14/12/2023 | by Lara Marie Andres
As we close another dynamic year at EUniWell, join us in reflecting on some of our key moments: From welcoming new members to securing vital funding, 2023 has been a landmark year in strengthening our Alliance, our commitment to well-being and excellence in research and education.
Reflecting on a year full of accomplishments, new challenges and opportunities, EUniWell has continued to evolve as a European University and voice for well-being in higher education and beyond. In 2023, we celebrated milestones that not only symbolised our pursuit of excellent research and education but also our dedication to our community and joint growth as an Alliance. Let’s rewind and explore the highlights of this year, showcasing our dedication to advancing well-being and our rising impact in higher education.
2023 marked a year of significant expansion for EUniWell, broadening our impact and enriching our cultural and academic diversity. We proudly welcomed two new members to our Alliance: the University of Santiago de Compostela and the Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales (Inalco) in Paris. Additionally, EUniWell’s global influence was significantly strengthened by the establishment of cross-Atlantic collaboration, codified by the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Teachers College, Columbia University (USA). This newly forged partnership underscores our pledge to fostering well-being through international cooperation also beyond Europe. To this end, we further extended our outreach to the global south, as our Small Private Online Course (SPOC) in cooperation with the Université Mohammed V de Rabat, the University of Nairobi and the University of the Western Cape came to fruition.
Over the past twelve months, EUniWell hosted a series of impactful events, each contributing uniquely to our overarching vision. FestiWell 2023, titled “Upskill, Connect, and Celebrate”, at Linnaeus University, saw over 200 participants exploring themes of entrepreneurship and digitalisation, enhancing a diverse range of skills and fostering a sense of community. On 9 May, our Europe Day event was an expression of our core values when EUniWell had the honour of engaging in dialogue with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. Organised by Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, the event highlighted our commitment to European solidarity and adaptability in times of adversity. At the end of the year, we reached a significant milestone with the first EUniWell Showcase Conference. This event at the University of Murcia, titled “Becoming A Voice for Well-Being”, symbolised the conclusion of our pilot phase under the Erasmus+ funding line and featured the unveiling of the “EUniWell 2030: Strategy Framework and Strategy Questions”. These events collectively underscored our ambition to become a/the leading voice for well-being and our intercultural understanding, illustrating the dynamic and forward-looking nature of EUniWell.
In July, we celebrated an exciting leap forward for EUniWell as we received continued funding from the European Commission through the Erasmus+ European Universities Initiative. This funding, amounting to 14.4 million Euros over the next four years, is more than just financial support; it is a catalyst towards realising our ambitious “EUniWell 2030: Strategy Framework and Strategy Questions”. This framework is a comprehensive roadmap, focusing on enhancing multidimensional well-being, fostering interdisciplinary research, and promoting innovation in education. The EUniWell Alliance, now comprising eleven member universities from across Europe, is set to expand its collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to education, research, innovation transfer, and community engagement.
In 2023, EUniWell continued to support innovative grassroots projects through the Well-Being Research Incubator and the Seed Funding Programme. The Well-Being Research Incubator’s second and third call for workshops successfully identified several promising ideas, reflecting the initiative’s focus on collaborative and innovative research. Moreover, some workshops from the first and second call have progressed to receive further funding for subsequent projects. Parallel to this, the Seed Funding Programme launched its fifth call, successfully identifying and supporting nine new project ideas. This programme remains an essential part of EUniWell’s efforts to encourage innovative projects from within the university community. Looking forward, the sixth Seed Funding Call is scheduled to launch on 18 January 2024, continuing our commitment to fostering impactful and community-driven projects.
Emerging from EUniWell’s collaborative community, the two initiatives “TEFF” and “DigiUni” exemplify our Alliance’s growing impact. The project “Teacher Education for a Future in Flux” (TEFF), launched in June 2023 under Erasmus+ funding, will enhance teacher education across Europe, focusing on crucial skills for modern educators. Meanwhile, the “DigiUni” project, led by Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv in collaboration with the University of Cologne, is set to revolutionise digital education in Ukraine, particularly for displaced students. These projects, though independent, emerged from EUniWell and are a testament to our innovative spirit extending its influence into vital areas of education and well-being.
Under the Horizon2020 funding scheme by the European Commission, EUniWell has made significant strides in fostering research within our Alliance. Notable among these is the launch of the EUniWell Research Training Academy, a platform dedicated to enhancing research capabilities and knowledge exchange among academics. As part of this, the introduction of the EUniWell Leadership Fellowship has created new opportunities for our researchers by supporting them in advancing their leadership skills. As we now enter the final project year for EUniWell’s #Research initiatives, our Leadership Fellowship programme is gearing up for its second round in early 2024, and new Research Communications Workshops will be part of the EUniWell Research Training Academy. Keep your eyes peeled for these exciting developments that continue to bolster EUniWell’s research community!
As we approach the end of this year, it is clear that EUniWell’s journey is one of continuous evolution and growth. From expanding our Alliance with the inclusion of the University of Santiago de Compostela and Inalco to receiving renewed funding, 2023 has been a year where our striving for well-being, interdisciplinary innovation, and global engagement has truly flourished. These milestones are not just achievements; they are stepping stones towards a more interconnected European community, aligning with our vision of fostering well-being in all facets of society.
We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our leadership, who engage in continuous dialogue and convene biannually to advance our Alliance, as well as to our dedicated team members, academics, administrative staff, and students whose tireless efforts have been the cornerstone of our success. As we look ahead, EUniWell remains committed to creating a new paradigm for higher education, one where well-being is at the forefront, driving us towards a sustainable and inclusive future for all. Here’s to a 2024 filled with even greater achievements and impactful collaborations!
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