Category: news

UnILiON supports UKMis event on fostering educational exchange

UnILiON supports UKMis event on fostering educational exchange

The UnILiON network was delighted to support an event organised by the UK Mission to the EU on ‘Fostering educational exchange between UK and European partners’ on Wednesday 17 May 2023.

The in-person session in Brussels aimed to encourage a dialogue on current and future Europe-UK collaboration in the area of higher educational mobility. It included UnILiON speakers from Welsh Higher Education Brussels, the University of Bristol (Bristol & Bath Brussels Office) and Malmö University (Lärosäten Syd) and was co-moderated by co-chair Karl Stoeckel from Aix-Marseille University.

Following presentations on the UK’s global mobility programme, the Turing Scheme, the approach to international educational collaboration in Wales including the Taith mobility programme, and an update on Student mobility to the UK from UUKi, a wide-ranging panel discussion between sector representatives highlighted some of the challenges and opportunities experienced post-Brexit.

Speakers from UK and EU universities stressed the ongoing importance of facilitating educational exchange between UK and European partners, and willingness to work together to support this objective.

Towards a renewed momentum to Horizon Europe: reflecting on the issues and challenges of the strategic planning

Towards a renewed momentum to Horizon Europe: reflecting on the issues and challenges of the strategic planning

On 7 March 2023, UnILiON Member Offices held an Open Talk with Mr Massimiliano ESPOSITO, Head of Unit “Common Strategic Planning and Programming Service”, Common Policy center, of the Directorate-General for R&I of the European Commission.

The topic of the session was Towards a renewed momentum to Horizon Europe: reflecting on the issues and challenges of the strategic planning” and it was hosted by the Brussels Offices of Université de Lorraine and Aix-Marseille Université.

This year will see important developments for the 9th framework programme for research and innovation as the European Commission is coordinating a large consultation process, involving stakeholders, Member States and the European Parliament.

Numerous UnILiON member universities submitted position papers and took part in the vast consultation launched by the Commission that closed on 23 February 2023. In particular, the UnILiON Horizon Europe Working Group is a vibrant community where members share their views and experience about the framework programme, providing significant inputs in the consultation.

This open exchange with the Head of Unit responsible for the strategic planning and programming was an opportunity to reflect on the strategic challenges and issues of the Horizon Europe Strategic Plan for 2025-2027. Members also raised specific issues, such as simplification of Horizon Europe, budget, synergies, the pilot for blind evaluation, etc.

2022 in Review

2022 in Review

In 2022 UnILiON continued to foster fruitful collaboration among the universities’ liaison offices in Brussels. For the first time in the history of UnILiON, Co-chairs were elected to organise the network activities with the Secretariat.

The Core had eight meetings in 2022. This year the members were able to come together and enjoy the spirit of the personal conversations again. Our members had useful discussions to help the represented organisations become more successful in the Horizon Europe programme. We organised seven Open Talk events about the most relevant topics in Brussels for interested colleagues and researchers.

After a year off, we organised the Annual Event on 17 November where high-level executives of UnILiON member universities, European policy-makers, and stakeholders in the education, research, and innovation sector came to Brussels and shared their views and experiences on modernising academic assessment. The successful event reached out to over 100 participants from within and beyond our membership.

Colleagues in the four thematically running working groups met 13 times in 2022. During these meetings we listened to excellent presentations and received first-hand information about the new initiatives and programmes from the representatives of the European institutions.

Building on the successful experience of the previous years, we organised two brokerage events for the new European University Alliances call and the calls related to the EU-African collaboration to create opportunities for cooperation among our universities.

The network is constantly growing, in 2022 we welcomed Università Politecnica delle Marche (UNIVPM) among our members.




UnILiON Open Talk on UK Association to Horizon Europe

UnILiON Open Talk on UK Association to Horizon Europe

The UK’s association to Horizon Europe was provided for by the UK-EU Trade and Cooperation agreement signed in December 2020, but has not yet been finalised due to broader political issues.

The UK government has since put in place a guarantee to fund eligible and successful UK applicants, who have not been able to sign grant agreements. It also launched a formal request for consultations with the EU in an effort to finalise association. In addition, the UK recently announced transitional measures for how it will move towards a new R&D programme, if it is unable to associate.

But what does this mean in practice for European partners? And what is the latest on the UK’s association and the development of ‘Plan B’? Join UniLiON and expert speakers from the UK’s Mission to the EU for a 1 hour session open to all interested stakeholders to answer these and other questions on Tuesday 11 October from 14:30-15:30 at the West Midlands Europe Hub, Rue du Luxembourg 3.


·       Update from Paul Creary, Head of Research & Innovation and Robin Jacob-Owens, Second Secretary, Research & Innovation, UK Mission to the EU, followed by a Q&A/Discussion

Chaired by Gregg Jones, Director, Brussels Hub (Europe), Coventry University and Paul Davies, Head of the Bristol & Bath Brussels Office and Co-Chair of the UnILiON International Cooperation Working Group

To register for the Open Talk, please sign-up here.

This Open Talk is organised by Coventry University Brussels Hub and the Bristol & Bath Brussels Office, members of the UnILiON International Cooperation Working Group.