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2020 Coimbra Group General Assembly

12 June 2020

Under exceptional circumstances, the 2020 Coimbra Group General Assembly took place today, 12 June, as an online live session due to the current Coronavirus pandemic restrictions.  We very much regret not being able to be in Montpellier, as originally planned, for what would have undoubtedly been a fruitful and exciting three-day Annual Conference, hosted by our two member universities in the South of France, the University of Montpellier and the University Paul Valéry.

We are, however, delighted and honoured to announce that the General Assembly has admitted Utrecht University as the Coimbra Group 41th member. Established in 1636, Utrecht University has a long history and is rich in tradition. Its legacy is reflected in the buildings, gardens and street names across the city.

We are also pleased to announce the re-election of Prof. Ludovic Thilly, Vice-Rector for European Affairs at the University of Poitiers and currently Chair of the Coimbra Group Executive Board, and Prof. Lenka Rovná, Vice-Rector for European Affairs at Charles University in Prague, as members of the Coimbra Group Executive Board for a second mandate. We wish to congratulate them on their re-election and warmly thank them for their long-standing strong commitment and dedicated service to the work and dynamism of our network.

Professor Henk Kummeling, Rector Magnificus of Utrecht University, stated:

“Our new institutional strategic plan (2020-2024) and our strong commitment to our European University Alliance CHARM EU brought us to research the opportunity to become part of the Coimbra Group which has been on our radar for a couple of years now.

Utrecht University has invested strongly in educational innovation for several decades and is proud of its pioneering legacy here. We have also shown great commitment to the development of interdisciplinary research and education. The way in which we conduct research is central to the Utrecht University Open Science Programme. To increase impact, we enter into public engagement through discussions with social parties, citizens and governments about the choice of research, the implementation and the possible application of research results. Transforming the way research and researchers are rewarded and incentivized, Open Access and FAIR data & software are also part of the Open Science Programme.

For many years now we have gained vast experience which can be value to the members of the Coimbra Group. We wish to add to debate and discussion, academically and policy wise. Several members have indicated that the Coimbra Group has helped them shape their societal agenda. Utrecht University will continuously challenge its representatives to spark conversations to shape and sharpen our agenda and inspire others in theirs. We are also very keen to learn Coimbra Group’s views on open science and digitalisation”.

We very much look forward to cooperating with our new colleagues at Utrecht University! And of course, we also look forward to seeing again, face-to-face, all Coimbra Group colleagues at the 2021 General Assembly, which will be kindly hosted by Charles University in Prague on 15-17 June 2021. Watch the video here.