UNITE!’s 2nd Dialogue: consolidating the core actions of the Alliance

The 2nd UNITE Dialogue opened its virtual doors on 30th September to representatives of faculty, staff, students and rectors and presidents of the seven European universities of the UNITE! Alliance.

The biggest event in UNITE!

After a day of project monitoring meetings and the UNITE! Governing Platform convening with presidents and rectors of the 7 partners to decide on the next decisive steps to steer the alliance the Dialogue launched virtually on Wednesday 30th with more than 250 participants in a general sessions and parallel working sessions afterwards.

Emotional videos from Lisbon and the Universidade de Lisboa were the virtual answer to not being able to meet in Lisbon in person. The virtual format asked for adaptations of the format and opened new possibilities. The event provided a unique platform for co-creation, as the parallel sessions offered attendants a space for active participation in different focus areas of the alliance. This second UNITE! Dialogue concentrated on interconnections of Task Forces and joining the different perspectives on topics such as: Services and Virtual Campus, Innovation in Education, Research and Innovation (R&I), Distant Learning and Online Assessment, R&I in Education and Student Mobilities: Physical, Blended, Virtual. The diversity of the audience ensured exhaustive feedback from the main agents of the Alliance, in order to advance together towards the higher-education landscape of the future.

Another new aspect everyone appreciated was stronger student participation, already in the parallel sessions in the morning, but more specifically due to their co-hosting of parallel sessions in the afternoon.

In parallel, the two day site visit of EUniQ took place – also virtually. The evaluation of UNITE! was part of the EUniQ project, which develops a framework for quality assurance for European universities. UNITE! is one of four European university alliances to participate in the EUniQ pilot evaluation. For two days the experts discussed with members and external partners of UNITE! how the University Alliance defines, implements and reviews its quality goals. Students, academic members, experts for quality management, the UNITE! Management, the UNITE! President as well as representatives from politics and business from all seven UNITE! partner universities were actively involved. A first feedback of the EUniQ panel confirmed that UNITE! has a sustainable and good basis for further elaboration of its quality assurance approach. The panel was particularly impressed by the commitment and enthusiasm of the participants for UNITE!