The Coimbra Group Annual Conference 2014 was held at the University of Groningen from 10 – 13 June 2014. ‘Universities in the 21st Century: For Infinity’ was the theme for both the Annual Conference and a special symposium on Thursday 12 June 2014. The official celebration of the 400th anniversary of the University of Groningen, to which all Coimbra Group Rectors, Executive Board and conference participants are were invited, took place on Friday 13 June 2014.
Founded in 1985 and formally constituted by Charter in 1987, the Coimbra Group is an association of long-established European multidisciplinary universities of high international standard. The University of Groningen is a long-standing member of the Coimbra Group and last hosted the Coimbra Group Annual Conference in 1994. Other members include leading institutions such as University of Edinburgh, Università di Bologna, Saint Petersburg State University and Trinity College Dublin. The Coimbra Group is committed to creating special academic and cultural ties in order to promote, for the benefit of its members, internationalisation, academic collaboration, excellence in learning and research, and service to society. It is also the purpose of the Group to influence European educational policy and to develop best practice through mutual exchange of experience.
ESN Theme Party - 11 June
Especially for all international students, there will was a party organized by ESN afterwards. Erasmus Student Network (ESN) is one of the biggest interdisciplinary student associations in Europe, founded in 1989 for supporting and developing student exchange. ESN is present in 416 Higher Education Institutions in 36 countries and the network is constantly developing and expanding.
ESN Groningen is a foundation, a non-profit organization. ESN Groningen does not have members, which means that everybody can join the activities. ESN organizes everything from excursions and career events to sport activities and theme parties. And on this night there will be a special edition of the usual ESN Theme Parties. Dedicated to the Lustrum of the RUG, the theme was very international. The party was accessible and free to all students, both the international and the internationally-oriented, in the Drie Gezusters (Grote Markt).
Symposium: 'Universities of the 21st century: For infinity' - 12 June
On the occasion of its 400 years anniversary the University of Groningen organized a symposium dedicated to the theme: ‘Universities of the 21st century: For infinity’.
For this symposium national and international partner universities were invited as well as Groningen university staff and students. Delegations of the prestigious Coimbra Group, the European network of comprehensive research universities were present.
Three keynote speakers addressed the conference theme from the perspective of education and innovation, while taking into account labour market issues, globalization and other societal needs. This was followed by workshops on important current topics in teaching and learning, for instance MOOCs, blended learning, international classroom, collaborative learning, campus building etc.
ESN Live Music Night - 12 June
In the evening there was a live music night organized by the ESN, the Erasmus Student Network.
Around thirty international students have been rehearsing for months in order to put up a live music show for the RUG Lustrum. Covers from around the world, mixed up with a lot of classic old-timers, and a live performance by international students full of passion for music at the Platformtheater (Boterdiep 46).
Photos of the Coimbra Group Annual Conference you will see here.