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George Azzopardi - FSE - and Sander van Lanen - FSS -, 4th and 6th from left

ENLIGHT Impact Awards

On June 11th in Bilbao, the ENLIGHT Impact Awards recognized research projects with significant societal impact. The University of Groningen's projects included the Invi Bracelet: a nonviolent self-defense tool against (sexual) violence, Enhancing National and Cross-Border Security: Automatic detection of Face Morphing Attacks, and Michi Noeki as social infrastructure: a rest stop in the neighborhood. The event featured discussions and workshops on research impact, concluding with the announcement of the ENLIGHT Impact Ambassadors.

Teaching and Learning Conference Poster

ENLIGHT Teaching and Learning Conference

The fourth ENLIGHT Teaching and Learning Conference will take place at the University of Tartu from 7 to 9 October 2024. The conference theme is Innovation and Creativity in Higher Education. Until 12 May, 2024, interested people can submit their proposal that they will then present at the conference!

Online ENLIGHT Matchmaking Events:

The Online ENLIGHT Matchmaking Events on April 29 and 30 offer opportunities for ENLIGHT researchers to connect, collaborate, and develop partnerships. On Monday, April 29, participants can pitch research ideas for collaborations, with sessions focused on matchmaking tools and joint funding proposals. Early Career Researchers (ECRs) are specifically invited to join on Tuesday, April 30, for a workshop on leadership and networking led by Juko-Mart Kõlar.

ENLIGHT Teaching & Learning Conference and Award 2023

The 3rd edition of the ENLIGHT Teaching and Learning Conference was recently held in Bordeaux. From 11 - 13 October, more than 200 students, teachers and educators from the ENLIGHT partners gathered to share examples of innovative teaching, network and look at collaboration opportunities. Part of the programme could be followed online. The UG was also present and participated in workshops, discussions and gave presentations. In addition, the programme included a keynote by Robert Coelen of Campus Fryslan entitled 'Empowering students of Higher Education with Diversity' and the Global Dialogue Awards and the T&L Awards, the prizes for best programme of the year, were presented. We congratulate Benjamin Leruth of the Faculty of Arts on winning a T&L Award. His team received 3rd prize for the course 'Democratic Innovations'.

Here are some impressions from UG participants:

Dr. Liga Klavina, Psychology Department, Faculty of Behavioural & Social Sciences
The team Liga is part of won the first T&L Award in 2021

“Compared to the earlier editions this had, I think, the highest student representation and engagement. It is one of the things that makes the conference special, students are co-presenters and presenters, and also have active roles in shaping the conference. What I value is the resulting dynamic conversations about teaching and learning. In every subgroup discussion I was involved in, students were there readily sharing their perspective and experience. Student co-creation to some may seem like a distant and not always a realistic scenario, whereas in this conference it really comes to life. With the ENLIGHT project moving forward, I am curious if the sometimes apparent disconnect in how some topics, such as sustainability and diversity, are thought about by different groups (based on age, region, discipline) can be bridged? Perhaps through the role of moderator(s) in key moments in the conference representing a multitude of such voices? 
The set-up of our peer mentor system at psychology received interest from students and staff of other universities, and I learned a lot about challenge-based learning, both from diving deep into exploring the opportunities and limitations, and from the other ENLIGHT colleagues sharing what they learned from their own Challenge-based learning courses”.

Scholte Boels
, trainer en loopbaanadviseur - FEB Career Services
I have never been to the ENLIGHT Teaching and Learning conference before, and I was very curious to find out what the role of students who attended the conference would be. The way professors, staff, and students engaged with each other and shared perspectives resulted in a very dynamic conference with some interesting discussions. What stood out to me was the diversity of instructional strategies and ideas that teachers use to empower learners. A particularly interesting idea that I came across was a career readiness self-assessment tool for students that provides learners with a selection of activities they can engage in (offered by career services). The tool lets students take ownership of their career development process as well as helps them structure the process and support them in their needs. 

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Photos: Gautier Dufau, University of Bordeaux

The T&L Award
During both previous editions, the UG won prizes, so we were very curious if we would succeed again this year. On behalf of the UG, Benjamin Leruth, Assistant Professor of European Politics and Society, Faculty of Arts, was nominated for the course Democratic Innovations, which focuses on innovative approaches to democratic participation and public decision-making. Since Leruth himself unfortunately could not attend, he had asked one of his students, Rabea Scmucker to represent him and convince the jury - this year composed entirely of students - of the innovative nature of the course.. And it worked: Benjamin was awarded the third prize. Well done, Rabea!

Benjamin Leruth,
teacher Democratic Innovations: "I am very grateful to the jury for recognizing this course and the efforts we put into making it a unique learning experience. I would like to thank my colleagues Léonie de Jonge and Stefan Couperus (who used to co-teach this course), all stakeholders who agreed to be part of the democratic experiments, as well as all students who took the course over the past three years: the course has become a success story thanks to their invaluable contributions".

Rabea Schmucker, student Democratic Innovations: “Being enrolled in this course and getting to represent Benjamin at the Conference has been a truly enriching experience, which I am very thankful for. What really sets the course apart from others for me is the emphasis on practical application as it makes me engage more deeply with the content and increases understanding."

The next ENLIGHT Teaching Learning Conference will be hosted by the University of Tartu, from 7-9 October 2024. Save the date!

EU grants ENLIGHT four more years  
ENLIGHT among selected European University alliances and secures €14.4 million

We are very proud to announce that ENLIGHT, now consisting of 10 universities from 10 European countries, is among the 30 selected alliances by the European Commission and will receive €14.4 million for the next four years. ENLIGHT intends to allocate a significant portion of the funding towards academic initiatives, emphasizing its commitment to supporting scholars. Moreover, we are pleased to welcome the University of Bern as our newest alliance member. This collaboration strengthens the diversity and impact of the alliance, furthering its mission to develop a university of the future.  

From project to sustainable network 
In the next phase ENLIGHT will be able to expand and enhance the initiatives developed during the pilot phase. The ambition remains to create an open space for students and staff to learn, teach, collaborate, create and innovate. New will be the launch of bottom-up calls for interdisciplinary thematic networks and start-up grants to promote the development of future-proof education. In addition, the alliance has expanded its focus areas, adding 'culture and creativity' to the existing areas of health and well-being, digitalisation, climate change, energy and circular economy, and equality.

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ENLIGHT Mid-year meeting in Groningen, juni 2023. Photo: Marcel Spanjer, UG

UG rector Cisca Wijmenga: “As ENLIGHT, we are moving from a project-based approach to a sustainable network. It is our common ambition, now that the new proposal has been awarded, to anchor this collaboration in our institutions, in our activities and especially in our people. Here in Groningen, our interdisciplinary schools and the University of the North are an excellent stepping stone to make this happen. We look forward to taking the next steps together with all our partners to develop an open and inclusive European university."

ENLIGHT is a European University alliance formed by 10 comprehensive, research-intensive universities comprising the universities of Bilbao (Basque Country), Bern (Switzerland), Bordeaux (France), Comenius Bratislava (Slovakia), Galway (Ireland), Ghent (Belgium), Gottingen (Germany), Groningen (Netherlands), Tartu (Estonia) and Uppsala (Sweden). Together, they educate more than 300,000 students per year and share a strong commitment to social responsibility. Just last June the UG hosted the general mid-year meeting bringing together staff and students from all partners for discussions and workshops around the central theme ‘transformation’. 

Last modified:13 June 2024 1.45 p.m.