On October 27th -29th, the 7th Biannual of the Aurora Universities Network was organized by the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam at the Griffioen and the university campus. The nine Aurora universities discussed the future of the Aurora Network and specifically the proposed Aurora European Universities Alliance.
This Aurora European Universities programme will be part of the EU funded European Universities initiative which aims to revolutionize the quality and competitiveness of European Higher Education. The biannual consisted of a plenary, a general council meeting, 11 parallel Aurora working groups spread across two days; and also a social program.
During the plenary session, VU associate professor Nana de Graaf interviewed some leaders of key groups in Aurora: on the students’ activities (Elisabet Brynjarsdottir), the Sustainability group (Tavis Potts) and the Diversity group (Karen van Oudenhoven-van der Zee) as well as the groups of vice-rectors for education (Neil Ward), and research (Jon Atli Benediktsson).
At the second part of the plenary session, some tips of the veil of the Aurora Alliance proposal were unveiled and discussed, yielding relevant input on what is currently lacking within the network and how the Aurora Alliance can create an environment including a study experience, career opportunities that Aurora might bring and that is not presently there.
The Biannual saw the third Diversity and Equality award being won by Inserlab during an informal reception at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
The working groups continued on the second day of the biannual. The students, as well as the Aurora communications officers, spread out over the working groups to learn and experience the intergroup dynamics. The day ended with a lunch and an inspiring farewell speech from Aurora Board member and VU Amsterdam President Mirjam van Praag at the new homely and green study space on the second floor of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. This study space is a co-created by the University Library (UBVU) and students to experiment with furniture, decoration, and furnishing.
Next Aurora Biannual: Reykjavik, May 2020 (dates to be announced).
Please view the video and pictures below to re-experience the Amsterdam Aurora Biannual.