European Reform University Alliance: Solutions for social change - MRU

17 June, 2024
European Reform University Alliance: Solutions for social change

On 25-26 June, Mykolas Romeris University (MRU) will host the Fourth Summit of the European Reform University Alliance (ERUA) and the International Scientific Conference "Social Innovation for a Transforming Society" (SOCIN'24).  This is one of the most important international scientific events exploring the important role of social innovation in global transformation. The event will share ideas and discuss how to foster innovation and new solutions to improve social conditions and address societal challenges.

"The annual Summit is a celebration of ERUA. We gather to summarize completed tasks, review our achievements, and plan future activities. This year, together with our colleagues and friends, we will discuss our contribution to higher education in a united Europe", says prof. Roman Cieslak, Rector of the University of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS, Poland) and Chairman of the ERUA Board of Rectors.

"This Summit represents a unique gathering of thought leaders, academics, policy makers and innovators, all united by a common purpose: to explore in depth the pressing need for social innovation to address today's challenges", states Prof. Inga Žalėnienė, Rector of the MRU and Vice President of ERUA.

"We hope that the SOCIN 24 Forum will be the "Ideas Factory" where scientific insights will open up new perspectives for the sustainable development of society", says Prof. Inga Žalėnienė.

The conference on social innovation will be held for the first time at Mykolas Romeris University in Vilnius and will be attended by rectors of ERUA member universities, experts in various fields, researchers and students, innovators and leaders from various sectors - academia, NGOs, business and government institutions.

"The Vilnius Summit represents a valuable opportunity to discuss and fine tune the ERUA Alliance's strategy and plan the future steps in the development of our shared project. Social innovation is in the DNA of universities like ours which work chiefly in the areas of the Humanities and the Social Sciences", says Prof. John McCourt, Rector of the University of Macerata (Italy), an ERUA member, inviting us to work together in promoting critical thinking, fostering multiculturalism and inclusiveness, developing active citizenship and interdisciplinary skills.

According to Prof McCourt, the strategies that ERUA members will develop together at the European level will effectively contribute to a more just and sustainable society.

The plenary sessions of the conference will explore the role of social innovation, focusing on social innovation in areas such as migration, exile and refugees; democracy, human rights, inclusion and gender equality; transition to a sustainable environment; interculturalism and multilingualism; arts and lands; cross-sectoral cooperation and the ethics of care. This format will provide an excellent opportunity for participants not only to listen to presentations, but also to actively participate in discussions and propose new ideas.

During the event, participants and ERUA representatives will have a great opportunity to make new contacts, strengthen existing ones, share experiences, find partners for joint projects and expand their professional network.

It is hoped that the ideas and initiatives discussed at the conference will lead to real projects, cooperation agreements or policy recommendations.

250 participants from 15 countries around the world have confirmed their attendance.

The conference programme can be found here.

ERUA brings together the academic communities (students, researchers, professionals) of 8 European universities. The alliance's partners are united by an original interdisciplinary collaboration that allows the integration of the social sciences and the humanities, arts and sciences, and the exact and natural sciences.

Membership of the Alliance is also significant in that, together with the main 8 European universities, 36 associated partners from across Europe and beyond participate in the Alliance and share common goals.  This not only broadens the geography of activities, but also increases the competitiveness of European higher education and its ability to contribute more effectively to global challenges.

The European universities participating in ERUA are: University of Paris 8 (France), Aegean University (Greece), Bulgarian University - NBU (Bulgaria), SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities (Poland), University of Gran Canaria - ULPGC (Spain), University of Macerata (Italy), European University of Viadrina (Germany), and Mykolas Romeris University (Lithuania).