My U!REKA Moment!

Impressions from U!REKA Connects, 15-17 May 2022 in Ghent

3 Jul 2022 21:40 | Communication

In mid-May, Ghent welcomed a host of participants to the first live U!REKA conference since the pandemic.

Heidi Rontu, Dircector of Lifelong Learning, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Finland:

‘My U!REKA moment was to see and hear the lively mingling, enthusiastic talk and happy faces among colleagues during the informal evening get together on the first night; clearly a long time no see moment for many.’

José Manuel Cavaleiro Rodrigues - Deputy Vice President Politécnico de Lisboa - Research, Development, Innovation and Entrepreneurship:

‘For the first time since we joined U!REKA network two years ago the research and development area had the opportunity to make its work known directly to the partners. The stay in Ghent was very positive, we learned about what the other participating universities of applied sciences are doing and forged several bilateral contacts that will bring results in the future.’

Päivi Keränen, Project Manager, School of Media, Design and Conservation, Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Finland:

‘My U!REKA moment was the dinner we had at the Gravensteen, a medieval castle in Ghent. After the corona years, it felt ever so special to sit down to eat and discuss with both old and newly acquainted colleagues - and the surroundings of the castle hall were simply stunning!’

Carol Johnstone, Research Funding Manager, Edinburgh Napier University and member of the Research Support Working Group:

‘I think what I will remember most is networking with attendees from all the partner institutions. It was really great to be able to have face-to-face conversations with people after the pandemic. This was really important for my working group – Research Support – as meeting in person enhances the working relationships we have built over the last few years and facilitates ongoing activities and plans for the future.

I will also remember my tour of FTILab+ and seeing the innovative spaces and technology being used in textiles and hearing how this is being used to upskill and transform associated industries.’

Igor Ivan Vice-Rector, VSB – Technical University of Ostrava:

‘It was very nice that we had the opportunity to see each other in person within the Steering Committee after more than two years! A few hours of face-to-face meetings are more beneficial than many online meetings. HoGhent's care was great; we felt at home. And they brew an excellent beer :-)’

Richard Lancaster, International Projects Manager, Edinburgh Napier University and member of Coordinators Committee and Communications Working Group:

‘It was great to meet my U!REKA Colleagues in person for the first time. It was really inspiring to see the input from all the members of all the working groups, and others involved in U!REKA as individuals, in the discussions and events around U!REKA's future and what we are working towards. It was a great reminder of all the diverse talents across our institutions, and what we can build by bringing them all together.’

Liesbeth Van Heck, head of Education Development, HOGENT University of Applied Sciences and Arts:

‘What really stays with me from the conference is the connecting. I felt everyone's eagerness to see each other again, exchange thoughts and work together in the future. So I think we should keep our ideas warm and get back in touch pretty soon to turn these into real projects.’

Dilek Bülbül, Faculty of Business and Law, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences:

‘The presentation “Internationalisation at Home always matters” was both impressive and inspiring and highlighted the potential for more international learning ‘at home’ in the future.’

Chaitali Das, Transnational and International Social Work, Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences:

‘I welcomed the opportunity to connect in person, not just with new potential partners but also with colleagues from my own institution! The conference provided an ideal space in which to reflect and rethink strategies and networks and explore new directions.’

Tereza Benešová, VSB – Technical University of Ostrava, and member of U!REKA Research Support Working Group:

‘We greatly appreciated the opportunity to meet the members of the Research Support Group in person for the first time. But these were not the only unforgettable moments of the conference. The joint dinner of U!REKA members in the magical environment of Gravensteen castle was certainly among them as well.’

Cristina Marques - International Relations Office Coordinator Politécnico de Lisboa:

‘My participation in the 6th U!REKA Annual Networking and Conference was extremely important due to the relevant thematic programme and networking meetings. Meeting my colleagues in person during the conference gave us the opportunity to strengthen inter-institutional relations and discuss the Consortium’s way forward, as well as the importance of CoCos in U!REKA environment.

I also very much enjoyed the visit to the School of Arts which give me the opportunity to observe how HoGent students develop their creativity in a very special urban context.’

Barbora Dvořáková, VSB – Technical University of Ostrava, and member of U!REKA Research Support Working Group:

‘The U!REKA Connect Moment I enjoyed the most was the Welcome Drink event, where people from all partner institutions met in person for the first time after the pandemic. Everyone was so excited to be there and enjoyed making new connections, new friends, chatting and generally having a great time in beautiful Ghent.’

Lucy Kerstens, Manager Research Centre Faculty Business and Economics, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences:

‘The most striking overall feeling I had during the conference was the deeply rooted connection between all U!REKA partners. It was moving to see how professional and united the consortium has become over the years, and that the hard work put into previous and especially this conference has been extremely fruitful. As Project lead for AUAS in the U!REKA European University Initiative call it was a great opportunity to meet fellow colleagues live and feel their excitement in undertaking this journey again.’