From 12 to 13 July 2022 Rectors, Vice-Rectors and other leading representatives from all EUniWell (European University for Well-Being) universities came together to collectively shape the future of the EUniWell Alliance. International collaboration, broadening the Alliance’s outlook and expanding the European community were key themes throughout the two-day event, held in Leiden, the Netherlands.

The 3rd EUniWell Rectors’ Assembly was hosted by Rector Magnificus Professor Hester Bijl at Leiden University. Rectors, Vice-Rectors, student delegates and management representatives from all EUniWell universities came together for the bi-annual meeting. Its aim is to secure the building blocks that will form EUniWell’s strategy moving into the second half of the pilot phase and beyond, and t orefine the outputs and activities in the future.

The founding members of the EUniWell European University Alliance are the University of Birmingham (UK), University of Florence (Italy), University of Cologne (Germany), Leiden University (Netherlands), Linnaeus University (Sweden), Nantes Université (France), and Semmelweis University.

Semmelweis University was represented at the Rectors’ Assembly by Prof. Béla Merkely, Rector, Prof. Miklós Kellermayer, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Head of the EUniWell project, Dr. Marcel Pop, Director of the Directorate of International Relations, Dr. Ádám Orosz and Eszter Turopoli, members of the EUniWell project management team and Félix Takács, member of the EUniWell student board.

Delegates of the University of Murcia, which was welcomed as a Partner of the European University for Well-Being in March of this year, joined the Rectors’ Assembly in Leiden to connect with EUniWell colleagues in person for the first time, and to officially sign the Consortium Agreement. 

A key focus of the Rectors’ Assembly was to reflect on the work accomplished during the first half of EUniWell’s pilot phase in developing joint programmes in teaching, and facilitating cooperation in research and innovation. Fruitful dialogue on the continued expansion of EUniWell was also an important part of the meeting. 

In response to the ongoing war in Ukraine, EUniWell has forged a relationship with Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (KNU). The crisis, which caused an enormous disruption to the higher education sector in Ukraine, has resulted in a clear need to provide pathways to continue academic endeavours. Hence, EUniWell was delighted to welcome the Rector of KNU to Leiden and to make official in the framework of the Rectors’ Assembly that KNU is to join the Alliance.

The discussions of the participants highlighted the importance of continuing to expand and develop partnerships and mobility opportunities for students, researchers and university staff; advancing a common approach to sharing and developing digital infrastructures; and defining the future legal form of the network.

As science and international cooperation to improve the living standards of Europeans is at the heart of EUniWell, it was a particular honour to welcome the President of the European Research Council, Professor Maria Leptin, to the Assembly.

The  event has confirmed the common EUniWell-vision for the European university of the future. The next phase of the Alliance focuses on EUniWell to become a driving force in higher education and beyond, to shape Europe’s common future for the better. 

The next EUniWell Rectors’ Assembly is scheduled to take place in Budapest, organized by Semmelweis University, in October 2022. The main theme of the meeting will be the role of European University Association in higher education and how to better shape Europe’s common future.

Eszter Turopoli 
Photo: EUniWell

Translation: Rita Kónya