Today the University received news that the ENLIGHT partnership is one of several pilot projects to be awarded funding from Erasmus+ to establish a European University. This is pleasing news that gives Uppsala University new opportunities in the sphere of internationalisation. In ENLIGHT, Uppsala University will collaborate with eight other European universities on the theme of sustainable cities. The other member universities, apart from Uppsala, are the universities of Göttingen (Germany), Groningen (The Netherlands), Ghent (Belgium) and Tartu (Estonia), with which Uppsala has pre-existing collaboration, together with the University of Bordeaux (France), the University of the Basque Country (Bilbao, Spain), the University of Galway (Ireland) and Comenius University (Bratislava, Slovakia).

One of the main purposes of the programme is to make it easier for students and teachers to move both virtually and physically between the universities in the network. In time, students will be able to participate freely in courses at all nine member universities so as to customise their own education. Joint virtual courses will be developed and teachers will be able both to plan and conduct courses along with colleagues in the network and to teach students from all nine universities in the same course. We can look forward to exciting endeavours at all levels of the University.

The overall objective on the part of the European Commission is to empower European students to become globally engaged citizens who tackle the great societal challenges. The programme is also intended to enhance the quality, inclusiveness and competitiveness of European higher education and contribute to sustainable economic development in the institutions’ regions. It is good for us to participate in these major initiatives; it teaches us a lot about international cooperation and it puts us in a position to influence developments and contribute by our own strengths, such as student influence in education.

The consortium has jointly identified five challenges linked to the theme of sustainable cities for the activities in the pilot project to focus on: health and well-being, the role of AI in sustainable societies, the impact of climate change on regional ecosystems, energy use and the circular economy, and equity and diversity. ENLIGHT will give students, teachers, researchers and staff new opportunities to gain international experience, and to jointly develop international cooperation linked to sustainable cities. 

This announcement means that for the next three years we will cooperate actively in areas such as challenge- and collaboration-driven interdisciplinary education, virtual cooperation and exchange, and flexible course and learning modules. ENLIGHT will work closely with local and regional communities to create ambitious, flexible network-wide curricula, rooted in current research and focusing on innovation.

ENLIGHT will initially run for a three-year period with a budget of EUR 5 million, but if the project turns out well, it will be possible to seek more extensive funding lasting until 2030 and subsequently also to 2050. 

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