Universities building a better Europe

Universities play a crucial role in creating knowledge and fostering democratic and sustainable societies. Their impact on wellbeing and the development of a thriving, competitive Europe stems from educating future leaders, professionals, researchers and citizens. It equally comes from curiosity-driven research aimed at identifying and meeting the broad challenges we all face and outreach to local and global industry and governments to foster much-needed innovation. Yet demonstrating and communicating universities’ impact at the societal level is a challenge in itself. Universities need strong leadership, a focused strategic approach, as well as coordinated efforts across Europe and beyond. The 2020 EUA Annual Conference will provide a platform to explore how universities are making a difference, how their impact can be maximised and how to give visibility to their key role in addressing broad challenges.

The 2020 EUA Annual Conference will feature a mix of plenary and parallel sessions, including interactive audience participation, encouraging a rich exchange of experiences and good practices.

The event is of interest to university leadership and other university staff working at the management and strategic level, as well as academics. It also welcomes students, policymakers and other stakeholders in higher education, research and innovation.

If you would like to tweet about the event or follow the discussions on Twitter, use the hashtag #EUA2020Gdansk.

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WELCOME FROM THE RECTOR

GUT Rector resizedIt is our great honour and pleasure to welcome the attendees of the 2020 EUA Annual Conference and General Assembly to Gdańsk University of Technology (GUT). Gdańsk, a place of rich history and breathtaking architecture, is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist and cultural centres in Poland and Europe. It is the birthplace of some of the most brilliant personalities like Johannes Hevelius, Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, Daniel Mikołaj Chodowiecki and Arthur Schopenhauer. Gdańsk is also very proud to be the place where the “Solidarity” social movement originated, paving the way for the dismantling of communism in Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries. In 2020, we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of those unforgettable events and we expect a great number of visitors who share the values of liberty and democracy.

Our university is very proud to be a meaningful partner in the development of the European Research Area and European Higher Education Area, inter alia by contributing to the development of open science and open research data paradigms, as well as by increasing international collaboration in research and education and promoting social inclusiveness and diversity. Higher education and scientific research in Poland are currently undergoing fundamental changes initiated by a recently introduced new law, dubbed Act 2.0, which will be an interesting backdrop for the conference activities. We are at the forefront of those changes.

GUT is among the leading Polish universities according to national and international rankings. We strive to increase our participation and visibility in Europe and globally. GUT is the third Polish university that joined the Conference of European Schools for Advanced Engineering Education and Research (CESAER) – an organisation of European universities of technology. The European Commission has granted our university the right to use the prestigious HR Excellence in Research logo, a sign of quality assuring the highest standards in scientific research and staff employment. We have a meaningful share in the European and broader mobility actions, notably through the Erasmus+ programme, with more than 550 inter-institutional agreements. We are also a member of ARTEMIS Industry Association which provides access to a vast network of high-profile research and innovation partners.

We strongly believe that GUT is very well suited to host the 2020 EUA Annual Conference. The dedication and friendliness of our staff, the beauty of our campus ranked among the ten most beautiful in Europe, and the history and openness of Gdańsk all make GUT a perfect location for the conference. We expect a memorable event providing a platform for the exchange of views and experiences which will encourage, so we trust, the establishment of long-lasting partnerships, not only during official conference sessions, but also in the course of stimulating social events. The local organising committee, together with EUA, will make every effort towards your satisfaction.

We look forward to seeing you at Gdańsk University of Technology.

Krzysztof Wilde

Rector, Gdańsk University of Technology

© Gdansk University of Technology

 

ABOUT GDAŃSK UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

Photo K. KrzempekGdańsk University of Technology (GUT) is one of the oldest autonomous national universities and the oldest technical university in Poland. The original university buildings were erected between 1900 and 1904 based on the plans prepared by Berlin architect Albert Carsten for the newly created Royal Institute of Technology. The first academic year began on 6 October 1904, with an inauguration attended by the German Emperor Wilhelm II. On this day, nearly 200 students started their education at six different faculties.

With the creation of the Free City of Gdańsk, the university continued its activities. From 1941 to 1945 it operated with a decreased number of students and academic staff. In January 1945, lectures were suspended in order to evacuate the equipment, library and lecturers. The buildings were used as a field hospital with 3,000 beds until the end of the war. On 24 May 1945, after the city became a part of Poland, GUT was declared a Polish national university.

The first independent student parliament in Poland was formed at GUT over 60 years ago, becoming a school of democratic thinking for students in the whole country. With its students and personnel involved in every major unrest against the communist rule, the university continued to educate highly qualified engineers, much needed by the national industry, and maintained its development when Poland became a democratic country.

In 2014, Gdańsk University of Technology celebrated its 110th anniversary, followed by the 111th jubilee in 2015. Nowadays, it reinforces its position among the best technical universities, certified by national rankings and international authorities. In 2018, the Gdańsk University of Technology campus was ranked among the ten most beautiful in Europe by Times Higher Education. A short guide to the most interesting places on the campus is available here.

Download this video to discover more about Gdańsk University of Technology.

© K. Krzempek

ABOUT GDAŃSK

Photo Convention BureauSituated on the Baltic Sea coast, Gdańsk is the heart of the metropolitan area known as Tricity, which includes the neighbouring cities of Gdynia and Sopot. It is where World War II started, but also where “Solidarity” originated, the movement that changed the national history and was directly responsible for the fall of communism in Eastern Europe. The breakthrough events are documented in the multi-media exhibition "Roads to Freedom" in the historic BHP hall of the Gdańsk Shipyard. The exhibition recalls the local struggle for freedom and justice, and the birth of the first independent trade union, "Solidarity".

From its inception, Gdańsk has remained truly multicultural.  It is also a vibrant centre of technological innovation. Numerous global corporations can be found in the area, recruiting well-educated graduates from local higher education institutions. Gdańsk also cultivates its centuries-long tradition in amber processing, and its nickname of the world capital of amber is well earned.

In Gdańsk, the issue of environmental protection is given an exceptionally high priority, as is evidenced by its numerous environmental investments. Sprawling on the southern Baltic coast, Gdańsk boasts the picturesque Tri-City Landscape Park, the hills and lakes of the Kashubian Switzerland district, the famous Oliwa Park with its ancient trees, the "Gdańsk Fortress" Culture Park of City Fortifications with unique authentic military architecture, numerous parks and city squares, and the nature reserves of the Sobieszewo Island. Always hospitable, Gdańsk invites visitors to enjoy its charming lanes and historic interiors, theatres, philharmonic hall, opera house and outdoor summer musical stage.

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The call for contributions for the 2020 EUA Annual Conference is now out. The call seeks proposals for presentations and workshops. The deadline to submit proposals is 9 January 2020.

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