officer blog


sophie atherton

campaigns & democracy

building partnerships across europe

Since the Brexit vote last year, the connections between UK Universities and those in mainland Europe have felt under threat. At UEA we have over 70 partners in 22 countries across the EU and more than 60 'live' EU research projects running. Around 10% of our students and staff come from the EU and we really value their contribution to the University community. As we don't know what exactly Brexit will mean for the UK yet, we're hoping that these valued European connections can be kept alive. 

One European connection that we're really pleased to see strengthening is the Aurora Network. Aurora brings together nine founding partners from across Europe; all of whom are high-quality research intensive universities. Twice a year, academics, leaders and administrators from Aurora universities meet at one of the member universities' campuses. 

This week, we welcomed a number of visitors from our Aurora partners to Norwich for the third bi-annual Aurora conference. Delegates came all the way from Scotland, The Netherlands, Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, Belgium and Iceland to UEA for three days. Workshops and talks took place about the exciting projects going on between our partner universities and there was also the opportunity for the visitors to explore our 'fine city,' Norwich. This included a trip to Grosvenor fish bar for a traditional British fish and chips meal, which was a really big hit.  

It was really great to meet and network with students and academics from all across Europe.  The conference was a great success and can only strengthen the intimate relationships already in place between our universities. In addition to the research collaboration between Aurora universities, there are also student initiatives that we're working to establish. If you'd like to see more about these and find out more about the Aurora network, you can visit the site here -


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