Watch recordings of lectures and discussions of ENLIGHT kick-off week

From 1 to 5 March, the ENLIGHT European University network organised its official kick-off week. All students and staff of the University of Tartu, as well as the wider public, was invited. Recordings of some of the exciting international lectures and discussions about the environment, digital solutions, healthcare, equity, energy and teaching are available to watch on YouTube.

In addition to the University of Tartu, the ENLIGHT network includes eight other top-level universities: the Basque Country (Spain), Bordeaux (France), Bratislava (Slovakia), Galway (Ireland), Ghent (Belgium), Groningen (Netherlands), Göttingen (Germany) and Uppsala (Sweden).

For the full programme of the kick-off week (times given in Central European Time), see the ENLIGHT web page. Below, you will find a short summary (times given in Eastern European Time).

  • 1 March
    • 18.30–19.30 Formal opening
      Speeches by Rector of Ghent University and Chair of the ENLIGHT Governing Board Rik Van de Walle, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Mariya Gabriel, President Emeritus of the European Council and member of the ENLIGHT External Advisory Board Herman Van Rompuy and student of the National University of Ireland, Galway, and President of the ENLIGHT Student Board Cameron Keighron. Première of the ENLIGHT Corporate video.
  • 2 March
    • 13.00–14.00 Showcase session: intercultural virtual exchange ‘ENLIVE’
      Laüra Hoskins from the University of Bordeaux will showcase a small virtual exchange initiative running for the first time in 2021.  From February to March, students from across the ENLIGHT network will meet regularly online to exchange on a range of current issues like gender and education or science denial and anti-science movements. With facilitators’ support, students will design and deliver a social media campaign. The session will be an opportunity to discuss possibilities for virtual exchange across the network as part of both formal and informal learning. Everyone is welcome to exchange ideas with experts!
    • 14.00–14.40 Lecture: digital solutions and health care
      Professor of e-governance of the University of Tartu Robert Krimmer speaks about digital eco-systems and health: how can IT enlight ways to a healthier life. Followed by Q&A. 
    • 14.45–15.30 Presentations: impact of corona crisis on public health research
      How will the corona crisis impact public health research in the coming two to five years? Pitches by Associate Professor in Epidemiology and Sustainable Health of the University of Groningen Valentina Gallo, Professor of Development Economics of the University of Göttingen Sebastian Vollmer, Professor of Medical Microbiology of the University of Tartu Irja Lutsar and Director of the Department of Research in Public Health of the University of Bordeaux Rodolphe Thiébaut. Followed by a discussion.
    • 18.30–20.00 Roundtable: “Shaping communities – How can universities contribute to local and regional challenges?”
      Roundtable discussion between the rectors of the ENLIGHT partner universities (incl. Rector of the University of Tartu Toomas Asser) and the ENLIGHT External Advisors . The roundtables will be on three topics: learning and teaching, research and international cooperation. 
  • 3 March
    • 13.00–14.00 Showcase session: Virtual Exchange ‘ENVOIE’
      Cristina Pascual Aibar and Gerdientje Oggel, lecturers in Spanish of the University of Groningen, share their experiences in organising interdisciplinary virtual exchanges in times of COVID-19. Petra Broomans, Associate Professor in European Languages and Cultures of the University of Groningen and visiting professor of literary studies at Ghent University, speaks about dialogues on world literature in the virtual international and intercultural classroom. Followed by Q&A.
    • 14.00–15.30 Presentations: circular economy and climate change
      Keynote by Veronica Manfredi, Director Quality of Life, DG Environment, European Commission . Guido Sonnemann, Professor in Sustainable Chemistry of the University of Bordeaux, speaks about the circular economy as a key concept in the transition to a low-carbon and resource-efficient economy, and Estibaliz Saez de Cámara, Professor of Environmental Technologies of the University of the Basque Country speaks about whether there is a connection between tourism-led land-use changes in the Mediterranean and extreme rainfall events in Central Europe. Followed by a discussion and Q&A.
    • 18.30–19.30 ENLIGHT student network pub quiz ‘Inclusivity’
      Each year, the ENLIGHT Student Network will work on a specific theme that is of major importance to students. This year, the theme is inclusivity. The pub quiz is open to all students from the ENLIGHT universities, including the University of Tartu. Participants can test their knowledge about the universities, cities, regions, and cultures in the network as well as specific initiatives that stimulate inclusivity. Winning teams can get very nice prizes and giveaways. After the pub quiz, the Student Network invites students to discuss what ENLIGHT could mean to them, what inclusivity means, and how we can work together on inclusivity in our universities. The pub quiz and the following discussion is an opportunity to get to know the work of the ENLIGHT Student Network, to be part of it and share one’s thoughts and visions.
  • 4 March
    • 11.00–12.00 ENLIGHT Impact
      Keynote speaker Yves Ducq, Professor of the University of Bordeaux , gives an overview of the principles, methods and examples of impact measurements. Education Policy Advisor Maya Caen and Professor of Higher Education Jeroen Huisman share their practical experience of monitoring higher education in Ghent University.
    • 13.00–14.00 Showcase session: Innovation Days – SkillMill
      The Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership project SkillMill combines two aims: challenge-driven education and soft skills recognition. The project follows the ‘Innovation Day’ concept of EIT Health. Join us for an interdisciplinary learning experience and practise applying design thinking to real-life challenges. 
    • 14.00–15.30 Presentations: global engagement and equity
      Keynote speaker Monika Froehler, CEO of the Ban Ki-Moon Centre for Global Citizens, speaks about engaging global citizens to achieve sustainable development goals. Andrej Findor, Associate Professor of Institute of European Studies and International Relations of Comenius University Bratislava , discusses evidence-based approach to equity, inclusion and diversity at nine European universities, and Nata Duvvury, Senior Lecturer at the Centre for Global Women’s Studies of the National University of Ireland, Galway, speaks about approaches to equality. Followed by a discussion and Q&A.
    • 18.30–20.00 Cultural intersections: Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture
      A panel discussion and two short theatre performances will reflect on how we adapt to societal shocks, particularly relevant to the arts and cultural sector in 2020 and 2021, as we live through a global pandemic.
  • 5 March
    • 11.00–13.00 panel discussion: communities and universities; sharing the journey to shape the future
      Keynotes by Tomás Ó Síocháin, CEO of Ireland's Western Development Commission, Christian Dahlmann, Head of external relations at the City of Uppsala, and Alo Lilles, Head of Business Development at the City of Tartu. Followed by Q&A.
    • 13.00–14.00 Showcase session: serious gaming
      Frank Gielen, Professor of Software Technology Entrepreneurship of Ghent University and Executive Board Member and Education Director of EIT InnoEnergy speaks about using serious gaming as the backbone for innovation and entrepreneurship. Followed by Q&A. 
    • 14.00–15.30 Lectures: empowering learners
      Keynote by the former Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova. Leif Östman, Professor at the Department of Education of Uppsala University, and Katrien Van Poeck, Professor at the Department of Political Sciences of Ghent University speak about challenge-based teaching. Followed by a discussion and Q&A.
    • 15.30–16.00 Closing session
      Stéphanie Debette, Vice President for External Relations of the University of Bordeaux and Chair of the ENLIGHT Board of Directors, looks back at the kick-off week. Guido Van Huylenbroeck, Director for Internationalisation of Ghent University, gives a preview about what ENLIGHT can do for everyone. The concluding speech is by Eva Ferreira, Rector of the University of the Basque Country.

In addition to the events mentioned above, staff members of Uppsala University organise a Zoom coffee room during the entire kick-off week. Every day between 13 and 14, participants are invited to discuss a certain topic in smaller groups. Also, throughout the week, a general message board is available through Padlet to post questions, comments, suggestions and to network. The board will be also managed by staff of Uppsala University, who will forward your questions to the right ENLIGHT colleague.

Access links to the lectures, showcase sessions, events, coffee room and message board will be sent to all registered participants by email. See the full programme of the kick-off week and register. A selection of presentations will be also available on YouTube.

Further information: Tiina Jaksman, University of Tartu Project Manager of the ENLIGHT network, 737 6167,

Sandra Sommer
Press Adviser
+372 737 5681
+372 5307 7820