USN became a member of YERUN in January 2022. At the end of the year, we can finally look back on a wide variety of valuable, new experiences and new acquaintances. Experiences gained through the building of new relations and networks, through contributing to the European policy and through connecting our researchers and professional environments with new and prosperous partners in YERUN.
USN acknowledge the request for entrepreneurship and engagement in research and higher education. The global challenges are grave. In Europe we must deal with an ageing population, climate change, environmental problems, and an international situation where war and conflict has erupted between former cooperation partners. Academic freedom of expression is put to the test.
Higher education and academic values emphasize freedom of expression, social inclusion, diversity, and equality as cornerstones of a democratic society. Free and independent universities must pay a vigilant and critical attention to social institutions and power structures and watch over the compliance of human rights. We need to strengthen knowledge and competence for sustainable transition as a central part of our identity as a university.
To build a better future, we must work together to develop new knowledge and competence rooted in recognized academic values, social engagement, and excellence. USN greatly appreciate our membership in YERUN as an important arena to bring together like-minded young research universities in the efforts to meet challenges and fulfill the universities’ social mandate.
I wish our YERUN community a productive, prosperous, and healthy 2023!
Prof. Petter Aasen, Rector of the University of South-Eastern Norway