UNICA General Assembly approves new UNICA mission and vision
30 June 2022 | From UNICA
Leaders of UNICA member universities, gathered at University College Dublin on 30th June, approved a new mission and vision for the network. Drawing from the version of 2015, the new statement reaffirms UNICA’s commitment to “acting as a catalyst in the advancement, integration, and cooperation of Member Universities throughout Europe“, while emphasizing the unique profile of universities in capital cities as a means to tackle current pressing societal issues and serving the needs of the coming generations:
“The proximity to political and administrative structures and the urban location, where governmental power meets youth and innovation, make UNICA Members key actors in the social, cultural, economic life and in the development of the city and of the country as a whole, and represents an opportunity for Universities to support decisions and policies that contribute to the creation of a Europe based on social understanding, global collaboration, and sustainability.”
Core Values & Guiding principles
In comparison to the previous version, the document further details the core values and guiding principles that lead the network’s vision. Those are:
- Academic values: we believe that strong and impactful academic communities are grounded in core Higher Education values, namely academic freedom, institutional autonomy, accountability, equitable access, and social responsibility;
- European integration: we believe in the power of democratic values and support the idea of a European mindset based on respect for human dignity. We work towards further integration of the European Higher Education and Research Areas as a means of advancing European integration;
- Sustainable development: we consider universities to be privileged pit stops in the route of knowledge and innovation fluxes, with the potential to become facilitators of sustainable development by enabling the scientific, collaborative, and entrepreneurial mindset that leads to solutions for common concerns of societies today, while minding the needs of future generations;
- Collaborative mindset: based on the rationale that global challenges require global solutions, we believe in a concerted approach that brings together academia, industry, decision-making bodies, and civil society for transformative change. This entails the idea of open science for the benefit of society;
- Sense of community: we strive to build a community of universities that embraces the concept of ‘advancement by sharing’ and is accomplished in an open environment that voices the needs and ideas of all members in academic communities, from university leaders to students.
The document is also more specific about the mission of the network, presenting in detail the aims of the network, from “providing a forum in which members can reflect on the needs for strategic change in university research, education, administration, innovation, and societal engagement” to “joining efforts with other networks and institutions operating in the area of Higher Education and Research for collaborative ventures or appeal to governing bodies for solutions to common concerns“.