Vilnius University hosts the 2021 Arqus Annual Conference

logo of the Arqus 2021 annual conference

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 is pleased to invite the guests to discuss the Alliance’s achievements and future perspectives at VU, where the President of France Emmanuel Macron, the author of the idea of European university integration, was recently awarded an honorary doctorate.

“Just like VU’s honorary doctorate awarded to French President E. Macron, this Annual Arqus Conference is a significant event that expresses VU’s commitment to the idea of European university alliances and to the European research community that we are a part of. The Arqus Alliance, currently uniting seven universities, has already overcome many strategic challenges on its path and is not going to stop. Therefore, I am glad that bold, innovative and significant ambitions for the future activities of the Alliance will be planned in VU,” VU Rector Prof. Rimvydas Petrauskas says.

On 5th October, the first day of the annual conference, everyone is welcome to the opening of the event, which will include a special greeting from the French President Emmanuel Macron dedicated to the Arqus Annual Conference and an exclusive speech by higher education expert Peter van der Hijden. The opening and greeting of the conference and will broadcast live on the Arqus YouTube Channel.

“The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to postpone our first Annual Conference, due to be held in Lyon in spring last year. We are now pleased to see a gradual return to normality, and we will finally be able to meet in person at this three-day conference, and discuss the objectives achieved and the challenges ahead”, says Dorothy Kelly, Coordinator of the Arqus Alliance and Vice-Rector for Internationalization at the University of Granada.

The Arqus Annual Conference consists of a public part, the conference “University in the transforming world: catching up with or getting ahead of time,” and a closed part for working meetings where various working groups will discuss the future of the Alliance and possible challenges. 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.

Despite the limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, in terms of both travel restrictions and limits on the number of participants at the venue, this is a unique opportunity to strengthen the links among the seven universities and to continue building the Arqus community, who constitute the real foundations of the Alliance.

More information and the programme of the event are available here.