The Circle U. conference was held on May 29th at Université Paris Cité. The hybrid event brought together around a hundred participants online and nearly 70 people on-site to discuss the challenges of research and innovation in European higher education. Participants from all Circle U. member universities, as well as from other European university alliances were able to better understand the different stages in Circle U.’s development, its challenges and its results. The day also helped to raise awareness of the Circle U. ERIA project (Empowering Research and Innovation Actions) and to highlight the 3 projects awarded the Prix Inter Circle U. (ICUP) for the transversality of their research.

Circle U. ERIA conference: ‘Towards the Future of European Research and Innovation in Higher Education’, 29th of May 2024, at Université Paris Cité

Structuring the Circle U. European alliance

During the first part of this conference, the speakers took a look back to the European universities initiative launched in 2017 by President Emmanuel Macron. This introduction enabled the audience to re-contextualize the creation of Circle U. but also to visualise the plurality and diversity of European university alliances today. Over 50 alliances have already been created.

This session also enabled participants to understand how Circle U. has developed through the analogy of Mette Oftebro, the coordinator of the Circle U. 2030 project, for whom the phases of the project can be likened to those of human life. Circle U. has grown to include 9 member universities, including Université Paris Cité, and has already developed several activities. 25 projects have already been financed through its seedfunding programme, and 10 summer schools on its main priority themes have already been launched.

Discover more on replay > The European Universities Initiative From 2017 to 2024 and Beyond!

And the ICUP Prize winners are….

The conference also provided an opportunity to review the Circle U. ERIA project, co-financed by the European Commission as part of the Horizon 2020 SwafS (Science with and for Society) programme. Coordinated by Université Paris Cité, the ERIA project aims to strengthen Circle U.’s Research and Innovation dimension. It is within this project that the ICUP prize was conceived, with the aim of highlighting interdisciplinary research projects. This year’s three winners were announced:

  • Cofutures” led by Dr. Bodhisattva Chattopadhyay of the University of Oslo. The project investigates futuristic fictions imagined as local models of adaptation to global change.
  • “Pursuing interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary paths towards better climate futures” led by Prof. Fage-Butler; Aarhuus University. The project looks at how scientific communications can induce both trust and mistrust in climate science.
  • “DEMOCRISIS: Environmental Change and the Crisis of Democracy” led by Prof. Mjaaland of the University of Olso. The project looks at the intersection of environmental change and democratic governance.

Check out the replay of the ICUP awards ceremony. 

Roundtable – The Future of Research in Circle U. and the European University Alliances

The day’s exchanges culminated in a round-table discussion on the challenges facing research within European university alliances in the years ahead. Research and education are funded differently, even if they are intrinsically linked. As Erasmus + funds are focused on education-related initiatives, European university alliances will need to find additional funding to pursue their research-related activities and/or bridge the gap between research and academic studies, as in the case of Université Paris Cité’s Graduate Schools.

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Circle U. Model United Nations

Circle U. Model United Nations

From the 10th to the 14th of December 2024, the Circle U. European university alliance invites you to slip into the shoes of a diplomat by taking part in the Circle U. Model United Nations organised in Brussels. This year, the debates will focus on the theme of...

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