Spring YERUN GA held in Paris

21.03.2024. / news / YERUN

This year’s spring session of the YERUN General Assembly was held in Paris from March 19 to 21. All participants were greeted by the host, Rector of Paris Dauphine University (PSL), Prof. El Mouhoub Mouhoud, Ph.D. The three-day sessions were chaired by the new YERUN President, Rector of the University of Tromsø, Prof. Dag Rune Olsen, Ph.D., who succedeed the previous president and Rector of the University of Rijeka, Prof. Snježana Prijić-Samaržija, Ph.D.

The meeting in Paris was an excellent opportunity to present and get to know the newest YERUN member, the University of Tallinn, which joined YERUN in January this year. Tallinn University was presented by its Rector, Prof. Tõnu Viik, Ph.D.

On the first day, March 20, rectors and university presidents participated in a workshop on the topic of using AI in higher education institutions. At EU level, the European Commission is pioneering initiatives and AI is set to become a key priority within the implementation of the European Research Area, making this a pivotal moment for reflection on how Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) should respond to the unfolding digital transformation of the sector. University leaders discussed institutional strategies for regulating the use of AI, challenges and benefits of using AI. To support the discussions, they were joined by Mr. Alistair Nolan, Senior Policy Analyst in the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation, and Prof. Tristan Cazenave, Ph.D., Professor of Artificial Intelligence, LAMSADE, PSL.

The second workshop was devoted to the discussion of the impact of the European elections on the internationalization of higher education in Europe. In recent years, elections across Europe have revealed political trends that are bringing nationalistic approaches back on the political agendas. This might jeopardise and challenge the internationalisation strategies of universities in Europe and influence their possibilities for future collaborations. The debates among the university leaders highlighted the importance of universities as institutions that must anticipate challenges, minimize risks, and advocate for the preservation of internationalization in Europe.

The central part of the three-day gathering was held on Thursday, March 21. University leaders and coordinators were presented with an updated and supplemented version of the YERUN Research Collaborative Platform, whose database now includes information on 36,000 researchers and 824,000 publications. The silver version of the platform is expected to be launched in July this year. YERUN leaders later accepted the financial report for 2023, and they were presented with a financial plan for 2024 and 2025. As next year, YERUN will celebrate its 10th anniversary, all participants were presented with the concept of the celebration and accompanying material (core values and ideas, communication campaign, publication, planned big event in Brussels), and the new YERUN strategy 2026-2030.

In the afternoon part of the session, the rectors and coordinators were joined by Mr. Peter Dröll from the European Commission (Director Prosperity, DG Research and Innovation), who held an online lecture on current research valorization policies, joint research initiatives and EU actions to promote research and innovation across the EU.

University leaders and coordinators will meet again in October at the University of Konstanz, Germany.

Skip to content