YUFE University Alliance (Young Universities for the Future of Europe) has been up and running for two years, with a wonderful selection of opportunities for our students, staff members and the citizens living in the YUFE cities and regions across Europe. In the University of Eastern Finland (UEF), we aim to make it easy for people to join and to make the best of YUFE.
YUFE is a great way for students to add diversity to their studies at their home university by designing their own curriculum of academic courses and YUFE activities. They can study online at our ten partner universities, as did one of our students by taking the Conquest of Space course, offered online by University Carlos III of Madrid. Another student of ours is currently taking part in physical student exchange in the University of Cyprus. And of course, UEF offers similar possibilities for students coming from other YUFE universities. In the academic year 2021-2022, UEF offers 15 academic courses plus a language course, Beginner’s Finnish for Studies or Work Online, for YUFE students. Overall, the number of YUFE students participating in different actions is more than 300.
“YUFE is innovative as students not only earn credits for completing courses, but they also get recognition for their extracurricular activities,” says Gizem Yozgyur, YUFE Admissions Officer at UEF. The YUFE Star System rewards students in four areas: virtual or physical mobility, language learning, community engagement as well as professional training activities. A Mobility Star can be earned by participating in academic courses or other activities hosted by another YUFE university, and students get an opportunity to develop their language skills with the Language Star activities. Professional Star activities help students gain an entrepreneurial mindset by working in teams to solve challenges and include training on entrepreneurship and innovation. A Civic Star promotes students’ involvement with the local community through volunteering, Help Desk, and YUFE@Home offers.
For citizens, or residents of the YUFE cities and regions, YUFE offers support and advice as well as various learning opportunities. In addition to wide-ranging support offered by the YUFE student volunteers mentioned above, the physical or virtual YUFE Help Desks answer citizens’ questions on a wide range of topics. For example, the YUFE Help Desks in Leganés, Spain, provide advice on topics related to immigration, entrepreneurship and local development, while colleagues in Torun, Poland, work, e.g., on water safety, health issues and didactics. All YUFE Help Desks can be accessed via the YUFE Citizens’ Portal at virtualcampus.yufe.eu/p/citizens. Soon, the portal will also feature a range of educational offers open to citizens, sometimes aimed at specific professional groups alongside the already established YUFE Academy events available to everyone (https://yufe.eu/academy-2021/). The selection to citizens will consist of lectures, courses, workshops and other types of lifelong learning opportunities developed in the YUFE Skills Initiative.
Staff members of YUFE universities have a wide selection of possibilities to choose from. The first YUFE post docs have already begun their work, and the second call for YUFE post doc positions is open. First staff members have been selected for the YUFE career development track, and we are training our staff members in topics related to open science and open data. Besides those long-term offerings, all the staff members can participate in the trainings available through the YUFE Staff Academy. During this academic year, UEF is giving training, for example, on self-leadership for scientists, and multi-location working.
Written by Kristiina Väänänen, Gizem Yozgyur and Kirsi Bykachev.
For further information on UEF’s YUFE activities, please contact Kristiina Väänänen, firstname.lastname@example.org