up2date. Das Onlinemagazin der Universtiät Bremen

“We Want to Invite Everyone to Join in”

The University of Bremen is creating one of the first European universities together with its partners. New students can now get involved with the YUFE network – Young Universities for the Future of Europe.

University & Society

Students play an important role in the network. There is a student parliament – the Student Forum - and they are looking for new members at the moment. Anyone who is interested can apply until June 17, 2020. Additionally, students from the University of Bremen work together in a local group. One of them is Jessica Winter. In this interview, the 24-year-old tells us what she finds amazing about YUFE and what requirements you must fulfil in order to take part.

Ms. Winter, you’re looking for new students who want to be a part of the European network. What exactly is YUFE?

YUFE encompasses ten universities and four so-called associated members from the economy and NGOs in Europe. The aim is to create a student-oriented, open, integrative, and non-elitist European university in the coming years. Everyone is working on this: the university leaders, staff and students from the partner universities, and also the associated members. Of course, the meetings are currently taking place virtually due to the corona crisis. Everyone is working particularly hard on the design of a virtual campus with teaching on offer.

What do the students do within YUFE?

We, as students, are full members of the alliance and provide important ideas for all matters concerning studies. Thus, students with full voting rights are in all of the committees and working groups of the YUFE network – even on the executive level. There is a student parliament, the Student Forum, which is made up of three students from each of the partner universities. Two of the three students from the University of Bremen are currently graduating and will therefore stop their work with YUFE. We are looking to fill these two spots. Moreover, we have started to create a local student group where all students who are interested in Europe and YUFE can network. The group meets a couple of times each semester in order to talk and work on topics regarding Bremen that are to be brought forward to the Student Forum. We are obviously only meeting virtually at the moment.

What are the prerequisites for students to take part in YUFE?

You should be interested in the forming of the future of higher education in Europe and should be open and interested in diversity and inclusion. We work voluntarily for the project and you should have enough time to take part. Moreover, you should be able to communicate in English. If you enjoy being proactive and find organizing fun, then you’re the perfect fit for YUFE. We want to invite all students to take join in with the project - whether bachelor’s, master’s, or PhD students.

The YUFE student Jessica Winter at an alliance meeting in January.
© Privat

Are members then signed up for a particular duration?

If you want to be a part of the Student Forum you must commit yourself for one year. You can also join the local group – depending on what your personal situation allows.

Why are you a part of YUFE? What inspires you?

I find the vision of a non-elitist, European university and open higher education wonderful and would like to be one of the pioneers that creates this future. The spirit of YUFE has enthralled me in such a way that I am swapping my degree course in mathematics and computer science for an Integrated European Studies degree. It is interesting to experience so much of other European higher education systems, their values, and cultures. Additionally, you get to know so many dedicated and motivated like-minded people from all status groups.

How and where can students apply?

Interested persons can simply send an email to yufe-sf@uni-bremen.de to contact the local group. You can also use this email address to apply to be a part of the Student Forum. You just need to send your letter of application and CV by June 17, 2020. YUFE Student Forum advertisement




YUFE Is Funded by EU

YUFE is not the only European network of its type. The EU is currently funding 17 alliances in total. The Brussels institution is pursuing a vision that was formulated by the French president Emmanuel Macron in his speech given at the Paris Sorbonne University in the year 2017: the creation of European network universities that are to sustainably strengthen Europe. The EU is initially funding the pilot project with five million euros over the next three years.

You can watch a video from the EU on the European university initiative here.

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