The Kick Off Meeting of UNITA - Universitas Montium, which marked the official start of the consortium's work after the approval of the European Commission, was a success. The elements of the six institutions that are part of this “European University” presented and discussed ideas for the common future, in a first phase, through a meeting between the partners to address the actions to be developed in 2020-2021 and, later, through the public presentation of this project involving academies in Spain, France, Italy, Portugal and Romania.
The meeting’s work focused on themes related to the transformation of Higher Education through the “European Universities” project and also on the key areas of UNITA and presentation of the respective coordinators: the participatory and inclusive European University; Education and Mobility; Research and Development for the territories; Multilingual; the perspectives of mountain populations on European citizenship; the inter-university campus; and dissemination and sustainability. The video of the event is available online (https://media.unito.it/?content=9830).
The Kick Off Meeting took place throughout the 6th of November. Stefano Geuna, who was responsible for transmitting the welcome message, considers that the launch meeting was a success. “Although in the virtual format, I believe that in the morning session we managed to work very well and to get to some key decisions for the next steps of UNITA”, wrote the rector of Università degli Studi di Torino (Italy) in a message sent to the consortium, having added that “the public event in the afternoon was extremely successful”. In the same message, he is “very impressed” with the speech by the European Commissioner, Themis Cristophidou. “I believe that her words were much beyond the usual courtesy of a welcome address and I had the feeling that the EC looks to our Alliance with particular interest and high expectations. Therefore, we have now the responsibility to live up to those expectations and I am sure that we will be successful”, concludes Stefano Geunam, where he announces that, in the coming days, the work will try to capitalize on all the discussions and contributions of the initial meeting.
UNITA is a partnership between the University of Beira Interior, the Universidad de Zaragoza (Spain), the Université de Pau et Des Pays de L'Adour and the Université Savoie Mont Blanc (France), the Università Degli Studi di Torino (Italy) and the Universitatea de Veste din Timisoara (Romania). They have in common that they are located in mountain areas, close to the borders of their countries, where languages are spoken with Latin as a base.
The consortium was selected by the European Union to integrate the project “European Universities, becoming part of the plan to modernize the European education space”. The European Union's strategy aims to increase the competitiveness of Higher Education in the EU, by deepening cooperation between the institutions, their students and staff, sharing physical resources, courses, expertise, data and infrastructure.