This week, the Coordinator of the Alliance, Dorothy Kelly, and the Consortium Manager, Fernando Galán, are visiting the University of Wrocław (UWr) to welcome the new members, meet the team involved in Arqus and organise the next activities and events of the Alliance. This University joined Arqus at the beginning of 2022.
In the framework of the activities of this visit, yesterday, the Arqus institutional representatives met the Vice-Rector for Projects and International Relations, Patrycja Matusz. The meeting was aimed at presenting to the representatives of the UWr community the experiences of the universities cooperating within Arqus to date and the plans for the future.
During this event, Dorothy Kelly, who is also the Vice-Rector for Internationalization at the University of Granada, emphasized that the last three years have been both a great adventure and a huge challenge.
The goal of the Arqus initiative is to build a strong network of universities, create a common research and teaching space and enhance the mobility of staff and students, which, given the cultural, organisational and legislative differences between the countries, is not an easy task. Arqus has also had to face a pandemic, which forced a change of plans and the implementation of many activities in an online format from the very beginning of the Alliance existence.
The new Arqus team from the University of Wrocław asked the Arqus representatives about the biggest challenges the Alliance has faced so far. It turned out that these were related to the creation of joint curricula by Arqus members, leading to obtaining a joint degree. Thanks to efforts on the part of the academic community, the legislative obstacles to approving joint degree programmes could be removed. Another difficulty yet to overcome has been the misperception of Arqus as a project, whereas it is a long-term initiative to build a joint international academic community. According to the Alliance Coordinador, the most rewarding experience is the positive student feedback on many Arqus activities in which they have participated.
Arqus representatives discussed the existing Action Lines, i.e. Widening Access, Inclusion and Diversity, Entrepreneurial University & Regional Engagement, Multilingual & Multicultural University, Student-centred Frameworks for Quality Learning, Engaged European Citizens and Research Support and Early-Stage Researcher Development. They also presented the complex structure of the entire Alliance, which includes, among others, the Rectors' Council, the Steering Committee, the Boards of the different Action Lines, the Students' Council and the International Advisory Board.
In the next four years, following the adhesion of the University of Wrocław and the University of Minho to Arqus, the Alliance will focus on three areas of cooperation: Artificial Intelligence, Climate Change & Sustainability, and European Identity & Cultural Heritage.
News prepared by Ewelina Kośmider, Communications Officer at the University of Wrocław.