A delegation of VU Amsterdam recently visited Universität Innsbruck as part of the ongoing activities within the Aurora European University Alliance. Jaap Gordijn, Anna Bon and Hans Akkermans are leading the Pilot Domain „Digital Society & Global Society“, one of the Aurora platforms for educational cooperation, to discuss a potentially new joint master program in this field.

The master “Digital Society & Global Citizenship” is to be offered jointly by a partnership of Aurora universities from different European countries, with a program size of 120 ECTS, and is to lead to an EU joint degree diploma. The program aims to build well-rounded and responsible professionals and future leaders, with a strong international outlook, motivated and capable to address the many new social challenges that the digitalization of our society brings. The leading academics from VU Amsterdam are currently exploring interest within the Aurora universities to join this initiative. During the visit to Innsbruck, VU representatives engaged in in-depth discussions with colleagues from the Digital Science Center Innsbruck (DISC), led by Justus Piater, as well as the Innsbruck Aurora Office on potential contributions from Innsbruck, content synergies and procedural considerations of such a joint master program. They also met several members of the Universität Innsbruck Rectorate: Vice Rector for Students and Teaching Bernhard Fügenschuh, Vice Rector for Research Ulrike Tanzer as well as Rector Tilmann Märk.

During the wrap-up session, Rector Märk emphasized the interest of Universität Innsbruck to join this joint master program and develop it further with other Aurora partners based also on own experiences in Innsbruck with new study courses in the field of digitalization. „The Aurora Alliance is one of the 41 flagship consortiums of the European Commission, that are building the universities of the future. We are aiming for seamless mobility opportunities within our consortium and such a joint master fits very well not only with this objective, but also with our overall Aurora mission to match academic excellence with societal relevance. I am very much looking forward to the next steps in this endeavour and the great opportunities it creates for students, staff and our local communities alike.“

Further plans for the joint master will be presented during the Aurora Spring Biannual Meeting, which will be hosted by Universität Innsbruck from May 10-12, 2022.