News from ENLIGHT

Discussion on Slovak constitutionalism, public policy and protection of democracy in Bratislava

On Tuesday, 7 May 2024, the Department of Political Science of the Comenius University hosted a discussion with a multidisciplinary study group of scholarship holders from the Hans-Böckler Foundation, including two scholarship holders from the University of Göttingen.

The panel moderated by Campbell MacGillivray, M.A. (PhD candidate, University of Göttingen), included Professor Emília Sičáková-Beblavá (Institute of Public Policy, Comenius University) and Dr. Max Steuer (Department of Political Science, Comenius University).

The discussion covered a wide range of issues, including modern history of Slovakia and its legacies of non-democratic practices, the founding of the Slovak Republic in 1993 after the dissolution of Czechoslovakia, the consequences of the dissolution of Czechoslovakia on the text and practices of the Slovak Constitution as well as public policy-making.

The panelists and participants engaged with, among others, the role of scrutinizing and improving specific public policy areas as well as the utilization of both grand and local narratives of constitutionalism and democracy, the positioning of Slovakia in the Visegrád region, Central Europe including Germany and the European Union more broadly, or the avenues to protect democracy in Slovakia by institutions (including the Slovak Constitutional Court, media, think tanks and NGOs) and the public at large in light of contemporary developments.

The discussion emphasized the democratic foundations of Slovakia and its achievements in the last 30 years, but also enduring unaddressed public policy issues that combine with contemporary illiberal narratives and represent a risk for its democratic future.

Humor and Conflict in the Digital Age at Ghent University

Docent Dulebová in front of the screen with the inscription humor and conflict in digital age and the historical building of Ghent University

In November, a colleagues from the Department of Russian Studies and East European Studies, doc. Irina Dulebová and doc. Nina Cingerová participated in the inspiring conference Humor and Conflict in the Digital Age, which took place at Ghent University, as part of the Hacida networking project (ENLIGHT Rise program).

The ENLIGHT Alliance is moving towards Open Science, aiming for improved education and collaboration of research teams

On 23 November 2023, ten partner universities of the ENLIGHT alliance endorsed a set of joint Open Science principles in Uppsala, Sweden. Comenius University is a member of the alliance. The aim of the initiative is to create a common basis for a culture of open science across the participating European universities. Open science is intended to facilitate faster dissemination, sharing, and application of science.

Read more at: https://uniba.sk/en/comenius-university-news/news-detail/back_to_page/univerzita-komenskeho/article/aliancia-enlight-smeruje-k-otvorenej-vede-cielom-je-lepsie-vzdelavanie-a-spolupraca-vedeckych/

ENLIGHT on the Radio Slovakia International

a student stands with a map and looks at the route on the map in the narrow alley of the historical center
©Tomáš Madeja

Listen to an interview with vice-rector Jozef Tancer, who will introduce you the ENLIGHT university alliance. Professor Igor Farkaš from the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics will introduce you to the format of the Blended Intensive Programme specifically the AI for everyone course, which he organizes at CU during the summer semester 2024, the project manager Silvia Hlavinková will tell you more about inclusivity and multidisciplinarity in ENLIGHT, and you will find out more about the multidisciplinary course Sustainable Cities: Visions and challenges, which took place at our partner university in Uppsala, Sweden.

Click HERE to listen to the full interview. 

We wish you pleasant listening!

ENLIGHT, our alliance of ten universities, broadens its cooperation

spoločná fotografia, na ktorej sa nachádza prorektor pre medzinárodné vzťahy UK Jozef Tancer, dekan fakulty matematiky, fyziky a informatiky UK Róbert Jajcay, prodekanka pre medzinárodné vzťahy z fakulty managementu Lucia Vilčeková, rodekanka pre medzinárodné vzťahy z prírodovedeckej fakulty Marianna Kováčová, prodekanka pre medzinárodné vzťahy z lekárskej fakulty Daniela Ostatníková, dekan fakulty farmácie Ján Klimas spolu s kolegami z Univerzity v Ghente - projektová manažérka Delfien Cloet, tajomník aliancie Gijs Coucke

Between 2 and 6 October 2023, Vice-Rector for International Relations Jozef Tancer and representatives of a number of Comenius University faculties visited three European universities that are also members of the ENLIGHT alliance. During their visits CU representatives sought ways of broadening the cooperation among universities.

CU representatives met their colleagues from the Ghent University in Belgium, the University of Groningen in the Netherlands and the University of Göttingen in Germany. They spoke to members of management, deans and ENLIGHT coordinators to find ways of developing cooperation in the areas of research and teaching. Our faculties and our organisation of study were presented to our partners and talks focussed on possible joint master and doctoral programmes, exchange study stays and research projects, as well as research cooperation.

"In Göttingen we visited the teaching and simulation hospital of the University Medical Centre Göttingen, with whom we would like to collaborate on new methods of medical training as part of the ENLIGHT consortium. We outlined areas of research where it might be possible to form joint doctoral study programmes," Vice-dean of CU’s Faculty of Medicine Daniela Ostatníková clarifies which activities her faculty plans to develop in the next period of inter-university cooperation.

Vice-rector of the university Jozef Tancer was accompanied during the official visits by Vice-dean Daniela Ostatníková, the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy Ján Klimas, Vice-dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences Mariana Kováčová, Vice-dean of the Faculty of Management Lucia Vilčeková and Vice-dean of the Faculty of Mathematics, Physics and Informatics Róbert Jajcay. At partner universities the delegation of Comenius University was shown specialised research centres, campuses of faculties and one of the most renowned and venerable university campuses in the Netherlands, the Zernike campus in Groningen.

"As a member of ENLIGHT, we are developing the first grant call for teaching and research cooperation projects, to be announced in the spring of 2024. I believe that visits of partner universities like this one will contribute towards building contacts and forming work teams that will use the upcoming grant scheme," said Vice-rector Tancer.

Text: CU External Relations Office 

CU selects winner for ENLIGHT Teaching & Learning Award 2023

On June 28, 2023, the Comenius University announced the winner of the ENLIGHT Teaching & Learning Award for CU.

After a professional assessment of the applications, the winner was the Intrapreneurship  course led by Anna Pilková, Jaroslav Huľvej and Juraj Mikuš from the Department of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at the Faculty of Management of the Comenius University. The Master's course called Intrapreneurship is aimed at developing the knowledge and skills that graduates inevitably need in the labor market, develops analytical and creative thinking and above all responds to the need to connect the university environment with practice, in this case with companies as external stakeholders.

The jury was particularly interested in the use of teaching methods and approaches that actively involve students in teaching, the use of elements of the so-called challenge-based education (teaching that responds to specific challenges and problems that students solve during the semester), strong support for cooperation in teaching and the involvement of partners from the business sphere, which enabled students to bring solutions to real-life situations and connect theory with direct practice.

The winning team will travel to Bordeaux, France in autumn 2023, where they will represent Comenius University among other winning courses from ENLIGHT universities. During the ENLIGHT Teaching and Learning Conference & Award, the international jury will announce the absolute winner of the ENLIGHT Teaching & Learning Award from representatives from all ENLIGHT universities.

Students from CU participated in the European Student Assembly 2023

budova európskeho parlamentu s vlajkami

Thanks to the ENLIGHT university alliance, two students from CU had the opportunity to represent their university and other students from the entire European Union at the international student conference European Student Assembly 2023 (ESA23) in Strasbourg, which took place from 31.5. until 2.6. 2023.

ESA23 is organized by the European Universities Community (EUC), which unites university alliances throughout the EU. Among the thousands of applicants, student representatives from the alliances selected 230 students, who were subsequently divided into ten thematic panels. For several months, they met online and worked on proposals that were voted on in plenary, right in the European Parliament building in Strasbourg.

Comenius University was represented by two students. Matej Bižaca from the Faculty of Law participated in Panel 1: Democracy and Robert Lenzen from the Faculty of Arts participated in Panel 7: Defence. The topics and questions of their panels were:

Panel 1: DEMOCRACY, direct (deliberative) versus representative democracy, how to reduce the gap between citizens and legislators and thus create a more united Europe?

Panel 7: DEFENSE, is the EU in a position to create an effective foreign policy and an autonomous defence policy that would ensure the security of its citizens?

Each panel developed eight to ten proposals to improve the functioning of the EU. Each proposal was discussed individually in the European Parliament's chamber. In total, 75 out of 79 proposals were voted on. All suggestions are contained in this DOCUMENT. 

This conference showed us that students all over Europe have a serious interest in public affairs and a desire to influence it. All voted proposals will soon be delivered to the relevant institutions and policy makers who should deal with them. ESA23 helps to spread awareness about the EU even among the youngest voters, so that they do not forget that they are citizens not only of their home country, but also of the European Union.

For more information about European Student Assembly visit: https://eucinitiative.wordpress.com/european-student-assembly/

ENLIGHT mobility officers meeting in Bratislava

The CU hosted the first physical meeting of ENLIGHT mobility coordinators at the beginning of May. We welcomed colleagues from the Basque Country, Bordeaux, Galway, Ghent, Groningen, Tartu and Uppsala. Partners from Bern joined online.

The aim of the first offline meeting was to improve the administration of so-called BIPs (Blended Intensive Programme - part of the course is online, part of the course is physical). During an intensive two-day meeting, the coordinators worked on improving of the process of sending students abroad. A practical insight into the process was provided by Erasmus+ faculty officers from the CU.

Naturalists' Breakfast in the Botanical Garden of the Comenius University

 

It is widely known that breakfast is the foundation of the day.The members of the newly formed students union Prif UK Sustainability were eager to step forward in the direction of sustainability - their first event was called Naturalists' Breakfast.

Naturalists' Breakfast

The Naturalists' Breakfast was held on April 25th 2023 in the Botanical Garden of the Comenius University Bratislava. In this green oasis of modern Bratislava, the participants could enjoy Hungarian smoked vegan sausages and 100% plant-based baguettes from sponsors. However, sponsors also emerged from among the students, some of them brought, for example, homemade desserts or jam.

Reading books in Botanical Garden 

During breakfast, everyone had the opportunity to read books from the authors of Faculty of Natural Sciences of the Comenius University. Interesting facts about the Botanical Garden of the Comenius University can be found in the book "Rekordy Malých Karpát“ (Records of the Small Carpathians). This book may inspire some to explore parts of the garden after breakfast. They could see with their own eyes, for example, a giant sequoia. Whether one went on an expedition across the garden or just sat down in the grass, the singing of birds, that have long been the subject of research of nesting biology, made the stay outside pleasant. Everyone who was interested in this topic could read the book "Let's build a birdhouse". Although the Botanical Garden can also be considered a symbol of sustainability at our alma mater, sustainability relates with every aspect of our lives. For example, there are seventeen defined Sustainable Development Goals. The goals are not only about environmental protection, but also, for example, about quality education. Therefore, the participants could also read the book "Ako študovat na vysokej škole (How to study at university?)". By reading this manual, students could get tips on how to integrate multiple aspects of their lives in order to reach and sustain balanced life (not only) during university years. And this is beneficial for the whole society. Balanced life allows students to be volunteers and participate in building a sustainable future. So everyone could find their own way in the Botanical Garden of the Comenius University on that spring day.

Successful first event

However, since our university teaches critical thinking, we have to ask ourselves: What is the tangible evidence of the success of breakfast? Let's take it mathematically: Prior the event, 40 students announced their participation, but up to 45 students came. Many of these students stayed after eleven o'clock, that is, even after breakfast was over. Instead of rushing, stimulating discussions were held not only about the beauty and hardships of student life, but also about sustainability, for example. For example, some debated, like true gourmets, about the delicacies they enjoyed on this beautiful spring day. This fulfilled the purpose of the first event of the newly formed association. Since the food was only a kind of bait, it means that the real goal of the event was nothing more than to start building relationships and a more sustainable future.

Text: Attila Balogh

ENLIGHT partner univeristy from Uppsala visited CU

On 26th April 2023 the Vice-Rector for International Relations Jozef Tancer, together with the ENLIGHT UK team, welcomed at Comenius University visit from the ENLIGHT partner university in Uppsala.

CU was visited by the Deputy Rector, Mrs. Coco Norén; the Deputy Vice-Rector for Humanities, Mattias Martinsson; Jonathan Schalk, Project Manager for the ENLIGHT University Alliance and academics from various fields.

The aim of the physical meeting was to strengthen the partnership and create new collaborations between our universities that will advance not only the academics, but especially the students from both universities. This was ENLIGHT's alliance first bilateral visit and we strongly believe that we have inspired other partners to organize similar events.

Click HERE to read a interview with Mrs. Coco Norén, the Deputy Rector from Uppsala University (page 36-37). 

Meet Prif UK Sustainability, first green student organisation at CU

Mutualism is a type of symbiotic relationship where all species involved benefit from their interactions.” As we fluctuate on our university day by day, let’s question ourselves: Is there any way how we can bring more mutualism to our alma mater? Some of us already found the answer… and made a decision to bring to life a student community Prif UK Sustainability!

We would love to make our university more green, our schoolmates more satisfied and happier and we would like to support sustainable choices. There are many activities which we talked about: excursion, lectures and discussions with interesting people, breakfast for students and many more…

We have a lot of work in front of us so →If you have idea how to make our faculty more sustainable or if you want to join our society, feel free to contact us!

Visit our INSTAGRAM. 

Text: Attila Balogh

https://www.instagram.com/prifuk_sustainability/

University of Bern joins the ENLIGHT alliance

logo of the University of Bern

Through the ENLIGHT superuniversity, the largest Slovak university now has a new strategic partner for cooperation. The University of Bern is an excellent university and one of the best in Switzerland. In international rankings it regularly ranks around the 100th place. Approximately 19,500 students study at its eight faculties which offer state-of-the-art facilities.

Swiss universities are fighting to retain their connections to European networks. They do so under difficult conditions since Switzerland was excluded from Horizon Europe and Erasmus+. This year, however, Swiss universities were given the opportunity to join European University alliances as "associated partners".

ENLIGHT is an alliance of European universities and consists of 9 renowned research-intensive universities located in Ghent (Belgium), Tartu (Estonia), Bordeaux (France), Göttingen (Germany), Galway (Ireland), Groningen (the Netherlands), Uppsala (Sweden), Bratislava (Slovakia) and the Basque Country (Spain). On 1 December 2022, the University of Bern was elected as associated member by the ENLIGHT Governing Board.

ENLIGHT offers mobility and education among its member universities. They offer a wide range of exchange opportunities and support transdisciplinary education in order to prepare students for the challenges of a connected world. “Even though our researchers still urgently need Switzerland's association to Horizon Europe, to be part of the most important research network in the world, joining ENLIGHT is an important step for us to retain our connections in Europe and promote exchanges as well as cooperation," says Christian Leumann, Rector of the University of Bern.

The ENLIGHT universities cooperate closely in areas where the University of Bern can contribute actively, such as health, climate change, digitization or renewable energy.

Text: CU External Relations Office

The Comenius University Green Guide

The Comenius University Green Guide provides a comprehensive overview of useful tips, tricks, resources, and services for making students’ time in Bratislava more sustainable, eco-friendly, and pleasant. Along with the European Green Deal and the EU’s ambitious goals toward a sustainable society, universities are a key driver for the promotion of ideas and specific actions towards environmental goals. Alongside the ENLIGHT University Alliance, the Green Guide is a first step towards environmental awareness for students, teaching staff, and the wider public in Bratislava.

ENLIGHT Green Guide

ENLIGHT at Comenius University Information Day

 The Information Day at Comenius University included a mobility stand where future students could find out where they can travel thanks to European Union projects.

If you did not manage to visit our stand and you have questions about international mobility, please contact us at enlightuniba.sk or erasmusplusrec.uniba.sk

ENLIGHT digital Course Catalogue – the easiest way to choose a course

The ENLIGHT network has launched a digital Course Catalogue, which allows ENLIGHT students to search for all the courses available for application in the ENLIGHT European University.

The catalogue covering all ENLIGHT universities makes it easier for students to find courses to study abroad and boost their studies according to their interests and field of study. All the information can be found in one place, and browsing is possible by key words, host university, instruction language, format, level, semester, or ECTS.

The catalogue is a major step towards creating a digital campus that interconnects all nine universities.

Find out how the ENLIGHT digital Course Catalogue works. Oskar, a student of mathematics from Tartu, introduces it in this video.

ENLIGHT Student Network launches Sustainable Best Practice guide

With the guide the 'SN' aims to raise awareness about the responsibility of universities to address the world's most pressing challenges (SDGs), and to share and gain inspiration for our path to go greener. To this end, the SN highlights three best practices at each ENLIGHT university to learn from each other and to provide an inspirational framework to learn, listen and help each other in achieving more.

Read the full Sustainable Best Practise guide here.  

Designing Research on Different Dimensions of Equity course at Comenius University

From 12 September 2022 to 16 September 2022, the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences hosted the ENLIGHT interdisciplinary course Designing Research on Different Dimensions of Equity. Students from partner universities from Göttingen, Ghent and the University of the Basque Country met with teachers from Groningen, Bratislava, Göttingen, Ghent and the University of the Basque Country to reflect together on the topics of equality, diversity, equal opportunities in different areas of life, from the university environment to access to healthcare. This week was the opening week of the BIP (a Blended Intensive Programme course format that combines short-term mobility and collaboration in virtual space). Until the end of the semester, students will work in small groups online to develop research in their chosen field. They will be accompanied by teachers as mentors who will support them, but the main work will be done by the student team.

The course also included lectures from partners from the Regional AcademyNina Spišiak from the Bratislava City Hall introduced the topic Integration at local level: challenges and opportunities for the Bratislava city; Marta Králiková from the non-profit Mareena told the students about the integration of refugees into society and  Andrea Böhmová from the Migration Office introduced the students to the process that refugees have to go through to get to Slovakia.

And what did the students enjoy most about the introductory course? Emma from Ghent University: "I really liked that we started with activities where we got to know each other. We were one mixed group - teachers and students, with no hierarchical structures."

Students from Comenius University became part of the ENLIVE project

 

Comenius University students took part in the international project ENLIVE as an educational project within the ENLIGHT initiative. This virtual exchange was simultaneously run by the Comenius University in Bratislava and the University of Göttingen in Germany. Students of both universities worked on media campaigns focused on the current most pressing issues of their generation. Students engaged in topics: climate change and activism, sustainability and circular economy, disability and society, diversity and healthy body image in social media, gender and education. 

You can find student´s campaigns on the Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/enlightstudentnetwork/.

Students were supervised by Ms Ashley Chandler from the Göttingen University; Aneta Barnes, MA and Lenka Jeleňová, MSc from the Comenius University.

Inclusive Mobility

Students from underrepresented groups also travel around Europe. Martin and Martin took the opportunity to go on mobility abroad and gained a lot of new experiences and skills. Students from underrepresented groups at Comenius University have the opportunity to participate in various types of mobilities, such as ENLIHGT mobility, Erasmus+ mobility (study, internship).

Do not hesitate to take part in one of the ENLIGHT mobilities. You will be encouraged to go by the experiences of the students from the partner universities who have shared their experiences here.