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Nordic University Days 2022 reflects on Nordic visions for the European knowledge area

Leaders of the Nordic universities come together for high-level conference to share their visions for the European knowledge area through the delivery of a set of key-messages.

Following the success of a joint initiative in 2019, the second edition of Nordic University Days will be taking place in Brussels on the 26th and 27th of September 2022. The event brings together more than 60 Rectors and Vice-Rectors from Universities in Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Norway for two days of high-level talks, including representatives from the European Commission, the European Parliament and Permanent representations and Missions to the EU. The University of Eastern Finland is represented by Rector Jukka Mönkkönen and Director Jaana Backman.

This unique gathering provides an opportunity for the Nordic Universities to present EU stakeholders with a set of key messages rooted in the universities' positions on the role, strategic priorities, and vision for academia and the university sector in current and future EU policy making, and framework programs such as Horizon Europe and Erasmus +.

"Excellence, academic freedom, universities in the global landscape, and science-based policy-making together with the joint implementation of the European Research Area and European Education Area and openness are among the key issues to be discussed during this event. Recognition of the important and multidimensional role universities and academia has – and must play – concerning these issues going forwards cannot be emphasised enough."

This year's event will include talks on visions for European Research, Innovation and Education – Visions for 2030, the European Strategy for Universities – Synergies and Possibilities, Green and Digital Transitions, Cooperation in Science and Innovation – in Europe and Internationally, and finally; Key Nordic Recommendations for Excellence in the European Cooperation on Education, Research & Innovation.

The Rectors and Vice-Rectors will be engaged in discussions with Margrethe Vestager, Executive Vice-President of the European Commission, Christel Schaldemose, Member of the European Parliament, Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats, Vanessa Debiais-Sainton, Head of Unit, European Commission, DG Education, Youth, Sport & Culture, Signe Rastso, Acting Director-General, European Commission, DG Research & Innovation, Maria Cristina Russo, Director, European Commission DG Research & Innovation, Global Approach & International Partnerships, and Maria Leptin, President ERC.

The Nordic Countries represent a region with a full-time R&D employed labour force well above the EU average of 1.56%, with Nordic countries ranging from between 1.88% and 2.25% (nordicstatistics.org). Their education sectors are among the most knowledge-intensive in the world, and their investments in education, innovation and research are generally high compared to other regions in Europe.