The Aurora Universities Network attaches great weight to student involvement, both within universities and as a network. That is why the ‘students engagement´ is one of the four key priority themes of Aurora.
Students are an integral part of the network and aim to be a driving force in shaping and achieving its ambitions. Aurora’s student group consists of two elected student representatives from each university, who collectively decide on student priorities for their own Aurora activities and on student priorities for the network. They are actively involved in the network’s activities and ensure Aurora’s continued student focus. The elected chair of the Aurora student group participates as an observer in the General Council and Board meetings. The Aurora Universities Network offers a unique opportunity for students to exchange experiences and improve the quality of student representation at each university.
Students’ current top priorities for the network are:
- Collaborative Learning – Aurora universities should make their digital learning resources accessible for all Aurora students and staff (see the Open Educational Resources Portal). Staff of different Aurora universities should collaborate in creating education; both for lectures and entire courses.
- Summer school – Use our different cultures, perspectives, and educational specialities for an awesome and inclusive summer programme, including great courses and topical debates on societal issues.
Furthermore, they’re vouching for – and working on the following projects:
The new student president Elísabet Brynjarsdottir has taken the initiative for an Aurora Student Representative Handbook as a tool to help incoming new student representatives to get their bearings in Aurora quickly and efficiently. The Handbook offers information on Aurora’s fundamental character, history, governing structure, working groups as well as the student involvement.
In the context of the Aurora Sports Days (Wednesday, April 24th, Antwerp), a workshop “Aurora collaboration in the domain of Sport” was held with professionals from the sports offices of Aurora member universities on the same day. Heralding the start of the Aurora Sport Days program as part of the PCU Games 2019.
Representatives from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the University of Duisburg-Essen and the University of East Anglia presented their institutions’ sports offices policies and activities. The hosting University of Antwerp presented the Project “STICK” (Sport and Academic Talent Integration Through Exchange Programmes in Hockey), supported by the EU through the Erasmus+ programme. The presentations and discussions were seen as useful forms of exchanging information and experiences.
- Jürgen Schmagold from the University of Duisburg-Essen
- Adam Garford from the University of East-Anglia
- Jan Snellen, Mariëlle Spekreijse and Jolanda Seijger from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
- Peter Verboven from the University of Antwerp
The Aurora Student Council has produced a video on mental health for students. The video features a message from students within Aurora regarding mental health, and the objective is to raise awareness on the matter.
The Aurora Student Council is working on a newsletter which the students would publish. The purpose is to bring attention to the work students are doing, what the network is doing and try to reach and raise awareness about the network amongst other students at our universities.
See under “Innovation of Teaching & Learning”.
The Aurora Student Council will meet at the next biannual to discuss, and form shared students’ expectations and form a plan for student involvement for the next two years. This will also include how the students work within the network and what their priorities are for the next two years, and how they align with the work being done within the network.