UniBE International Newsletter
Dear <<First Name>>,
At UniBE International, we have been busy preparing for our membership in ENLIGHT. The negotiations have now been concluded and we are the 10th member university of the alliance. In this newsletter:
Rector Christian Leumann explains what ENLIGHT membership means for us.
We clarify the difference between our two most important European networks.
You’ll meet two students who share their experiences studying at another ENLIGHT-university.
Recent media coverage shows that our ENLIGHT membership and the preparation year for Ukrainian school leavers are being noticed beyond the university.
Ann-Seline Fankhauser talks about Compass-UniBE, which is a new preparation year for refugees open to candidates from all backgrounds.
ENLIGHT membership: what does it mean for us?
The University of Bern is a member of the university alliance ENLIGHT. What does being a member of a European University alliance mean for students and staff at the University of Bern? In this interview, Rector Christian Leumann looks ahead and explains the university’s vision for our ENLIGHT membership.
Two very different European networks
ENLIGHT is a group of 10 European Universities that envision fostering international student, researcher and staff exchanges by creating an interconnected campus. The acronym stands for European University Network to promote equitable quality of Life, SustaInability and Global Engagement through Higher education Transformation.
The Guild gathers the views of its 21 universities to exchange best practices and lobby in Brussels for the interests of its members. The Guild is interested in influencing European research and education policy. Unlike ENLIGHT, The Guild does not involve itself in the day-to-day details of teaching or organising student exchanges.
Other ENLIGHT universities
Discovering Uppsala University
Who are the other nine member universities of ENLIGHT? In this edition of our newsletter, we travel to Sweden to discover the oldest Nordic university. It is very different from the University of Bern, but also shares some surprising similarities.
ENLIGHT student campus
Outgoing: University of Tartu
Jule Ksinsik is a master’s student in political science at the University of Bern. She chose to go to the University of Tartu for an exchange semester. In this interview, she talks about how the war in Ukraine affected her stay and why she decided to learn Estonian.
Incoming: Ghent University
Tibo Wiels is studying for a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Ghent. In this interview, he explains why he chose to study in Bern and how coming from a multilingual country helped him make friends in Switzerland.
International activities in the news
Swissinfo: The University of Bern joins ENLIGHT
Swissinfo published an article about Swiss universities joining European University alliances. The University of Bern’s Vice Rector Virginia Richter is quoted explaining why the University of Bern has decided to become a member of ENLIGHT.
Hauptstadt: Vorbereitungsjahr für Geflüchtete
Hauptstadt, an independent online magazine based in Bern, wrote an article about the preparation year for Ukrainian school leavers. The article tells the story of Iryna Kamienieva, how she had to flee Ukraine and how the preparation year at the University of Bern gave her a chance to continue her education.
A new preparation year for refugees from all backgrounds
The University of Bern is launching a pilot programme to give refugees from all countries a chance to prepare for enrolling as regular students at the University of Bern. Ann-Seline Fankhauser, project leader of Compass-UniBE, and her colleague Solvej Sörensen explain the hurdles that refugees face when trying to enrol for a university degree and how this programme is helping to overcome them.
Tackling our biggest societal challenges with interdisciplinarity
Horizon Europe is fast approaching its halfway point. The Guild is actively involved in consultations with the European Commission on how to improve its successor programme. Gabriele Rippl, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, discussed with colleagues from Uppsala University and Babes-Bolyai University the most fundamental challenges we face as a society. As members of the Deans of Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities working group of The Guild, they contributed to a position paper calling for the strengthening of the social sciences, arts and humanities research in Horizon Europe.
UniBE showcases digital skills in teaching and learning
Fritz Sager, Kerstin Nebel, Etna Krakenberger and David Graf were invited to Brussels to explain how the University of Bern fosters digital skills in learning and teaching. They explained how the EvInCo project (Evidence-based digitalised teaching, digitally supported Interaction, and eCoaches) puts human interactions at the centre of attention.
New partnership agreements
Western University Canada
Our newest partner university is located in London, Ontario, in Canada. It is one of the highest-ranking universities in Canada with students from 129 different countries.
National Taiwan University
The Medical Faculty entered into a strategic partnership with the National Taiwan University College of Medicine. They agreed to intensify their research collaborations and signed a student exchange agreement.
University of Bern at a Glance
This event aims to introduce new employees to the University of Bern. You will be welcomed by Markus Brönnimann, Administrative Director, learn about the organisation of the university and useful points of contact.
Dates: 1 June 2023 in German and French; 28 September 2023 in English
ENLIGHT lecture series on “digital revolution”
Online lecture series for researchers from all ENLIGHT universities, followed by a virtual networking event.
14/06/23 “Smart systems and robotics”
12/07/23 “Digital revolution and society”
13/09/23 “AI: Ethical aspects”
Doctoral students and post-docs are encouraged to present their research in short inputs. If you are interested, please get in touch with us.
Did you know?
UniBE International holds a photo competition for our outgoing exchange students called "The World through your Lens!". 🏆📸 These were the three winners of the autumn semester of 2022 (in no particular order):
Laura Brändli went to Stockholm University in Sweden
Alessandra Blanco studied at Waseda University, Japan
Alissa Neff attended Durham University in the UK
Please get in touch with your suggestions, news and stories to help us develop this newsletter into a meaningful exchange of ideas. Please forward this newsletter to anyone who could be interested in international aspects of the University of Bern and The Guild.