Circle U. is officially launched!

Circle U. was among the consortia selected for funding in the second ‘European Universities’ call for proposals. Webinars for rectors and students on 4 November mark the kick-off of the three year pilot project period. 

Student representatives from the universities of the Circle U. European Alliance.

Circle U. consists of seven equally committed universities with a shared goal to strengthen cooperation across the institutions. In the project period, Circle U. will develop and launch a variety of activities and develop collaborative structures that will make Circle U. an inclusive, research-intensive and interdisciplinary European University. In the future, our students will be a part of a European campus with access to more studies and new degrees, and cooperate in new and more flexible ways.

- We know that many of the challenges facing us transcend borders, cultures and disciplines.  Our ambitions reflect this and we are eager to translate these ambitions into action, says Svein Stølen, Rector at the University of Oslo, who coordinates the alliance.

Three years to develop and test new concepts for cooperation

In the project period, Circle U. will develop a pool of Student Led Sustainable Innovation initiatives to strengthen innovation and entrepreneurship; create interdisciplinary thematic Knowledge Hubs that connect academics, students and external stakeholders around major societal challenges; an Open School of Public Governance tying new knowledge and solutions to governance issues and a Think and Do Tank to engage with policy makers to shape the European Education Area. We have identified three thematic Knowledge Hubs for the pilot phase where we can make a substantial impact together: Climate, Global Health and Democracy. 35 Academic Chairs will play an important role in tying activities together across the seven universities.

Students are at the heart of Circle U. 

A key topic at the kick-off webinar for students is how to foster engagement and how to raise awareness. Collaboration with students is at the heart of the alliance, and Circle U. students have been decisive in the development of Circle U. Students will continue to play an important part of the development of Circle U. We are confident that the student led initiatives will result in real world impact.

- Circle U Student Union is created to ensure the students voice and interest in the Circle U. project. Through cooperation we can build bridges and learn from each other to develop the student movement in a European context. This project enables us to build down cultural barriers and find best practices. We are building the future together, says Linnea Alexandra Barberini, ambassador of the Circle U Student Union.

We’re in this for the long run

In the coming six months, staff and students will work on establishing the main structures of Circle U., and get the project up and running. However, the next three years will not only be about structures, procedures and organisational issues. No less important is to continue learning to know each other better and deepening our mutual trust. The aim is to become an open and vivid European University where we share, co-create and empower our students and staff to mobilise knowledge for impact in order to make the world a better place.

- To achieve that goal we must explore, test and learn from our experiences.  As an alliance, we shall be generous, curious and brave. We are in a privileged position from which students, staff and partners from civil society, businesses and the public sector jointly will develop competencies and solutions for keeping Europe and our planet healthy, peaceful, democratic and prosperous. We are in it for the long run, and we look forward to seeing Circle U. develop, Svein Stølen concludes.

Learn more about Circle U.

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Published Nov. 4, 2020 9:45 AM - Last modified Nov. 4, 2020 10:16 AM