ULiège and seven other European universities sign the mission statement of their European University UNIC project
The European University UNIC project brings together universities located in post-industrial cities: Bilbao, Bochum, Cork, Istanbul, Oulu, Rotterdam, Zagreb and Liège. The UNIC project aims to promote the role of these universities as actors of social, technological and economic transition and as drivers of inclusion in regions characterised by the superdiversity of their populations.
n 5 February 2020, at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, the rectors of eight European universities signed the UNIC mission statement "The European University for Post-Industrial Cities". Together, the Universities of Deusto in Bilbao, Bochum, Cork, Koç in Istanbul, Oulu, Rotterdam, Zagreb and Liège have the mission to stimulate mobility and social inclusion in societies marked by superdiversity.
Post-industrial cities in Europe face many common challenges in parallel with the transition from a manufacturing-based to a service-based economy. These challenges include youth (un)employment, the impact of new technologies, the transition to renewable energy sources and evolving health-related challenges.
Superdiversity as a common feature
Superdiversity is an important feature of post-industrial European cities in socio-economic and socio-cultural terms. Superdiversity requires the development of more innovative, accessible and inclusive ways of researching, teaching and learning that respond to the needs of populations.
The application of the UNIC project will be submitted to the European Commission in order to be officially recognized among the European Universities.
Campuses, academia and laboratories
UNIC, coordinated by the Erasmus University of Rotterdam and developed in close cooperation with students from different universities, is a long-term alliance based on three pillars.
- Inter-University Campus: to enable students, staff and researchers/teachers to move seamlessly to study, train, teach, do research, work or share services within UNIC, regardless of their socio-economic and cultural background.
- Superdiversity Academy: to encourage universities to welcome students and staff from all backgrounds.
- CityLabs: creating meeting places to exchange knowledge in and with university cities.
Rector Pierre Wolper signed a mission statement for the University of Liège:
"The student population of the University of Liège is strongly marked by the diversity of origin of the populations historically coming and going to Liège today. We thus share this characteristic of what sociologists call superdiversity with many other post-industrial cities in Europe. It is a considerable challenge to ensure that this superdiversity has a positive and lasting impact on the development of these cities and regions. In this context, access to inclusive university education, which is free of all forms of discrimination, stimulating cultural exchanges, debates and student mobility is essential. This is the objective of the UNIC alliance of European universities, to which ULiège will contribute by sharing its concrete experiences of involvement in the socio-economic and cultural life of its region. »
The eight Universities of the UNIC Alliance
- University of Deusto, Bilbao, Spain
- Ruhr University Bochum, Germany
- University College Cork, Ireland
- Koç University, Istanbul, Turkey
- University of Oulu, Finland
- Erasmus University Rotterdam, The Netherlands
- University of Zagreb, Croatia
- University of Liège, Belgium
Crédit photos © Arie Kers