Aurora submitted new EUI proposal with University of Iceland as lead

8 February 2023

Aurora submitted its new EU funding proposal under the European Universities Initiative. After successfully managing the first three years of the Alliance, the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is staying on as co-lead, and the University of Iceland will take the lead role in the Aurora Alliance.

The bid will extend Aurora’s commitment to positively impact society through its main priorities: teaching and learning for societal impact, engaging and collaborating through inclusive communities, being pioneers in sustainable endeavours, and providing excellent challenge-based research and innovation support. Together, the partners will continue to deliver on the joint mission and vision of equipping students with social entrepreneurial skills and mindsets, building on the results achieved in the first phase.

Leading up to the submission were many months of intense preparation and consultation with the entire Aurora community under the lead and coordination of the Aurora Central Office. At the start of these activities, a deliberate decision was made to ask the experts in their fields to develop plans for what they hoped to achieve in the next four years of funding for Aurora. The ambitions of the experts, in close collaboration with the Institutional Coordinators of the Aurora partners, resulted in an ambitious work programme. This programme of work is based on three main objectives:

  1. Equip students and staff with the skills and mindset to become social innovators, changemakers and entrepreneurs;
  2. Foster academic collaboration and community building to build a long-term Aurora identity; and
  3. Collaborate with external stakeholders and deepen student’s engagement in education, research and outreach.

Mirjam van Praag, President of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, said:

So far, it has been a pleasure to lead the alliance through the start-up phase of the first bid with various initiatives for Aurora staff and students that we really can be proud of. I am very confident in continuing our collaboration with the University of Iceland as the lead.”

Jón Atli Benediktsson, President of the University of Iceland and newly re-elected President of the Aurora Network, expressed how pleased he was:

“After seeing the hard work and dedication of the staff and students at our universities, I am confident that the Aurora collaboration will grow and create more opportunities for our students, faculty, and the greater community”.

From 2020-2023, Aurora has been part of the 44 European University Alliances co-funded under the Erasmus+ programme led by VU Amsterdam. The Alliance provides multiple opportunities for students, staff, and academics to engage in each other’s inclusive university communities. The project has already reached 80% of its deliverables—with only a few more to be completed before November 2023. In July 2022, the project received a glowing review from the European Commission as having made remarkable progress that can serve as a model of what is possible to achieve as a European University Alliance.

If you want to participate in Aurora, head on over to the virtual campus and, sign up for courses, events, training and read the many resources available.