The annual YUFE Alliance meeting was held in Bremen on 13–14 October 2021. There was a vigorous and open discussion about the direction in which the YUFE Alliance will be taken after the first pilot phase.
Formed by ten universities, YUFE (Young Universities for the Future of Europe) is one of the first 41 alliances selected and funded by the European Commission to develop European-wide university models.
“The building of YUFE towards a European university will continue with ambition, with an emphasis on the key objectives. For the University of Eastern Finland, this collaboration is important from the perspective of our own internationalisation ambitions. We want to be among Europe's pioneering universities,” Academic Rector Tapio Määttä says.
According to Director of International Affairs Riikka Pellinen, the various partner universities’ sustainable development initiatives carried out in collaboration with campus cities were particularly interesting.
“It was interesting to see how many different ways there are for universities and campus cities to strive for carbon neutrality, to jointly seek solutions, and to take action. For example, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid has, through collaboration, produced a carbon footprint calculator and a recycling fashion week in the city of Leganés. On the other hand, it became clear that measures relating to sustainable development are quite advanced at UEF, and that we could also share our expertise within the alliance. An important lesson learnt is that we must increasingly seek to collaborate with our campus cities and regions in sustainable development measures,” Pellinen says.
At the meeting, the Chair of the YUFE Alliance, Professor Martin Paul of the University of Maastricht emphasised that YUFE stands for a radical change in higher education, seeking to establish a European university that is young, non-elitist, open, and inclusive.
In addition to the University of Eastern Finland, the YUFE partners include Maastricht University in the Netherlands), the University of Antwerp in Belgium, the University of Bremen in Germany, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in Spain, the University of Essex in the UK, the University of Cyprus, the University of Rome Tor Vergata in Italy, the University of Rijeka in Croatia, and Nicolaus Copernicus University in Poland.
For more information, please see: https://www.uef.fi/en/yufe