Our alliance is now in a project build-up process where the team leaders have begun to engage with their team members and focus on their action plans and the first outcomes. In this feature, you can expect highlights of one task team involved in work package 3, 4, and 5.
Work Package 3: Aurora Pilot Domains
From creating questionnaires to promoting Aurora among other academics, the Aurora pilot domain groups have shown increasing progress in their activities. Aurora wishes to identify and aurorarize its courses and programs that can be included in the Aurora Alliance program. To support this endeavour, a questionnaire will be created to gather information on identifying academics whose courses and programs can profit from the competence framework, plurilingualism, and mobility features that may feed into the Aurora web portal. The questionnaire will soon be distributed to all Aurora member universities as soon as the recipients and its channels have been identified within each university. Some pilot groups are even a step further and are exploring the development of a 2-year master program, or potential summer schools that would integrate several Aurora attributes like international experience, online mobility, co-teaching and service-learning. In parallel, the Aurora Central Office is also starting to activate academics communities in 4.2 to produce short testimonial video clips from peers.
Work Package 4: Courses for all Auroreans
With the launch of Aurora Co-Creation Community this December, three Aurora Universities have opened up their co-creation courses for all Aurora partners. These three are a) Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA) has opened the course Interdisciplinary Service Learning (iCSL): addressing transdisciplinary research challenges. The course aims for Master students from any discipline working on a thesis/internship/project work related to any of the four thematic categories related to Aurora pilot domains. b) University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) has opened two courses for Bachelor-level students namely the Commitment and learning in times of Corona - A practical seminar to recognize and reflect on social commitment: In this course students work together in international teams to reflect on their civic engagement learning experience, exchange insights and knowledge, and develop and strengthen critical competencies for personal and professional development. The second course, Creative Lab Ruhr (CHR) is based on design thinking. It aims to engage the students in interdisciplinary teams to systematically solve complex problems in educational and cultural work with regional practice partners. And lastly, c), University of Innsbruck (UInn) has opened its course: A new balance of Digital and Presence. This focuses on collaboration and service design thinking for staff, inspiring people with innovative approaches and practical tools for daily teaching, research and teamwork.
Work Package 5: How does each course contribute to the SDGs?
By Auður Pálsdóttir, PhD, University of Iceland
One of the interesting things I do these days is to work on the Aurora collaboration. I got the opportunity to lead the work package called the Aurora Education Dashboard, whose aim is to provide students with an SDG perspective in their studies. That means allowing students to select courses in any Aurora universities based on what SDGs each course has to do with.
For students to get an overview of what SDG each course is related to it was decided to create a robust SDG Education Dashboard. This Dashboard will provide students with an overview of available courses in all the Aurora universities categorised by the SDGs. Thus, if a student might have a special interest in a particular SDG, they can find available courses related to that SDG in the Dashboard. This work package aims to create and try out a joint Aurora course on the SDGs.
My participation in the Aurora university network is the ambitious large-scale emphasis on connecting staff and students in making the universities more sustainable. Particularly, I like the collective approach, the joint endeavour of diverse groups of people connecting and joining forces. In my group, we are getting a clearer picture of what the tasks at hand include, but how to get there, we do not know yet – but we will get there together.