Category: news

UnILiON expresses solidarity with Ukrainian academic and research community

UnILiON expresses solidarity with Ukrainian academic and research community

In light of the unprovoked and unacceptable military aggression towards Ukraine by the Russian Federation, UnILiON – the informal network of Brussels-based liaison offices – would like to express solidarity with the Ukrainian academic and research community as well as with the Ukrainian people at large. In line with the recent statements (1 and 2) issued by the European University Association, we condemn the aggression and ask for a swift end of this crisis.

Following the statement released by the Russian Union of Rectors (RUR), UnILiON decided to suspend the membership of its Russian member. The RUR statement of support for the invasion of Ukraine is incompatible with the values our network is built upon. Therefore we suspend institutional cooperation. This suspension does not prevent us from keeping informal contacts with individual staff members, students or researchers from the Russian academic and research community, many of whom bravely oppose the Russian military aggression against Ukraine.

The UnILiON members are committed to help share with their home institutions information on European and national measures that are and will be developed in due time to help Ukrainian researchers. The sharing of best practices will be facilitated, hoping thereby to contribute  to a more effective and coordinated action of support (assistance to refugees, hosting of students and researchers at risk, sending of goods, etc.). UnILiON also express its full support to the research communities in Ukraine’s neighbouring countries, assisting many refugees having crossed borders recently. These support actions can serve as an example to the academic and research communities in other European countries.

Open Talk on The European Approach to Micro-credentials

Open Talk on The European Approach to Micro-credentials

On Tuesday, 8 March 2022, UnILiON, UAS4EUROPE, the Bavarian Research Alliance and University Colleges Denmark organise an Open Talk on “The European Approach to Micro-credentials”. The event will be held between 12:30 and 13:30 (CET) in a virtual format. 

Micro-credentials are the outcomes of small learning experiences such as short training courses. As such, they offer a flexible way for people to develop skills and competences for personal and professional development.

The European Commission published its Proposal for a Council Recommendation on micro-credentials in December 2021. The proposal aims at making micro-credentials work across institutions, businesses, sectors and borders. To achieve this objective, the French Council presidency, together with the Member States, in the first semester of this year will work on:

  • A joint definition of micro-credentials,
  • Standard elements for their description, and
  • Key principles for their design and issuance.

During this episode of Open TalkMr Koen Nomden, Team Leader for Skills and qualifications recognition tools at DG EMPL, European Commission will present the EU’s micro-credential agenda, followed by a Q&A with the audience.

The event will be free of charge. However, registration on the event website is necessary.


UnILiON is supporting the Stick to Science campaign

UnILiON is supporting the Stick to Science campaign

The Stick to Science initiative has been set up by the European research community calling for open and barrier-free collaboration among Europe’s research and innovation (R&I) actors, who all share the same values. The initiative is an active response to the delayed  progression of association agreements with Switzerland and the United Kingdom (UK), which are being held up by political barriers that have nothing to do with science.

The signatories request that the European Council, Parliament, Commission, as well as European Union (EU) Member States, and the governments of the UK and Switzerland, recognise that advancement in R&I is best achieved when all actors in science and innovation work together across geographic boundaries. This has never been more important than now, as the world faces serious global challenges (e.g., mitigating pandemics, climate change, and addressing food security). Allowing political differences to prevent scientific collaboration is contrary to the interests of society at large.

The signatories urge the EU, the UK and Switzerland to rapidly reach association agreements so that the two countries can contribute scientifically and financially to the strength of Horizon Europe and to a truly open, inclusive and excellence-driven European Research Area.

Home of Stick to Science initiative

2021 Year in Review

2021 Year in Review

In another challenging year since beginning of the pandemic, UnILiON continued its successful collaboration among the universities’ liaison offices in Brussels.

The Core had 9 meetings during the year. In line with the recommendations on social distancing, 2 of these were held in physical format, allowing members to come together and enjoy the spirit of the personal conversations again. Our members had fruitful discussions to help our organisations prepare for the new Horizon Europe programme. We organised 7 Open Talk events about the most relevant topics in Brussels for interested colleagues and researchers.

The 5 thematically running working groups met 15 times in 2021. 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 year, we organised a brokerage event for the new European University Alliances call to create opportunities for collaboration among our universities.

The network is constantly growing, in 2021 we welcomed the following institutions and their Brussels offices among our members:

  • University of Turin
  • University of Zagreb
  • Politecnico di Torino
  • ISG | Business & Economics School