Thinking beyond and creating impact: The IX Unite! Dialogue at TU Graz

Graz University of Technology hosted the Unite! Dialogue from 27-29 February 2024 for the first time since joining the alliance. Students, staff and faculty from all nine Unite! universities came together to attend this event.

The theme of the Dialogue was "Think beyond: Unite! for Collective and Sustainable Impact" and TU Graz welcomed more than 350 representatives from all partner universities to Austria’s second city Graz.

The event kicked off with an electrifying opening session moderated by TESSY, the speaking Tesla coil. Speakers such as Unite! President Tanja Brühl, TU Graz Rector Horst Bischof, Unite!'s policy and funding advisor Anshika Suri and SURE!'s spokesperson Beatriz Rodrigues, set the tone for the days ahead by stressing the key role of Unite! in collectively and sustainably shaping the European educational and research landscape, and by emphasizing the alliance’s inspiring and visionary community spirit.

IXe Dialogue Unite!
IXe Dialogue Unite!

Unite! Unite! That’s in it for all of us 

Transversal and collaborative work meetings provided insights into other communities’ ongoing projects and collaborative needs as well as the various milestones achieved and presented by the different communities during the Dialogue: One of them was the launch of the brand-new staff and faculty training catalogue containing Unite!’s annual training programme for all faculty & staff. The community event "Unite! Unite! What’s in it for me?" provided a comprehensive overview of the benefits Unite! offers to its community in form of pitches and presentations. From several seed funded initiatives  to Unite!’s federated learning management system Metacampus, from various summer school programmes and more offers for students to the Unite! Doctoral School, this first-time event highlighted various activities. All these are tailored to students, staff and faculty and gave valuable insights into the resources and opportunities available throughout Unite!

Unite! students actively involved 

The SURE! (Students in Unite! for Representation and Empowerment) community played a vital role throughout the Dialogue, by participating in diverse transversal and community sessions.  

The community of almost 30 students from all nine Unite! universities warmly welcomed the new student representatives to SURE!, discussed improvements to the internal structure and established new guidelines for effective collaboration between all participants. SURE! members contributed with their feedback to improve student activities within Unite!, focussing on the next Seed Fund call and initiating a potential project under the auspices of SURE! themselves.  

Beyond the formal sessions, the SURE! representatives enjoyed a lively social programme, including dinners with the TU Graz Student Union and the PhD Union. Comparing the situation of students at different universities, including their social life, studies and extracurricular opportunities, led to valuable discussions and strengthened the team spirit of SURE!

Unite! Widening for excellence in innovation and research 

With the project Unite! Widening, funded by the HORIZON-WIDERA-2023 call, a new project successfully kicked-off during the IX Dialogue in Graz. The goal of Unite! Widening is to strengthen Unite! as an alliance by enhancing the scientific, technological and innovation capacity of the consortium. It aims at raising the alliance’s excellence as a group and of its individual HEIs with a special focus on the Widening countries Poland and Portugal. 

Unite! socialising clubs and activities

Networking opportunities and exchange among all Uniters were facilitated and promoted through various programmes and activities during the entire Dialogue, whether it was the language café or the lunch lottery, Unite! socialising club activities like baking traditional Austrian Applestrudel with the cooking club members, or enjoying an Austrian movie with the film club to Dinner & Dance in the Tesla Hall. There was something in it for everyone at the Unite! Dialogue in Graz.

IXème Dialogue Unite!
IXème Dialogue Unite!

Want to know more about Unite!’s offers for faculty and staff, then click through the faculty and staff training catalogue 

As a student of Unite! don’t hesitate and check out the student course catalogue

For all of you who want to re-experience some of the dialogue’s events, watch the recorded livestreams from the Community event and the 21 Day Unite! IDEA Challenge 


Photo credits: Renate Trummer - Fotogenia