Aurora officially launched Friday 21st October 2016.
Invited guests, University presidents, faculty and students from the Aurora founding members gathered in Amsterdam at the Vrije Universteit campus to celebrate the official launch of the Aurora network.
Leading up to the much-anticipated launch of Aurora a series of workshops took place to identify common ground, challenges and opportunities across a number of core themes including: 'Inclusion and diversity', 'Digital Worlds', 'Internationalisation', 'Human Life and Health', 'Research Impact' and 'Student's perspective'.
Bringing together academic and student leaders alongside knowledge experts from around the network, has already delivered great benefits in coming together as a community of like-minded universities. In Amsterdam each of the workshop themes and their specific outcomes were presented to everyone gathered to celebrate the launch of Aurora. Opportunities to strengthen our collaboration and research have been plentiful and we will continue to explore these in our first year together.
Alongside the development of the themes above, future planned workshops include 'Sustainability', 'Globally Transforming Societies' and 'Innovation in Teaching and Learning'.
In addition to the workshops, a number of communities have been created whereby colleagues from across the partner network can share best practice and combine their efforts to help each other improve in a number of support functions or administrative services. Already running are a Human Resources group, a Bibliometrics group and a Communications group.
Prior to the launch, the president of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and founding president of Aurora, Professor Jaap Winter, said: "What unites us as founding members of the Aurora network is the conviction that there is no trade-off between research excellence by global standards, broad access for students and an inclusive academic environment and societal impact in research, teaching and outreach. We strive to combine these elements in the fibres of the university organisation and culture. Aurora universities share their determination to build a different kind of inclusive university community that fits a more networked generation, that strives to help solve global challenges and provides collaborative space for members to learn from each other, and with each other, to become better in what we aim to do."
With a strong foundation based on the work and commitment from all partners to come together to form a new network alongside the achievements and progress made already, there is a bright future for Aurora.