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The Aurora Alliance equips European Universities to provide a diverse student population with the skills and mindset needed to contribute to addressing societal challenges as social entrepreneurs and innovators.

The Aurora Alliance originated from an established Aurora Universities Network, formed in 2016 as a consortium of 9 top-ranked, research-intensive universities in the EU, committed to the social impact and engagement with the communities.

With the approval of an Aurora European Universities Alliance by the European Commission, the joint activities were taken to a new level in summer 2020.  

If you have further questions, or you’d like to be involved please contact

Get to know more about Aurora

Aurora is a consortium of research-intensive universities. These universities are committed to matching academic excellence with social engagement and impact. The consortium was originally founded in 2016 and launched here at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Within Aurora we embrace four key priorities, which are also mentioned in this video. 


  • The University of Iceland

    The University of Iceland, founded in 1911, is a progressive comprehensive research university, situated in the heart of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland. Great emphasis is placed on strengthening research and educating young people, preparing them for taking an active part in society as well as making their mark on the global community. Dynamic and extensive collaboration with research institutions and industry is an important factor in the University's operations.

    The University of Iceland is a member of both the Aurora Network and the Aurora Alliance.

  • University of East Anglia (UEA)

    A research-intensive university, the University of East Anglia (UEA) has 15,000 students (4,000 of them postgraduate) and 25 per cent of students are international. Specialisms range from environment and climate change, to health and nutrition, exploring issues of family and child policy, economics and business through to creative writing. The university's interdisciplinary approach, and the international reach of its research, ensures it's well placed to continue to address significant research questions and make a real impact on the world.

    The University of East Anglia (UEA) is a member of both the Aurora Network and the Aurora Alliance.

  • Universitat Rovira i Virgili

    The Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV) was established in 1991 by the Parliament of Catalonia. From the very first day, the aim of the university was clear: to put knowledge at the service of society in order to contribute to the social and economic development of the environment, which gradually changes over time.

    The Universitat Rovia i Virgili is a member of both the Aurora Network and the Aurora Alliance.

  • Universität of Duisburg-Essen

    Located at the heart of the Ruhr metropolis, Universität of Duisberg-Essen is like their region: dynamic, ambitious, and ever changing. In their eleven faculties and four interdisciplinary research clusters - Nanosciences, Biomedical Sciences, Urban Systems, and Transformation of Contemporary Societies - their scientists develop ideas with a future. They deliberately interlock research and teaching as closely as they can to promote exchange of knowledge and perspectives. The university embraces diversity and strongly supports exchange and collaboration, both regionally - as with their neighbouring universities in the University Alliance Ruhr - and worldwide, as in the network Aurora, or with their more than 250 Erasmus partner universities.

    The Universität of Duisburg-Essen is a member of both the Aurora Network and the Aurora Alliance.

  • Universität Innsbruck

    Founded in 1669, Universität Innsbruck is the largest research and educational institution in western Austria, with over 27,000 students and 5,000 staff and teachers. Located in the heart of the Alps, Universität Innsbruck is a research university with sixteen faculties and 81 departments. The research activities are organised in six main research areas, namely physics, mountain regions, cultural encounters - cultural conflicts, scientific informatics, molecular life sciences and digital sciences.

    The Universität Innsbruck is a member of both the Aurora Network and the Aurora Alliance.

  • Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II

    The University of Naples Federico II (Italian: Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II) is a public university in Naples, Italy. Founded in 1224, it is the oldest public non-sectarian university in the world, and is now organized into 26 departments. It was Europe's first university dedicated to training secular administrative staff, and one of the oldest academic institutions in continuous operation.

    Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II is a member of both the Aurora Network and the Aurora Alliance.

  • Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci

    Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci is the oldest university in Moravia and the second-oldest in the Czech Republic. It was established in 1573 as a public university led by the Jesuit order in Olomouc, which was at that time the capital of Moravia and the seat of the episcopacy. 

    Univerzita Palackého v Olomouci is a member of the Aurora Alliance.

  • Copenhagen Business School

    Copenhagen Business School (CBS) was established in 1917. Today, with 20,000 students and 1,500 employees, CBS is one of the largest business schools in Europe and one of the 8 Danish universities.

    The Copenhagen Business School is a member of the Aurora Alliance.

  • University of Aberdeen

    Established in 1495, the University of Aberdeen is the fifth oldest in the UK and is consistently ranked as one of the world’s leading universities. With a community of students and staff covering 120 nationalities, the University of Aberdeen has a global outlook and reach, and in 2016 was ranked by Times Higher Education in the top 40 of the world’s 200 ‘most international universities’, making it the second highest Scottish university to be included in the rankings.

    The University of Aberdeen is a member of the Aurora Network.

  • Université Grenoble-Alpes

    A public university offering high-quality training in all disciplines, the Université Grenoble-Alpes is located in Grenoble: a centre of innovation in the French Alps. Particularly strong in the sciences and technology, the UGA has developed a number of innovative Master's programmes to meet the needs of today’s job market: programmes in international business, new technologies, economic development and international law and human rights prepare students to meet the challenges of an increasingly globalised world.

    The Université Grenoble-Alpes is a member of the Aurora Network.

Key priorities

  • 1. Diversity and 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.

  • 3. Students

    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.

Contact information

Aurora is led by the following people. For questions, see the contact information on the right.

Anne-May Janssen
Secretary General Aurora Network

Sabine Sainte-Rose
Programme Director Aurora Alliance