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Academic freedom in the spotlight at Coimbra Group annual conference

14 June 2022

A small delegation, led by Rector Magnificus Cisca Wijmenga, represented the University of Groningen during the annual Annual Conference of the Coimbra Group (8-10 June). The conference was hosted by the University of Padua on the occasion of its 800th anniversary in magnificent historic surroundings. The central theme of this year’s conference was: Universa Universis: Academic Freedom in a Transforming World.

One of the highlights of the three days event was a plenary panel discussion on academic freedom that took place in the magnificent Aula Magna of the University of Padua. Our Rector contributed to the discussion by stating that academic freedom has for a long time been a given fact, but that in a changing environment we must adapt and adjust the way we deal with it. She indicated that she is trying to do this in her daily work, for instance by actively promoting our values in conversations with guests. Furthermore, she said that the European University Alliances have a role to play in making the values an integral part of our educational offering. The Global Engagement Module in ENLIGHTis an example of a blended interdisciplinary programme that has the ambitious goal to lay the first foundations for students’ global citizenship and careers. Academic values are part of the competencies - knowledge, skills, values, attitude - we try to develop and should embrace in our European Universities’ education.

Panel discussion on academic freedom

Another distinct highlight of the conference was the presentation of Effy Ntemou, PhD student in Neurolinguistics, during the finals of the 3-Minute Thesis competition. The three best presentations out of 23 participants were selected for the finals in Padua during the General Assembly. UG’s candidate finished second. It was the third time in a row that a UG candidate made it to the finals.

One full conference day was reserved for meetings of the CG working groups, inter-working group sessions, and a workshop on the Unisafe project. In the working group Development Cooperation we discussed a.o. the Master Initiative Peace and Conflict Studies and the Training series around project proposal writing for Sub Saharan African partners.

For more information on UG’s activities in the Coimbra Group please feel free to contact Regine van Groningen, our institutional coordinator.

Participants in Padua
Last modified:14 June 2022 10.40 a.m.

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