5 July 2022
Unite! participates in the Campus of European Universities to fuel the future of higher education
The French Presidency invited all alliances to participate in the event to mark the end of the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union, offering the European University Alliances a clear political focus. Unite! followed the invitation with officials of four partner universities and participated actively in sessions.
The Campus of European Universities, took place last thursday 30th of June 2022 at the Palais des Congrès in Versailles. The aim of the conference was to promote the European Universities alliances and transnational cooperation in the fields of higher education, research and innovation. The event happened within the framework of the European strategy for empowering higher education establishments for the future of Europe, and is inspired by the Council Recommendation on “building bridges for effective European higher education cooperation”.
 
The event was made up of two parallel components, which were intended to complement each other:
 
1. Plenaries and workshops allowing for a dialogue between alliances of European universities, Member States, European Commission, and different stakeholders representing the higher education sector and their partners, in order to:

  • Highlight the contribution of European universities as hallmarks of the European model;
  • Strengthen exchanges between alliances to contribute to the European strategy;
  • Support the global dimension of European universities.
     
Brigitte Plateau, participated in the first round table, about “Deepening the European sense of belonging based on shared values”. After the event she shared with us some of her impressions about her participation: 

“The event was very well attended, with a lot of useful informal exchanges between the alliances. It was important, after this period of lockdown, to find the freedom of direct exchanges in a very dense forum. I participated in a round table where I presented the place of students in Unite! and also the EUC initiative.”

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jens Schneider,  took part in one of the thematic workshops for Strengthening the European dimension of higher education, research and innovation, which focused on “Building partnerships with the socio-economic stakeholders”. The discussion aimed to find the best ways to collaborate with the economy, society, culture and politics. Unite! was the only alliance which brought an external partner for this discussion. Jens Schneider invited Alexis Majos from Speedinvest, to push for the understanding that we need a partner-centricity for the further development of our ideas.
 

“As Unite! we very much pushed for the Start-up community and its development. In this context we discussed the idea of a large billion Euros European Venture Capital Fond that the industry has to pay for but can deduct the payments from the taxes and the money is used for the intersection from research to startups". 

2. The “Village of the Alliances”, which was a space dedicated to the presentation of the alliances of European universities (the 41 Alliances selected under the Erasmus+ programme). The Alliances prepared their own exhibition booths to showcase their activities and results, meet with the actors of higher education, research and innovation, as well as representatives of the Member States and the European Commission.
Unite! had a space within the “Village of Alliances”, where Pierre-Nicolas Timsit from Grenoble INP - UGA was representing the alliance and meeting with the various stakeholders present at the event. In his own words: 

It was a nice occasion to proudly display and share Unite!’s achievements, and exchange with other alliances about strategic issues and opportunities, as well as with other actors, such as representatives of HEIs from other continents, and cultural attachés of several French Embassies. Our booth was graced with the presence of the French Minister of Higher education, Sylvie Retailleau, who lingered for some time to speak with Brigitte Plateau, whom she worked with when Brigitte was Director of Higher Education at the Ministry, and Roberto Zanino, both KLOs, respectively for Grenoble INP – UGA and for PoliTO."

From left to right: Brigitte PLATEAU, Grenoble INP – UGA KLO in Unite!, Sylvie Retailleau, the French Minister of Higher education and Roberto ZANINO, PoliTO's KLO in Unite!

Moreover, there was also an institutional visit from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech and Politecnico di Torino. From UPC, the Rector Daniel Crespo and Imma Ribas, the Vice Rector for Quality and Language Policy at Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. From PoliTo, Roberto Zanino Rector's Delegate for PhD Programmes and International University Networks and Carlos Castro, Unite!'s Project Manager at Politecnico di Torino.