AUAS seeks to contribute to climate-neutral cities via U!REKA European Universities Initiative bid

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U!REKA is preparing an application for the upcoming European Universities Initiative subsidy programme. U!REKA is a European network of universities of applied sciences, chaired by the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS). As an international applied research, innovation, and education network, with a longstanding collaboration since 2016, U!REKA’s ambition is to educate, shape, and deliver the European professionals of tomorrow.

This partnership of seven urban-focused higher education institutions in Europe, officially known as the Urban Research and Education Knowledge Alliance (U!REKA), is taking major steps toward more integrated collaboration by applying for a joint Erasmus+ project called the European Universities Initiative.

Towards climate neutrality and beyond

U!REKA is on a mission to enhance the twin transition and a goal of Europe achieving climate neutrality by 2050. As recognized in the EU’s mission for climate-neutral and smart cities, urban areas have a crucial role in the journey toward a climate-neutral Europe. We U!REKA partners are focusing our longstanding common work in education and research, development and innovation (RDI) to support our cities and a wider network of European cities to achieve the ambitious goals of 100 climate-neutral and smart cities by 2030, and in a wider European context by 2050. The selected 100 cities for the EU’s mission include five of the cities where our universities are located in. To strengthen our European cooperation and to give the best possible education to our students and support local cities, regions and ecosystems in Europe, we strive to transform our U!REKA alliance into one of the ambitious European Universities alliances.

Education and RDI to support the cities on a mission

It has been recognised that climate mitigation is very dependent on urban action. We collaborate with local cities and their stakeholders to accelerate green and digital transition. Education as well as innovative and applicable RDI solutions have an essential role to play. By answering to the needs at a local level, in our cities, regions and ecosystems, as well as our students, the future professionals, we want to provide the best possible education to counteract climate change and support cities and regions to achieve climate neutrality and beyond. Through this, the U!REKA alliance together with its stakeholders can truly make an impact.

Future proof skills are needed

To make the change happen and get permanent future proof results, we need the right set of skills. At U!REKA we collaborate tightly with private and public sector to provide education that responds to the needs and challenges of our society and equips both students and lifelong learners with the skills required to act as change-makers. As an example, at U!REKA we have a joint Change-Makers programme in which students across universities and disciplines work on the challenges such as: “How can we create more public awareness about the sustainable use of water across different European cities, taking into account socio-cultural, health- and climate-related economic dimensions”. As U!REKA EUI alliance, we aim to create and establish joint multidisciplinary education that addresses climate neutrality from social, cultural, economic and ecological perspectives and is integrated with our applied and practice-based research, development and innovation activities with local cities, regions, citizens, professional associations and companies.

This article was first published on October 2022 by U!REKA.

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