They are young and perform top-level research! From 24 to 26 October, 15 European research universities at the age of 50 years or younger gather at Ulm University. The meeting is organised by the network YERUN (Young European Research University Network), which represents the interests of these special universities on a European level. 'As best young German university we are particularly delighted to host the meeting in our 50th anniversary year,' says Professor Joachim Ankerhold. The Vice President for Research and Information Technology at Ulm University refers to the excellent ranking of Ulm University in the Times Higher Education Ranking (THE) of young universities in spring 2017.
YERUN was established to act as counterbalance to large long-established universities and represent younger universities and their particular interests on a European level. In annual meetings of the General Assembly, the approximately 40 guests – including numerous presidents and vice presidents – exchange views on topical challenges like Open Science and Big Data. The agenda also addresses, among other topics, the future development of scientific collaborations across borders, for example with regards to Brexit. Study and exchange programmes also need to be coordinated. The highlight this year: the election of a new president.
YERUN represents the interests of young universities in the European Union
The YERUN universities share an office in Brussels through which they represent their interests in the political arena of the European Union. 'The younger and often smaller universities may not be able to lean on the same reputation and tradition as many bigger and time-honoured universities. However, many YERUN universities – like the host, Ulm University – play leading roles in many research fields in terms of third-party quotas and international publications,' explains the President of Ulm University, Professor Michael Weber. The purpose of this meeting is to develop further plans and strategies, for example how the young high-performance research universities can stand out even more in the European arena. The focus lies on exploring mutual interests and strengths in research but also the development of teaching initiatives. Junior researchers and their education are of particular importance in this context.
The conference participants also get to enjoy an appealing social programme, which explores some of the city's and region's attractions. In addition to a guided tour through Ulm, the programme offers an excursion to the prehistoric museum in Blaubeuren, including a presentation on the UNESCO World Heritage Ice Age Art.
Text and media contact: Andrea Weber-Tuckermann