Representatives of European universities gather in Turku


The Coimbra Group Annual Conference and General Assembly, organised in early June, brings a large number of representatives of European universities to Turku. The event is hosted by the University of Turku and Åbo Akademi University, both long-standing members of the Coimbra Group.

The annual conference of the Coimbra Group network, organised on 4-7 June 2024, draws together more than 300 representatives from forty universities across Europe. The Coimbra Group is an association of long-established European multidisciplinary universities. Founded in 1985, the Group currently comprises of 40 universities from 22 countries as its members. As an association, the Coimbra Group promotes internationalisation, academic cooperation, excellence in education and research and service to society. It also actively seeks to influence European research and education policy.

The theme of the Annual Conference in Turku is Research and Education - Most Impactful Together, which focuses on the synergies between research and education.  During the week, the topic will be addressed in a series of working group meetings, workshops and sessions, as well as at the Conference's public event, which will take place at Logomo on Thursday, 6 June.

The Annual Conference and the adjacent General Assembly are the main annual events of the Coimbra Group. The activities of the universities are developed in collaboration with representatives of the member universities in thematic working groups, which also meet regularly outside the Annual Conference. However, the annual joint event allows for broader discussions between different working groups and stakeholders on current issues.

Diverse conference programme offers a wide range of topical issues for discussion

The Annual Conference, which begins on Tuesday 4 June, includes meetings and workshops with the Coimbra Group’ Executive Board, rectors and working groups. There are also joint sessions focusing on artificial intelligence, science communication, decolonisation of universities, and communities of practice in higher education.

The public event on Thursday, 6 June, features a video greeting by Iliana Ivanova, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, keynote speech on excellence in research by Professor and the Director of INVEST Research Flagship Center Jani Erola, as well as commenting speeches and a panel discussion on the theme of the event. Thursday's event also includes a session on European university alliances and the European final of the 3 Minute Thesis competition for doctoral researchers.

The Annual Conference programme also includes a reception by the City of Turku, a conference dinner at the Ruissalo Shipyard and visits to attractions in the Turku area.

“The organisation of the Coimbra Group Annual Conference reflects the commitment of the universities in Turku to international cooperation and the promotion of impactful research and education. The association provides us with excellent opportunities to make use of our collective expertise, resources and diverse perspectives to address global challenges," says Rector Jukka Kola of the University of Turku.

“The theme of this year's conference highlights the importance of synergy between education and research, which has always been a key part of Turku's strong academic heritage. We look forward to the constructive discussions and innovative ideas that will be shared at the event," says Rector Mikael Lindfelt of Åbo Akademi University.

Emmanuelle Gardan, Director at Coimbra Group’s Brussels Office, is also excited about the upcoming conference:

“The Annual Conference is the flagship event in our association’s calendar. It provides a great opportunity for higher education academics and staff from across the European continent to exchange experience on topics that are relevant in their daily work, brainstorm about future joint activities and expand cooperation. This year’s main theme is particularly timely as the preparations for the next generation of EU programmes like Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe (2028-2035) are already in full swing. The discussions and recommendations from the conference will be instrumental in shaping the content of Coimbra Group message to policymakers. We very much look forward to an exciting and impactful conference,” Gardan concludes.


More information:

Satu Nurmi, International Affairs Officer, University of Turku 
+358 40 535 3791

Sara Joas, Coordinator, Åbo Akademi University 
+358 50 465 3965

Photo: City of Turku, Vesa Lehto

Created 31.05.2024 | Updated 31.05.2024