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Creative discussions during Unite! Summer Community Event

Future generations of European citizens will require new educational formats that offer flexibility and that can be easily communicated to students, teachers and non-teaching staff. This desire provided the foundation for the EU-financed university alliance, Unite!. Between 13-15 June, KTH hosted Unite! Summer Community Event that gathered participants from all European universities in the alliance, more than 20 from Aalto University.
Mirko Varano is the Unite! Key Liaison Officer at KTH.
Mirko Varano, KTH’s Key Liaison Officer for the alliance. Photo: Mikael Sjöberg

A bright and sunny Stockholm welcomed more than 200 staff members and students for the Unite! Summer Community Event. With the Unite! alliance nearing the end of its pilot phase, KTH hosted the latest joint meeting (known as “Dialogues”) from June 13-15. Members from the individual universities, many meeting each other for the first time in real life, took part in a series of operative sessions and workshops and plotted the next steps for the project. 

“The alliance will offer students from graduate to master and PhD level endless possibilities to design their own tracks. They’ll get a unique graduate profile and can move more or less freely within these seven (soon to become nine) universities,” says Mirko Varano, KTH’s Key Liaison Officer for the alliance.

“The main idea in the pilot phase was to create new joint activities and test them on a small scale, then to expand to other schools” Varano adds. “Now we’re planning to be more visible. The next aims are to offer not only joint programmes, but individual courses, modules, summer schools that students can pick directly, knowing they won’t need to struggle for recognition afterwards.”

During the Community event, representatives from the different Task Forces, Work Packages, and Working Groups who have creatively worked closely together throughout these past three years had the possibility to plan the final phase of the pilot. This phase will most likely lead to the full roll out of the Alliance in the even more ambitious November 2022 – October 2026 period (with a possible extension until the end of 2028) in which the joint activities of Unite! will be streamlined and implemented on a much larger scale at all partner universities.

The event also represented the first occasion in which a number of representatives from the two new future partner universities, Graz University of Technology and Wroclaw Technical University, will join the Alliance activities in person.

During the open welcome session, Stefan Östlund, Vice President for Global Relations at KTH gave a speech on the theme of Responsible Internationalization.  The Community Event also offered seminars on the themes of the sustainable campus, Intercultural Competence, Gender Equality, diversity and equal conditions as well as a visit to the KTH Live-in Laboratory, where students live and sleep, monitored by sensors as a research project. There were also presentations of the winning students and student teams of [email protected] your Covid hackathon and Unite!4Future competition.

The next Dialogue will take place in Torino in 20-22 September 2022 and will be the final Unite! Dialogue during the pilot phase.

More information

Related article on KTH website about the some of the people involved in the Summer Community Event:

Voices from Unite! Summer Community Event

Unite! University Alliance

Aalto University is a member of Unite! alliance together with six other European universities. Unite! will create a new model for European university education by strengthening the mobility of students and staff, and fostering the quality, inclusiveness and competitiveness of European higher education. Unite! is one of the European University Alliances funded by the European Commission.

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