New strategies and discussion at AURORA Network biannual meeting
In addition to the ongoing work of the network members in its key priority issues, the May 2018 plenary session focused on the societal impact of research, new opportunities for European university networks, and democracy and universities.

Strategic Development Goals and Engaged Research

Taking the United Nation’s sustainable development goals and EU’s societal challenges as a framework, Aurora’s working group on the societal impact and relevance of research has developed a new bibliometric analysis of Aurora members’ research.

The project attempts to measure not just the volume or prestige of research, but its real contribution to pressing societal challenges. The analysis also provides information which can lead to new and more effective research collaboration among network members. Project chair Maurice Vanderfeesten of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam presented the project’s methods and results of the analysis.

Democracy and the University

A lively panel discussion explored the idea of University democracy. Discussion covered a wide range of approaches to the issue: panelists explored models of shared governance and university leadership selection, the question student involvement in institutional decision-making, and the role of the university in forming engaged citizens with a wider democratic society. Also addressed were the effects of massification and market forces on higher education.

New Opportunities for European University Networks

In a September 2017 speech, President Emmanuel Macron of France called for high quality, European university cooperation. The European Commission is also planning incentive funding to promote such cooperation in higher education across Europe.

In order to respond strategically to these new external circumstances, Aurora invited Senior Policy Coordinator Thomas Ekman Jorgensen of the European University Association (EUA) to address the plenary session. Making the most of his expertise, the membership engaged in a discussion of possible directions to match Aurora’s goals with new European priorities.

Published on May 17, 2018
Updated on May 17, 2018