November 29, 2021

Students examine the reform ideals of ERUA universities

The European Reform University Alliance (ERUA) explores what constitutes a “reform university” in Europe today. ERUA’s first public Annual Summit, held online from 2 to 4 December 2021, will explicitly address this question in the workshop “Reform University Ideals and Data Collection”. Within ERUA, students play an important role in this discussion.

Five universities from different international educational systems, but all with a distinctly reformist character, joined forces to form ERUA in November 2020: YERUN member University of Konstanz and its partners, New Bulgarian University, University of Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint-Denis, University of the Aegean and Roskilde University. ERUA’s working group “Re-Imagining Higher Education and Research”, coordinated by Roskilde University, set itself the task of examining what constitutes a “reform university” in Europe today.

Kathrin Ebel, a student from the University of Konstanz, explains: “Our universities were founded as transformative institutions that encourage all their members – including us students – to work towards developing innovative formats in research and teaching”. Together with her fellow students from the other ERUA universities, she analyzed the educational and research structures of the five reform universities. One of the results: Even though the partners have quite diverse research foci, they all share a focus on social responsibility. This results in many transfer activities and collaborative projects, the democratization of knowledge through Open Science, and “Collaboratories” – initiatives that enhance societal impact, outreach and external involvement. These strategies and methods connect the universities to the rest of society. 

Kathrin Ebel: “ERUA also offers us students many opportunities to acquire and apply knowledge in our own projects, across the entire spectrum of disciplines at the universities.” These include innovative training formats, such as service learning or travelling seminars, where students can gather their first project-based learning and research experiences. At the ERUA Annual Summit, the students will present the results of their data collection on the educational and research profiles of reform universities and discuss their conclusions with the other participants. 

Read more about the upcoming ERUA Annual Summit

Contact: Ramona Baumgartner, University of Konstanz, Department of Linguistics

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