The Urban Research and Education Knowledge Alliance (U!REKA) is happy to announce that it submitted its U!REKA SHIFT proposal to the European Universities Initiative (EUI) call 2023. The U!REKA SHIFT (Sustainable Human Inclusive Future-proof Transition) project will turn the U!REKA alliance, together with 24 associated partners, into the fully-fledged U!REKA European University Network, with a common vision of climate neutrality and beyond.
Six urban-focused Universities of Applied Sciences in Europe founded the Urban Research and Education Knowledge Alliance, known as U!REKA, in 2016. U!REKA covers four regions of the European Higher Education Area and has a total student body of approximately 123,000 students and a combined number of staff of about 11,000 employees. Since its launch, U!REKA has equipped its students and life-long learners with the skills they need for the world of work, fostered mobility, and delivered impactful research in order to create a positive impact in our cities, regions and beyond. Through the 2023 Erasmus+ European Universities Initiative Call, we seek to take a major leap in our collaboration, U!REKA SHIFT, in terms of quality (a long-term, more structured and strategic collaboration), and quantity (a broader network with another 24 diverse associated partners).
Vision on climate neutrality and beyond
Our vision is to create a profound shift towards climate neutral and eventually climate positive societies. We are concentrating our resources and efforts in education and RDI to support our cities and a wider network of European cities and their ecosystems in achieving the ambitious goals of 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030, and in a wider European context by 2050. Through the U!REKA challenge-based and collaborative approach to learning we enable all students, irrespective of their educational field, to develop the necessary green and digital competencies that Europe and the world need today and in years to come.
U!REKA SHIFT is built on core values of inclusivity, sustainability, and diversity as well as student, staff and stakeholder-centeredness. With this value base to implement our joint mission, we aim to make a profound contribution to the European Education Area and European Research Area in synergy with the European Higher Education Area. The U!REKA SHIFT mission consists of three main objectives:
- To establish a sustainable inter-university campus, based on a long-term strategy on education, ensuring seamless mobility and with respect for good governance;
- To become a lighthouse European University for challenge-based and collaborative learning and innovation; and
- To shape U!REKA future-proof urban professionals who will accelerate the transition towards climate-neutral and smart cities
An alliance with exceptional stakeholder involvement and support
U!REKA SHIFT will be implemented by the following full partners:
- Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands)
- Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences (Germany)
- HOGENT University of Applied Sciences (Belgium)
- Metropolia University of Applied Sciences (Finland)
- Politécnico de Lisboa (Portugal)
- VSB Technical University of Ostrava (Czech Republic)
To make our goals and aims a reality we have a wide European network of local, regional, national and European partners tightly involved.
We are happy and proud to receive such extensive support to make the change with us towards climate-neutrality through revolutionary education as well as groundbreaking RDI. Collaboration and close involvement of our stakeholders are built into the DNA of the U!REKA SHIFT. Our partners and stakeholders have been forming the U!REKA SHIFT together with our students and staff from the very beginning, starting with defining the challenges and our joint European approach of tacking them through systemic and structural collaboration. Implementing our joint plans in close collaboration will enable us to promote European values and strengthen the European identity as well as ensure institutionalised cooperation and transformation that is based on the needs of our local, regional and European-wide community.
This article was first published on 20 February by AUAS.