1. Diversity & Inclusion
The vision of the Aurora diversity workgroup is to:
- Create equal opportunities for staff and students at Aurora universities
- Create a working and learning environment at our universities in which different perspectives are explicitly valued
- Capitalize on the ability to generate creativity from different perspectives both in teaching and in education.
2. Societal impact and relevance of research
Focusing on and showing the societal relevance and impact of high-quality research is the second focus of Aurora. The member universities intend to develop benchmarks and indicators that give societal impact and relevance the weight and the balance against more exclusive academic metrics like field/size normalized-citation impact and journal impact. We see this as part of their strategy to enhance the societal impact and relevance of their research, without negative impact on the world class quality of that research.
Aurora attaches great weight to student involvement, both as characteristic of each university and within the network. It is important that the students’ activities develop beyond the domain of student representation and include Aurora links between students who are active in all sorts of education related and campus related student activities (social, cultural, sports, campus services, career services, alumni).
4. Innovation of teaching and learning
Aurora can serve its member universities specifically in the context of innovation of teaching & learning, which is understood widely to include developments in digitalization of education as well as innovation in the content and the balance of subject-related, general cognitive and personal learning outcomes.
5. Digital World
Digital information now concerns all aspects of life (personal, professional, public – from social, economic, environmental and scientific perspective). For Aurora universities, the challenge is to be key actors in the study of the evolution of this digital world, but also in its design and development.
One priority of the academic world is the integration of new methodologies based on computing into humanities and social sciences. Digital tools improve data acquisition, treatment and analysis, and offer new forms of research and knowledge dissemination, new creation processes and new uses, and affect the way the society perceives science and innovation.
A more immediate question is what a “truly digital university” could or should look like in the years ahead. This question is tackled by the Aurora universities at the level both of the experts and Chief Information Officers and at the level of strategic leadership.
In an international network of universities, it makes sense to also explore the opportunities to learn from and with each other in the field of internationalization. Internationalization of – and international cooperation in – education, research and social outreach have become an everyday fact-of-life, certainly in societally engaged research universities.
The first focus of Aurora collaboration in internationalization is on a) mobility in a broad sense and b) cooperation with Africa.
The Sustainability group aims for Aurora universities to:
- Operate and build sustainable universities that balance the four pillars of sustainability which are governance, environmental management, learning; research and social policy
- Create a working and learning environment at our universities in which sustainability is valued and measured.
- Capitalize on the ability to generate creativity and solutions from different perspectives both in our practices and education.
As a strategy, it aims to promote good practice, stimulate joint activities, and develop benchmarks to monitor progress at individual institutions and collectively as Aurora.
Contacts are being made across the network with individuals working closely within sport and specifically student sport. This is an ongoing conversation to determine what opportunities could exist for a sports league and or sports related activity that could take place asynchronously, coordinated live activity across multiple sites and live events at a chosen centre. Ideas are currently being discussed on a) bringing together the ‘directors of sports’ to exchange best practice and potential for collaboration and b) sports events which could be more or less competitive or relaxed and boundary crossing (different sports, students-academics-administrators, etc).