‘Sustainability’ was the overall theme at this year’s 4EU+ Annual Meeting that took place at the University of Copenhagen on 26-28 October.
How can 4EU+ foster research collaboration on climate-related issues? How can 4EU+ give students ‘green skills’? How can we improve the alliance collaboration making it closer and more viable? These were some of the questions that were discussed during the 4EU+ Annual Meeting 2022 under the theme “Sustainability – an ever closer alliance”.
In his opening speech, Rector Henrik C. Wegener from the University of Copenhagen compared the 4EU+ community with pioneers:
“We are at the forefront of establishing the European Education Area towards a European single market for knowledge. In my opinion, we are doing this because we, as public universities, have a deep wish to contribute to society by developing the European higher education system. But more importantly, we are doing it because we believe that together we may be able to offer more and better education to our most important stakeholders: the students”, Rector Henrik C. Wegener said.
During the Annual Meeting, Rector Henrik C. Wegener took over the alliance chairmanship from Rector and Professor Bernhard Eitel from Heidelberg University. In the year to come, Henrik C. Wegener will lead the Governing Board and set the direction of the alliance.
Henrik C. Wegener’s goal for the chairmanship is to support the 4EU+ alliance in becoming viable and less dependent on external funding over the next four years:
“The 4EU+ alliance should be independent of the European Commission and sustainable in itself. This requires a long-term strategy. It’s up to us to deliver the strategy and that will be my focus during the University's presidency in the year ahead”, Rector Henrik C. Wegener says.
To inspire the coming work in the alliance, Professor Lars Tønder from the University of Copenhagen gave an inspirational talk about sustainable collaboration. He also facilitated a panel debate between the seven rectors about how the alliance can develop a sustainable strategy. The rectors gave their view on challenges and possibilities in the coming years, both locally at their own university and for the alliance.
The third day of the Annual Meeting was mainly characterised by meetings in the alliance’s four flagships and working groups. The entire event was concluded with a PhD cup where six PhD students, whose research focuses on sustainability, competed on how to best communicate their PhD project.
The winner of the PhD cup was Eliska Selinger from Charles University.
Around 175 representatives from the 4EU+ members participated in the Annual Meeting. Other participants included representatives from the Polish, German, Czech, Swiss and French embassies attended as well as Danish representatives from the educational field.
© Nikolai Linares