UEA students will get the chance to make their voice heard on a continental stage as a Student Champion, as the Aurora Network celebrates its fourth anniversary.
Wednesday 21 October marks the date in 2016 when the Aurora Network, a community of research-intensive universities from across different European countries, formed. The network features universities in cities including Naples, Amsterdam and Copenhagen.
The Aurora Network has four key aims: improving diversity and inclusion; developing the societal impact and relevance of research; amplifying the student voice and promoting innovative teaching methods.
The launch of the new Aurora Student Champion Scheme gives an opportunity to students to represent and give something back to their student community, as well as create a more sustainable future for UEA and other members of the network.
The scheme is the initiative of Callum Perry, Undergraduate Education Officer in uea(su).
Callum said: “I’m really pleased to see the scheme come in to fruition, helping Aurora to engage more students across its work. It’s been created to ensure that there is effective student engagement in the alliance task teams, an increased awareness of what’s important for Aurora, and to increase opportunities for students to get involved in some really key themes that are important to students too.”
The project is looking for ten UEA Student Champions to collate evidence during the academic year on values that are important to them, to inform the network about how its work can positively impact future generations of students at UEA.
Champions will get to partner up with a student from another Aurora university, whether Spain, Germany, Iceland or elsewhere (you can find a full list of Aurora Network universities at the bottom of this article), use a number of transferable skills and receive an Aurora certified reference on completion of the scheme.
More information on Aurora Student Champions can be found on the Aurora website, and students have until Friday 11 November to apply.
In the four years since its inception, the Aurora Network has allowed UEA to deepen study abroad exchange partnerships across the nine European partner countries over the past four years, during a time period when movement across Europe has become more difficult.
These partnerships have allowed greater options for students across the network, and has increased opportunities for UEA students to undertake both traditional and short course mobility, with fees waived based on the Aurora partnership.
Academically, research connections have expanded across a range of important themes, including sustainability, inclusivity and internationalisation. These pan-European discussions create a more diverse conversation and two-way knowledge and best-practice sharing, resulting in better synergies between the partner institutions.
Earlier this year, seven of the Network partners became the recipient of a €10m pledge from the EU to form the Aurora Alliance, which further cemented the relationship and commitment to sharing ideas and resources between the establishments.
Vice-Chancellor Professor David Richardson said: “The focus of our collaborations continues to deepen and expand, and it’s so exciting as Vice-Chancellor of one of the originating universities to see how these partnerships have developed over a relatively short period of time.
“At the heart of everything we do of course is our students – and so I’m delighted to celebrate our birthday by announcing the latest of the Aurora Student Councils’ initiatives.
“The Aurora Student Champions Scheme gives our collective student community opportunities to get involved in the heart of the very ethos for which we unite, working collectively with other Aurora students, and staff, on themes that matter.”
The full list of the universities in the Aurora collaboration is : University of Iceland; University of East Anglia, UK; VU Amsterdam, Netherlands; University Rovira, Virgili, Spain; University Duisburg-Essen, Germany; University of Innsbruck, Austria; University of Naples, Italy; University of Aberdeen, Scotland; Université Grenoble Alpes, France; Copenhagen Business School, Denmark; Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic.