aurora network logo



The Aurora Universities Network is an association, incorporated under Dutch law, and registered in the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce under number 67476384.

The overall objective of Aurora is to support its members in pursuing their shared mission of matching academic excellence with societal relevance.

General council

Aurora has a general council which consists of the rectors/presidents of the Aurora universities – or their formal representatives. The general council meets twice a year. Around these statutory meetings, the more encompassing Aurora Biannual meetings have evolved.


Aurora has a Board of three rectors/presidents, which is charged with the management of the association.

The first board – starting October 2016 – was composed of:

  • VU Amsterdam president Jaap Winter, president
  • UEA president David Richardson, treasurer
  • UGA president Lise Dumasy, member

As Jaap Winter resigned as president of VU Amsterdam, he also resigned as Aurora president.

Since November 2017, the board composition is:

  • UEA president David Richardson, president
  • UGA president Lise Dumasy, member
  • U Iceland rector Jón ATli Benediktsson, member



Aurora work in progress

Institutional coordinators

Each Aurora university has an “institutional coordinator” who monitors the Aurora activities in their own institution as well as in the network. At some universities, this role is shared:

VU Amsterdam: Esmee Paques (

University of Iceland: Friðrika Harðardóttir (

University of Gothenburg: Karolina Catoni (

University of East Anglia: Richard Harvey (

University of Duisburg-Essen: Petra Günther (

University of Bergen, Margaret Hagen and Björn-Einar Aas (

University of Antwerp: Piet van Hove and Elise Bauwens (

University of Aberdeen: Margaret Ross (

Universityé Grenoble Alpes: Jérôme Gensel ( and Sabine Sainte-Rose

Communication officers

Aurora has a dedicated communications officer at each member. The group of Aurora communications officers is chaired by UEA communications’ director Andrew Stronach (

Thematic and project groups

Aurora has broad thematic groups – reflected in the ‘activities page‘ and more specific and time-bound project groups – reflected in the ‘projects page‘.


Aurora office

The Aurora network is support by a small central office consisting of 3 part time collaborators: