ENLIGHT, an alliance of European universities, received support from the European Commission under its European Universities initiative. The initiative is a part of the Erasmus+ program and aims to support the emergence of “European universities” by 2024. These "Super-universities" will enable students to obtain higher education/degrees by combining courses in several EU Member States. ENLIGHT is currently envisaged to operate for 3 years but the goal is to prolong its functioning for 4 more years.
10 UNIVERSITIES, 1 ENLIGHT
ENLIGHT unites ten universities from ten European countries across the whole of Europe: University of Ghent (Belgium), University of Bordeaux (France), University of Uppsala (Sweden), University of Groningen (Netherlands), University of the Basque Country (Spain), University of Göttingen (Germany), the National University of Ireland in Galway, the University of Tartu (Estonia) and Comenius University Bratislava. The University of Bern (Switzerland) will be part of ENLIGHT as associated partner from 1st November 2023. The Alliance plans to engage actively with the cities and regions of its members as important Associated Partners of the network.
COOPERATION WITHOUT BARRIERS
The ENLIGHT Super-university will facilitate free movement of students and staff among its nine partner institutions. It will also make it possible to share resources, structures of quality assurance, international outreach and global engagement, talent recruitment and investment in joint research infrastructure. The Alliance was set up to help build the foundations of an integrated European system of higher education. The long-term vision is to establish ENLIGHT as an integrated European University System with no barriers for learning, teaching and cooperating by 2030. In February 2022, Erasmus + Multilateral Agreement was signed between all the partners of the Alliance.
WHAT CAN ENLIGHT DO FOR ME?
- virtual courses, webinars, Living Labs, short-term programmes (so called BIPs), semestral mobilities
- student networking
- the opportunity of mobility to any of the nine partner universities without being overwhelmed by the paperwork or discouraged by complicated credit recognition → we are developing ENLIGHT Course catalogue
- the chance to study towards joint and double degrees (e.g. Master in political science and in economics) - at partner universities you will be able to study various subjects and receive sufficient credits to obtain both degrees
- increase language proficiency
- mobility programs
- peer review cycles
- workshops and webinars
- support in use Challenge-based Education (CBE)
- cooperation in educational activities (teachers from different universities teaching the same course )
ENLIGHT plans to develop new models and methodologies of education and research to address global challenges. The project explores the complex sustainability issues that cities and communities face today, focusing attention on the following six flagship areas:
- Health and well-being,
- Digital revolution and Impact of digitalisation,
- Climate change,
- Energy and Circular economy,
- Culture & Creativity (from 1st November 2023)
ENLIGHT Rectors endorse ENLIGHT Sustainability Engagement
The nine ENLIGHT rectors signed a joint Sustainability Engagement on the occasion of the ENLIGHT General Meeting.
With this joint Sustainability Engagement the ENLIGHT members want to make a strong claim to be key contributors of sustainable development and to lead by example with concrete actions in governance, education and research.
Main elements of the ENLIGHT Sustainability Engagement are:
- In line with its mission statement all ENLIGHT institutions want to underline the importance of education to empower learners to tackle major societal transitions and to promote equitable quality of life and sustainability. As future change-agents students need more opportunities to gain specific knowledge, skills and innovation potential to combat climate change. ENLIGHT wants to extend the integration of sustainability education to all study levels and throughout all disciplines and install a ‘culture of sustainability’ throughout our universities.
- While enhancing the opportunities for students to engage in international learning and for staff to cooperate with international peers, ENLIGHT is working on structural ways to harmonize internationalisation with sustainability and to reduce carbon emissions.
- As critical friends the ENLIGHT universities are committed to use the diversity of the alliance as a strength to identify frontrunner approaches and benchmarks through peer review for continuously improving our institutional policies. Our aim is to set new standards for each other as partners in improving our strategies to fight against climate change. Herein, the social dimension is essential to create equitable well-being.
For now, the ENLIGHT team is implementing the following 6 actions of this three-year plan: common quality approach (enabling the recognition of documents, credits and degrees among ENLIGHT universities and automatic recognition of study periods across ENLIGHT as the basis of a European University System), joint understanding of challenges and approaches towards their resolution (all partners sharing in the acquired knowledge and experience), broader competencies in training of students and staff (to better respond to current world challenges), innovative tools (new approaches in education and research), global outreach tools (connecting students, researchers and staff with regional stakeholders) and impact assessment (assessing ENLIGHT network achievements).
Comenius University is represented in ENLIGHT by Vice-Rector for International Relations Jozef Tancer and ENLIGHT Office. There is an ENLIGHT Student Network and a Student Board that consist of student representatives of all the participating universities. Each Student Board is connected through the U4 Student Network so students are not only the main beneficiaries but co-creators of ENLIGHT. Our representatives in the student network are Maxim Duleba, a PhD student at the Faculty of Arts of Comenius University and Damián Samuel Ovečka, a student at the Faculty of Arts of Comenius University.
The Regional Academy of Comenius University
The ENLIGHT project has inspired Comenius University in Bratislava to create a new functional body – the Regional Academy of Comenius University.
The Regional Academy is a flexible institutionalized platform for professional dialogue between academia and external actors, which will enable an innovative model of partnership with the local community, entities and other partners. Cooperation with regional partners will embody in the form of regular dialogues, consisting of the organization of joint activities such as panel discussions, webinars, smaller meetings of interested parties, practice-oriented lectures, expert consultations, etc. The involvement of any student, researcher or administrative staff member of the university is possible, as well as open opportunities are presented for all the external partners willing to cooperate with our university. As of now, over 30 organizations were invited to participate and the first Memorandums of Cooperation are to be signed in the near future.