UNIC has won a European University grant from the European Commission. UNIC offers an alliance of eight universities from eight European countries: University of Deusto (Spain), Ruhr University Bochum (Germany), University College Cork (Ireland), Koç University (Turkey), University of Liège (Belgium), University of Oulu (Finland), University of Zagreb (Croatia) and Erasmus University Rotterdam (coordinator, the Netherlands.
The universities are connected by a unique identity as universities in post-industrial cities and contributing to often complex post-industrial transitions. The joint mission is to promote mobility, inclusion and impact. UNIC aims to foster a new generation of students who have knowledge and the skills to create societal impact not just within their own university and city but on a European level.
More inclusion in European higher education
Being situated in post-industrial settings, the UNIC universities have relatively many non-traditional students, such as students who are the first from generations to go to university, amongst whom students with a migration background. Together, the universities can make a unique contribution to better and more inclusive higher education in Europe. Also based on existing research collaborations, a Superdiversity Academy will be developed to strengthen the exchange of knowledge and experience on inclusive education.
New forms of collaboration and mobility
One of the goals of UNIC is to stimulate the mobility of students and staff between the universities. This does not only involve student exchanges and new joint programs, but also a virtual UNIC campus in which interactive technologies are used for hybrid forms of collaboration between already existing programs. “Over the past months we have all developed a lot of experience with how to collaborate remotely while using interactive technologies; our proposal was well prepared for this new reality, and tries to further develop these tools to enable students to have a unique European study experience”, according to the coordinator of UNIC, Prof.dr. Peter Scholten.
Impact on post-industrial urban transitions
The universities do not only enter a collaboration amongst each other, but also with the 8 cities in which they are situated. With research and teaching, UNIC seeks an active role in the broader transitions of post-industrial cities; UNIC seeks to connect research, teaching and the cities. Amongst others, a network of CityLabs will be developed, with students, researchers and the cities collaborating on themes such as economics, health, mobility and diversity.
Together with students
UNIC has been developed together with students from the various universities. The students are a key source of inspiration for the various activities of UNIC. “UNIC gives us the opportunity to collaborate with students from all over Europe and to learn from each other. This helps us as UNIC students to be ready for the often very complex societal transformations ahead of us, such as inclusion”, according to student representatives Imane and Teun from UNIC.
More information; www.unic.eu.