At the end of November 2022, an extraordinary event unfolded at the University of Iceland, ushering in a new era of collaboration within Aurora and the higher education sector. The kick-off of the Aurora 2030 programme marked a milestone in the journey of the Aurora European University Alliance – a consortium of nine members and four associate universities across Europe. This alliance is a testament to the transformative power of collaboration, co-creation, and social responsibility within academia.
The Aurora 2030 programme, an ambitious chapter in this alliance’s narrative, commenced with immense enthusiasm and a promise of great potential. It embarks on a mission to redefine educational practices, foster social entrepreneurship, and confront societal challenges head-on.
Notably, the University of Iceland has been honoured with the leadership role in this alliance and received a significant grant from the European Commission, amounting to approximately seventeen per cent of the total 14 million Euros. This substantial investment will undoubtedly expedite efforts to revolutionise teaching and learning methodologies and nurture future socially conscious innovators and entrepreneurs.
According to Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland and President of Aurora, the primary goal of the Aurora cooperation is to provide students with an education that cultivates the mindset and proficiencies of social entrepreneurs and innovators, equipping them to tackle society’s most pressing global challenges. Jón Atli Benediktsson made this declaration as he formally kicked off the new phase of cooperation in the University’s Ceremonial Hall.
The Aurora 2030 programme embodies the essence of interdisciplinary approaches in education, research, and social innovation to equip students to address global challenges. It aims to enhance research support, particularly for early-career researchers, through international cooperation and resource sharing. The alliance also seeks to strengthen partnerships with higher education institutions worldwide to foster diverse research and collaborative initiatives, particularly in Central and Eastern Europe. Emphasizing sustainability aligned with the European Union’s 2030 goals and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the programme sets ambitious targets for sustainable education, research, collaboration, and institutional practices, with a focus on creating a sustainable campus.
Let us take a moment to acknowledge this significant milestone. It marks the culmination of past efforts and signifies the dawning of an inspiring new chapter. As we forge into the future, we do so with anticipation and excitement, confident in our collective ability to make meaningful societal contributions through exceptional education.