Members and organisation

Quick facts

„Matching academic excellence with societal relevance" is the leitmotif of the Aurora University Network. In October 2019, Universität Innsbruck joined the network, which was founded in 2016 on the initiative of the Free University of Amsterdam and today comprises a total of nine members from all over Europe.

These are: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (NL), University of Iceland (IS), University of East Anglia (UK), Universität Duisburg-Essen (D), University of Aberdeen (UK), Université Grenoble-Alpes (F), Universitat Rovira i Virgili Tarragona (ES), Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II (IT) and Universität Innsbruck.

Key Themes

The strength of Aurora Universities Network lies in the quality and relevance of its projects. From even before the formal launch on October 21, 2016, the drive has been to identify key themes of common interest with enough enthusiasm at the grass root level to learn with and from each other.

Some of these original themes reflected areas of teaching, research and outreach – linked to the grand societal challenges and therefore multidisciplinary and problem-oriented in nature. Others reflected cross-cutting (horizontal) dimensions of the matching of academic excellence with societal relevance, which is the core and essence of Aurora

On these, the universities’ leadership actively stimulates activities and results that reflect the core ambition of Aurora. These themes predominantly lie in the domain of the cross-cutting dimensions of matching academic excellence with societal relevance – reflecting that academic experts will not, need not and should not be steered by institutional strategies in the choice of their academic partnerships and collaboration. Consequently, the themes are dynamic, and may rise or fade away. The current key themes are:

  1. Diversity & Inclusion
  2. Societal Impact and Relevance of Research (SIRR)
  3. Students
  4. Innovation of teaching and learning (ITL)
  5. Internationalisation
  6. Sustainability

Further details: What we do (Aurora website)


General Council and Board

Aurora has a general council, which consists of the rectors/presidents of the Aurora universities – or their formal representatives. The general council meets twice a year. Around these statutory meetings, the more encompassing Aurora Biannual meetings have evolved. Alongside the general council, the aurora universities Network has a board of four rectors and presidents who are charged with the management of the association.

Institutional coordinators

Aurora also works closely with its coordinators who are the oil to keep the Aurora engine working. Aurora coordinators consist of Institutional coordinators and Communication officers.  Each Aurora university has an “institutional coordinator” who monitors the Aurora activities in their own institution as well as in the network. At some universities, this role is shared.

Aurora office

Aurora is supported by a small central office in Amsterdam consisting of four members.

Further details: Who we are (Aurora website)


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