Building links together: Networking events for the InclusU alliance

Last year in the context of the 1st application for Erasmus+ call for European Universities, seven European universities organized the first and official networking Lunch for Inclusive Universities in Brussels in February 2019.

Rectors and vice-rectors, directors of the International offices of the University of Lille (France), Babeș-Bolyai University (Romania), Malmö University (Sweden), Mikolas Romeris University (Lithuania), the University of Minho (Portugal), Roma Tre University (Italy) and the University of Wroclaw (Poland) assisted to this meeting in order to strengthen links between the partners’ universities. This was the 1st official meeting between rectors and vice rectors of the alliance.

Hosted by the Network of Universities in South Sweden and organized by the University of Lille in partnership with the Hauts-de-France region, Brussels based representatives of regions where InclusU universities are located also took part in this event an occasion to discuss the interlinkages between universities and regions in building the more inclusive Europe.

Between 2018 and 2020, 8 alliance meetings attended by the InclusU core team of each university (involving the political level, international relations office staff and academics) per institution took place at MRU, ULille, UBB, UMinho, UWr. These meetings were dedicated to mapping the existing inclusiveness-related activities at the 8 institutions, co-designing the vision and cooperation structure and crafting the work plan and work packages.

The history of cooperation among the partners of the InclusU partners is diverse, reflecting the overall complementarity of the alliance. Certain partners have participated together in Erasmus projects or other EU or non-EU funding programs, positive experiences that have contributed to the construction of the alliance. Some partners have worked together in less formal ways in different European or international networks.

One year after this first official event and after 18 months for the alliance members working together, a second rectors and vice-rectors meeting was organized at the University of Lille, in February 2020. This second time together reinforced and strengthened the good relations tied between InclusU members, but it was also a great moment to discuss about further cooperation after the second proposal submission last 26 February.

It was the occasion to make public that the InclusU alliance welcomed a new partner, European University of Viadrina, from Germany.  From now, these eight universities united by a firm commitment to inclusiveness, conformed an alliance driven to act as a change-maker European societies, through the co-creation of knowledge resulting from close links between education, research and innovation. Their main objective: to become the champion for Inclusiveness university.