After more than two years of virtual meetings, YERUN members have met again in person in Madrid on 31 March 2022, on the occasion of the General Assembly hosted by Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M).
The meeting was held in a hybrid format, allowing colleagues who could not join in person to participate virtually. The General Assembly was the first one to be chaired by the YERUN President Prof. Dr. Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Rector of the University of Rijeka, who was elected in September 2021, taking over from Prof. Dr. Bernd Scholz-Reiter, Rector of the University of Bremen, who served YERUN as President from September 2019 until September 2021. Participants were also welcomed by Prof. Dr. Juan Romo, Rector of UC3M, and host of this GA.
The General Assembly was the occasion to officially welcome the latest four new YERUN members, namely the Universities of Klagenfurt, Potsdam, South-Eastern Norway and Stirling, who joined the network on 1st January 2022.
Extraordinary elections were held for a position in the Executive Board: members unanimously voted in favour of Prof. Dr. Florian Schweigert, Vice President for International Affairs and Fundraising at the University of Potsdam.
Among the many topics on the agenda, YERUN members discussed:
- Concrete support measures for Ukraine.
- The advancement of the reform of research assessment.
- The European Strategy for Universities.
- The role of academic leaders in promoting sustainability and sustainable development in their institutions.
The discussions were intertwined by the following high level interventions:
- Mr. Virginijus Sinkevičius, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Oceans and Fisheries;
- Ms. Sophia ErikssonWaterschoot, Director Youth, Education and Erasmus+, DG EAC, European Commission,
- Dr. Cristina Gallach, Special Commissioner for the Strategic Project for Economic Recovery and Transformation (PERTE) “New Language Economy”.
The decisions taken by the General Assembly will allow the network to move forward in the next months along the priorities of the YERUN Strategy 2021-2025. Members were extremely pleased to meet again in person and look forward to the next General Assembly, which will be hosted by Maastricht University in November 2022.