plan around three strategic orientations: UPEC is an engaged university that encourages and supports all paths of students’ success with dedicated programs. UPEC masters its trajectory and is a university open to the world and its diversity.

At the Université Paris-Est Créteil, Martin Schwell is the Institutional Coordinator for Aurora:

Global Partner

University of Minnesota (USA)

The University of Minnesota is the first Aurora global member university. The University of Minnesota, founded in 1851, is one of the largest and most comprehensive research universities in the world. It is one of only five campuses in the United States with schools of engineering, medicine, law, veterinary medicine, and agriculture. The University of Minnesota is the 14th most active public research university in the U.S. with over $1 billion in annual research spending. Across all five campuses, the University enrolls almost 70,000 students, including 5,400 international students. The University’s mission is threefold: Research and Discovery, Teaching and Learning, and Outreach and Public Service. Through this mission, the University prepares students to live and work in a global society, and partners with people and organizations across the state of Minnesota and the world to engage students, faculty, and staff in addressing society’s most pressing issues. The flagship of the five-campus system is located in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, which is the 16th largest metropolitan area in the U.S.

Associate Partners

Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice (Slovakia) 

Pavol Jozef Šafárik University was established in 1959 as the second classical University in Slovakia. The current structure of P. J. Šafárik University includes five faculties – Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Law, Faculty of Public Administration and Faculty of Arts. More than 7,400 students study at the university, of which 23% are international. The university regards internationalisation as one of its key goals. Therefore, it became a holder of the HRS4R Award and a Euraxess contact point to attract international researchers and students to a greater extent and provide sufficient support.

The Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice is known for its excellent education and research programmes. The university offers education in three primary cycles – bachelor’s, master’s, doctor´s and PhD—studies in various fields, in both Slovak and English languages. Their commitment to cutting-edge research is evident in our collaborations with three science parks in Košice: Technicom, Promatech, and MediPark. They are also a proud member of the Košice IT Valley cluster. 

At Pavol Jozef Šafárik University in Košice, the primary contact person for Aurora is Assoc. Prof. Silvia Ručinská [].

South-West University “Neofit Rilski” (Bulgaria) 

Established in 1976, South-West University “Neofit Rilski” (SWU) is the region’s leading research and education institution. Renowned for its excellence in science and education in Bulgaria and the Balkans, SWU is a prominent classical university in Southeast Europe. A key aspect of SWU’s identity is its international openness, fostering global cooperation and transnational education. This commitment to internationalisation is evident in the transfer of knowledge and innovative practices. Currently, SWU hosts a diverse student body of over 7,000, including students from more than 20 countries, all engaged in various fields of education and science. The university is composed of nine faculties and 42 departments.

SWU is accredited with the highest assessment grade by the National Evaluation and Accreditation Agency, a testament to the quality of the educational service. This accreditation covers 81 bachelor’s and master’s programs after secondary education, 120 Master’s programs after completion of higher education, and 83 Doctoral programs. Training is offered in 30 professional fields, spanning humanities, technical, natural, managerial, social, pedagogical, legal and economic sciences, arts, health care, public health and sports, security and defence, and more. This comprehensive offering positions the university as a leader in the country. Additionally, 14 research centres and over 20 laboratories support the university’s research orientation, ensuring evidence-based teaching.

At South-West University “Neofit Rilski” the Aurora coordinator(s): Prof. Dr. Mariya Stankova (, Stanislav Grozdanov (

University of Tetova (North Macedonia) 

Founded in 1994, the University of Tetova welcomes and is open to all students, teachers, and collaborators. It welcomes individuals who possess intellectual and moral qualities, which they can apply in an academic climate of clearly defined institutional autonomy and academic freedom, to contribute to the development of education, science, and professional development at the university.

The University of Tetova has recently been accepted as a Conference of European Universities member. It is the only public higher education institution that provides qualifications, specialisations, and research in the Albanian language to all people. The academic structure of the University of Tetova encompasses 13 faculties that cover a wide range of disciplines. These faculties offer 65 distinct study programs in total, catering to its student body’s varied interests and career goals. Additionally, the university houses 115 departments, each dedicated to specific areas of study and research. This is complemented by three research centres and institutions, which are integral to the university’s mission of advancing knowledge and fostering innovation. 

At the University of Tetova, the primary contact persons for Aurora are Artan Osmani and [].

V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University (Ukraine)

V.N. Karazin National University Kharkiv, one of the oldest universities in eastern Europe, was established in November 1804 on the visionary initiative of the esteemed educator Vasyl Karazin. Today, the university stands tall, holding the highest position in all Ukrainian rankings among classical universities, and its reputation extends far beyond the borders of Ukraine.

The university has one of the largest university campuses in Ukraine, with 23 Schools and Educational and Research Institutes offering a diverse range of academic programs. These programs train specialists in over 200 majors, covering the whole range of modern classic university education.

Currently, the university is educating 14 139 students, approximately 2,000 international students. During the admission campaign 2023, 4519 new students were enrolled. About 440 full professors, over 1300 associate professors and PhD students work at KKNU. It is ranked among the top HEIs in Ukraine (#671-700).

At V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, the primary contact person for Aurora is Olha Pieshkova (