The first Arqus Annual Conference starts at Vilnius University

Logo for the conference with the University of Vilna in the background

From 5th to 7th October 2021, Vilnius University (VU) will host the 2021 Annual Conference of the Arqus European University Alliance. Key executives, rectors of Alliance universities, international experts in higher education and research, and representatives of EU higher education policy will gather in Vilnius for the first in-person event of this kind. VU Rector Prof. Rimvydas Petrauskas, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania, Ingrida Šimonytė, and the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, Mariya Gabriel, will greet the participants of the conference. The opening of the event will be broadcast live on the Arqus YouTube Channel.

Due to the restrictions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Arqus Annual Conference, planned for March last year in Lyon, was postponed. This year, the Conference is symbolically held at VU, where the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, the author of the idea of the Arqus European universities Alliance, was recently awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa of VU. The first Arqus Annual Conference aims to reflect on the role of European alliances in solving the challenges faced by higher education in the 21st century, changing universities’ behaviour models and rediscovering opportunities for collaboration.

“This is a great milestone for the Arqus Alliance. We were looking forward to finally meeting in person after a year and a half of travelling restrictions. I am sure that the event will be a fantastic boost for the whole Arqus community to continue working on this ambitious initiative”, says Dorothy Kelly, Coordinator of the Arqus Alliance.

The first day of the Arqus Annual Conference consists of a public event, the conference “University in the transforming world: catching up with or getting ahead of time,” where the higher education expert Peter van der Hijden will deliver the keynote address; Arqus academics will address central issues for the future of our universities in our three major missions and Alliance students will present "Arqus in student's eyes".

This will be followed by 2 days of internal meetings where the future of Arqus and possible challenges will be discussed by representatives of the seven universities.

You may find more information and the programme of the event here.