2023-11-08 12:24

John von Neumann University, Kecskemét hosted the annual meeting of the EU4Dual Rectors' Conference, at the end of which the evergreen pine tree symbolizing the alliance, unity and future of the 9 universities was planted by the rectors of the universities in the front garden of the CAMPUS building.

Third EU4Dual Rector's Council

During a meeting held on 06 and 07th November 2023, at the premises of John von Neumann University in Kecskemét, Hungary, the EU4Dual Rector's Council has taken stock of the first ten months of activity of the alliance and coordinated plans for the second year of operations.

The Rectors have noted that the first year has been characterised by deepening of cooperation between our respective institutions at every level – governance, operational and academic. Each of our institutions has created the necessary structures and policies to set ground for future work and launch new collaborative initiatives.

We commend the efforts of all partners involved in the first period – resulting in the establishment and staffing of the key governing bodies of the alliance including the central office, the academic council and the student council. We have approved foundational policies on a framework for joint masters' and a dual study model. Our network of teachers and researchers now counts over 150 members.

Given the achievements so far, the alliance is now prepared to move from a preparatory phase to an operational one – offering the first services to students, academics and companies across Europe. This new phase will be supported through the election of two new positions – Virpi Laukkanen as Academic Director and Brigitte Ilg as Head of Internationalisation.

In the next 6 months the alliance will:

  • announce the structure and composition for a specialised joint dual masters, with enrolment to open in Q4 2024.,
  • prepare initial steps towards the organisation of a second interdisciplinanry joint dual masters,
  • form academic groups to collaborate and seek funding around 4 lighthouse research initiatives,
  • launch the Dual Studies Centre of Excellence, with a mandate to define and establish a quality framework for dual studies,
  • run its first winter school at ESTIA in November 2023,
  • organise the inaugural conference on dual studies in Malta in April 2024.

We reaffirm our commitment to becoming the top-quality reference for dual higher education and to form the largest integrated dual education institution in the world.  Internally, this will be expressed through a tripling of mobility of students and academics between our institutions and programmes. Externally, we commit to promote the dual studies model of education globally through the development of a quality label for dual education studies. 

Internal Part

We underline the importance of this initiative to the overarching strategy of each of our institutions. We thank all parties that have made the achievements so far possible. 

To deliver the agreed aims of the alliance, we mandate the academic council and its respective committees to prioritise the development of the strategies necessary for the functioning of the institution, and to increase responsiveness to the needs of the various operational teams in the work-packages. 

We emphasise that all staff must maintain a strong focus on delivery against our targets. Bureaucracy should not stand in the way of achieving our joint goals. We invite any staff member to promptly raise blocking issues with top management to ensure continued rapid progress.

We are also beginning to make plans for the long-term future of alliance. The rectors have held initial discussions on a future legal form for the alliance, as well as established an advisory board, as well as industry and regional consultative councils, to assist in the planning.