7 October 2021
The Unite! Steering Committee met for the first time in-person in 20 months
The gathering was held on the 5th and 6th of October, at Politecnico di Torino (PoliTo) in hybrid format.The meeting at PoliTo was the ground for the discussion of key topics such as the possible future enlargement of Unite! from 7 to 9 partners. Moreover, soon the whole Unite! Community will also gather in Barcelona for the 4th Unite! Dialogue.

The prolonged COVID-imposed phase of online meetings didn’t wear out Unite!’s determination to play an active role and to have an impact on the Transformation Agenda of Europe’s Higher Education Institutions. If anything, hard times have consolidated the bonds matured among Unite! Partners during the last two years of joint activities.

Under those auspices, the meeting of the Unite! Steering Committee was held at (PoliTo) in hybrid format on the 5th and 6th of October 2021. After the welcome by the PoliTo rector, Guido Saracco; the PoliTo Key Liaison Officer (KLO) for Unite!, Roberto Zanino, did the honors of the house; and hosted hisfellow KLOs Jana Freihöfer (TUDa); Katrina Nordström (Aalto); Brigitte Plateau (Grenoble-INP); Mirko Varano (KTH); Luis Castro (ULisboa); and Juan Jesus Perez (UPC); together with Unite! Secretary General Andreas Winkler (TUDa), as well as other Vice Rectors/Presidents and invited guests from all 7 partner Universities.

At the end of the meeting, Roberto Zanino declared:
These are exciting times for Unite!, which is one month shy of its 2nd anniversary and one year away from completing the initial 3-year pilot phase of its Erasmus+ project. Indeed, Unite! is preparing to face the challenge of the forthcoming call towards a 4+2 years extension of the alliances, expected to be launched by the European Commission before the end of 2021, when also the 3-year Unite! H2020 project will complete its first year of activities. The meeting at PoliTo was the ground for the discussion of key topics ranging from student involvement in Unite! to the development of a Unite! 2030 vision. The latter includes the possible future enlargement of Unite! from 7 to 9 partners, as suggested by the European Commission, aimed at increasing the impact of the European University Alliances on the European Higher Education and Research Areas, a topic on which the SC decided to proceed with informal exploratory talks with a shortlist of potential future partners. The meeting also allowed to finalize the program of the upcoming 4th Unite! Dialogue, which will take place in hybrid format at UPC Barcelona at the end of November 2021, with a broad participation expected from PoliTo.”