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News from the Coimbra Group 2021 General Assembly

18 June 2021

For the second consecutive year given the pandemic, the 2021 General Assembly of the Coimbra Group was held online. It was virtually hosted by Charles University (Prague) on 18 June 2021.

Despite the constraints of a fully online 2021 Annual Conference (7-29 June), we have enjoyed fruitful and exciting days that saw the participation of prominent personalities, including the European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel and the UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed, and have allowed our members to exchange and nourish their longstanding cooperation in a friendly atmosphere.

Following the vote on vacancies at the Executive Board, we are delighted to announce the re-election of Prof. Danny Donoghue (Durham) and Luca Verzichelli (Siena) for a second mandate, as well as the election of Prof. Coco Norén and Beatrix Busse, respectively Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Uppsala University and Vice-Rector for Student Affairs and Teaching at the University of Cologne. After these elections, the Executive Board is therefore now perfectly gender balanced. The Executive Board, chaired by Ludovic Thilly, elected its new Vice-Chair Cláudia Cavadas (University of Coimbra), while Luca Verzichelli was confirmed as Treasurer.

An emotional tribute was paid to Prof. Jürgen Barkhoff (Trinity College Dublin) and Johnny Laursen (Aarhus) for their tireless commitment and incredible contribution to the development and consolidation of the Coimbra Group as they come to the end of two terms (8 years in total) as Executive Board members.

Prof. Ludovic Thilly, Chair of the Coimbra Group Executive Board also informed the General Assembly of the new composition of the Rectors Advisory Group: Rectors Anne Fraïsse (Paul-Valéry Montpellier 3), Tomáš Zima (Charles University, Prague), Rosario Rizzuto (Padova), Luc Sels (KU Leuven) and Pilar Aranda Ramirez (Granada) will be joined by Rectors Jukka Kola (Turku) and Toomas Asser (Tartu).

Building on a fruitful cooperation between the two organisations, Ludovic Thilly and Kostis Giannidis, President of the Erasmus Student Network, signed at the General Assembly a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will take our partnership forward. More specifically, ESN local sections and Coimbra Group member universities will be empowered through this MoU to further develop and organise activities together, at the local level, in order to foster the active participation of international students in the local communities and provide them opportunities in line with ESN’s Social Erasmus programme.

We very much look forward to seeing again, face-to-face, all Coimbra Group colleagues at the 2022 General Assembly, which will be kindly hosted by the University of Padova from 7-10 June.