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Exchanging Ideas and Dreams - Podcast #8 on the Student Congress

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The second Una Europa Student Congress "Una for Future. The Sustainable University." took place on 20 and 21 October 2021, hosted by Universidad Complutense de Madrid. The congress brought together students from all eight Una Europa partner universities to collaborate and shape the idea of a European university of the future, with a focus on creating sustainability on campus.

The hybrid format of the event allowed some students to attend the Congress in person, with those who missed out on the opportunity of the usual physical mobility opportunities offered by their university jumping on the chance to spend time abroad and practice their language skills. Students who were not able to travel to Madrid did not miss out - the full programme of events was streamed live online, from lectures to workshops and even coffee breaks. This ensured that the Student Congress was accessible to all, so any student could engage with their Una Europa student community and make their voice heard.

In the eighth episode of the Una Europa podcast we hear from three Una Europa students that were able to attend the Student Congress in person in Madrid. Our student speakers offer perspectives from all corners of the alliance. Marco Reyes-Bernal is Co-chair of the Una Europa Student Board and currently studying for a Master's in International Security and Development at Uniwersytet Jagielloński w Krakowie. Lovina Okonkwo is a postgraduate student in International Relations at Freie Universität Berlin, and Louise Girard studies at Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne.

  • Louise Girard

  • Lovina Okonkwo

  • Marco Reyes-Bernal

" This could be a very long-lasting, holistic, sustainable, and important opportunity for young people... to get involved and shape the future of academic learning – not only in the sphere of higher education but also of what we want to learn in the future. "

Lovina Okonkwo on the format of the Congress

" I have always believed that crisis times are also times of opportunities. People are looking to connect... alliances like Una Europa are the perfect possibility and platform which students have to connect, & to exchange ideas, & most importantly dreams. "

Marco Reyes-Bernal on opportunities presented by the pandemic

Second Student Congress - Una for Future. The Sustainable University.

Designed and coordinated by students, for students, the second Una Europa Student Congress was organised with the aim of strengthening student networks and highlighting sustainability as a major topic for the future of higher education. The two-day programme offered students the chance to actively get involved in Una Europa’s goal to build a Sustainable University of the Future. During the congress, participants were will able to listen and to ask questions to prominent experts in sustainability from different universities and organisations.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Congress, Una Europa General-Secretary Emily Palmer highlighted the importance of students to the activities and outputs of the alliance, stressing that events such as this were essential to providing a space for students to engage: "One Europe would not exist, it would make no sense, if it were not for the students". She also encouraged students to keep engaging with Una Europa beyond the Congress, stating that "the opinions expressed by the students will be fundamental" because “everything is necessary for the sustainability of the future of the European university, and with everyone's ideas a common campus can be created”.

" In regards to the social aspect of it, I felt very lucky to meet all these different people. It was amazing when you keep in mind that it was only the second Student Congress and the first one in real life. I’m basically really impressed overall. "

Lousie Girard on her experience of the second Student Congress

2nd Una Europa Student Congress Photography Competition

A Photography Competition was organised in collaboration with the Student Congress, inviting students to showcase their university and student life at "My Una Europa Campus". The winners were announced at the Closing Session of the 2nd Una Europa Student Congress, which took place on 21 October at 12:00 (CEST):

You can view all the winning entries on our dedicated Photography Competition page.

  • First prize: 'Rotunda', Karolina Jarosik

  • Special mention: Meike Heinrich

  • Special mention: Luke Jenkins

  • Special mention: Elisa Tosi

  • Special mention: Pedro Palleiro

  • Special mention: Anna Durnez

The podcast is part of the 1Europe project and co-financed by Erasmus+.