On 1 February 2019, a new university network UNA EUROPA was officially brought to life in the JU Collegium Maius Libraria Room. The agreement signing ceremony was attended by representatives of the seven founding universities, with the Jagiellonian University in Kraków among them.
The meeting was opened by JU Rector Prof. Wojciech Nowak. He confessed that when he first started studying at the Jagiellonian University during the communist period in Poland, he did not imagine Europe as ever being so open. He added that that cooperation and integration must continue in spite of all adversity.
The next part of the session featured short speeches by the Rector of the Complutense University in Madrid Prof. Carlos Andradas Heranz and Rector of the University of Bologna Prof. Francesco Ubertini. They both stressed that the universities belonging to UNA EUROPA are proud of their past and look forward to the future in hopes of raising a new generation of people devoted to European values.
UNA EUROPA is an association of seven leading European universities formed in 2018. It comprises the Catholic University of Leuven, Panthéon-Sorbonne, Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna, Freie Universität Berlin, University of Edinburgh, Complutense University of Madrid, and the Jagiellonian University, whose participation in the network will include the involvement of the Jagiellonian Centre for Innovation, an institution actively working on bringing together science and business.
The aim of UNA EUROPA is to create a unique mode of cooperation involving joint research, educational programmes, and working for the benefit of both local and European communities. UNA EUROPA will seek to go far beyond the existing standards, and to introduce a whole new level of quality in international university cooperation. Endeavours undertaken within the framework of UNA EUROPA will include inventing new forms of education directed to both university students and the general population, conducting interdisciplinary research in a truly international environment with the use of member universities’ infrastructure, and developing innovative ways of knowledge transfer with a variety of partners: local and national governments, non-government organisations, and cultural institutions. Solutions conceived by UNA EUROPA, such as new student mobility initiatives, ‘scattered’ research institutes working simultaneously at all member universities, and novel IT teaching tools, will be scalable and transferable. It will enable them to be used in a variety of smaller and larger university networks and be remodeled as needed.