News & Events

ENLIGHT online language courses for students and staff

Take a virtual language course together with ENLIGHT students and colleagues! Several partners are opening up virtual language courses for students and staff of the different partner universities.

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The first ENLIGHT interdisciplinary course Designing Research on Different Dimensions of Equity

From 12 to 16 September 2022, the Faculty of Social and Economic Sciences of Comenius University hosted the first ENLIGHT interdisciplinary course Designing Research on Different Dimensions of Equity.
Students from partner universities from Göttingen, Ghent and the University of the Basque Country met with teachers from Groningen, Bratislava, Göttingen, Ghent and the University of the Basque Country to reflect together on the topics of equality, diversity, equal opportunities in different areas of life, from the university environment to access to healthcare. It was the opening week of the BIP (a Blended Intensive Programme course format that combines short-term mobility and collaboration in virtual space).
Until the end of the semester, students will work in small groups online to develop research in their chosen field. They will be accompanied by teachers as mentors who will support them, but the main work will be done by the student team.
The course also included lectures from partners from the Regional Academy and thanks to this ENLIGHT course Comenius University have expanded cooperation with the regional academies even more.
Nina Spišiak from the Bratislava City Hall introduced the topic Integration at local level: challenges and opportunities for the Bratislava city;
Marta Králiková from the non-profit Mareena told the students about the integration of refugees into society (topic of her lecture: Refugee inclusion as a set of practices: perspectives from the field),
and Andrea Böhmová from the Migration Office introduced the students to the process that refugees have to go through to get to Slovakia ((topic of her lecture: Seeking international protection in Slovakia – equality vs. Differences).
Refugees were the central theme of the lectures given by the partners from the Regional Academy. Until the beginning of the war in Ukraine, Slovakia had very little experience in dealing with the issue of refugees. Since 24 February 2022, the situation has unfortunately changed and our guests brought the students closer to the current issues related to the refugee phenomenon, which we are facing at all levels. The discussion between the students and the Regional Academy was extremely enriching and some students contributed their life experiences. Based on the discussions about refugees, it only confirmed to us that ENLIGHT courses are extremely useful and address the current issues we are facing in Europe.
And what did the students enjoy most about the introductory course? Emma from Ghent University: "I really liked that we started with activities where we got to know each other. We were one mixed group - teachers and students, with no hierarchical structures."

Uppsala alumnus Svante Pääbo wins Nobel Prize in medicine

Svante Pääbo, who received his doctorate from Uppsala University in 1986, has been awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine “for his discoveries concerning the genome of extinct hominins and human evolution”.

As explained by the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, “Through his pioneering research, Svante Pääbo achieved something seemingly impossible: sequencing the genome of the Neanderthal, an extinct relative of present-day humans. He also made the sensational discovery of a previously unknown hominin, Denisova.” Furthermore, Pääbo made the important discovery that cross-breeding occurred between Homo sapiens and our extinct relatives after the migration out of Africa some 70,000 years ago. The gene transfers from extinct hominins that have left traces among present-day humans outside Africa have proven physiologically significant, for example, for human resistance to infections. Read the full article



PhD Jamie Behrendt develops website on micro electricity grids in the European Union

Microgrids are decentralised electricity systems that can, technically, operate independently of the main electricity network. This possibility could stimulate a more sustainable energy mix. Legally, however, the integration of microgrids in the EU electricity market is not regulated.

To obtain an overview of existing initiatives, PhD researcher Jamie Behrendt of the University of Groningen has created a unique website that provides a map of existing and developing microgrids in Europe. She also invites new microgrid developers across Europe to contact her. The website's information will be used as part of her empirical research to assess how microgrids should be regulated in the EU in order to maximize legal certainty and lower transaction costs.

As part of the European Green Deal, the EU aims to be climate neutral by 2050: net emissions of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere by that time should be zero. This is only achievable if all actors responsible for emitting greenhouse gases act towards this aim, including electricity consumers. The aging centralised electricity network has difficulties to facilitate the required technical innovation of the grid and to effectively integrate renewable energy sources. By promoting the use of decentralised electricity systems, such as micro electricity grids, electricity users can more actively participate in the electricity market and contribute to the energy transition.


ENLIGHT Lecture: „Heath & Equity", October 12, 6 pm CET

On October 12 at 6pm, this semesters’ fourth ENLIGHT lecture will be hosted and livestreamed online. This session addresses the importance of and multifaceted challenges to equity in the context of public health care.

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Human Rights Centre recognized the University of Tartu with the quality label “Respecting differences”

On 15 September, the Estonian Human Rights Centre presented the diverse workplace quality label “Respecting differences” to the University of Tartu.

The diverse workplace label is awarded to an employer who values equal treatment and an inclusive organizational culture, and whose work in diversity management sets an example to others. It demonstrates the organization's commitment to supporting diversity and thereby creating a better working environment and society. The label is issued by the Estonian Human Rights Centre, and it has been introduced by the Ministry of Social Affairs. The label is valid for two years.

Legal Adviser Helin Jaakma of the Human Resources Office explains that the University of Tartu signed the Diversity Charter in spring 2022 and applying for the diverse workplace label was the next logical step. The university already had the Guidelines for equal treatment and had adopted the Gender Equality Plan at the end of 2021. 

The university aims to make their ongoing efforts to create a supportive learning and working environment even more visible. In autumn there will be two training sessions on the basics of equal treatment; this training will be included in the managers’ development programme. In upcoming years, there are plans to create an online environment for equal treatment materials and finalizing setting up a network of equal treatment support persons. The university will also continue to support the adaptation of international staff and their spouses by offering them Estonian language courses and organizing events to discuss and address various issues. Furthermore, there are plans to start monitoring the situation of equal treatment by means of the annual job satisfaction survey and take a closer look at the gender pay gap. The first steps have already been taken: the statistics dashboard now also shows pay gap in addition to general gender equality indicators. To increase the number of female professors, the university also wants to support women researchers and help them move up the career ladder by offering leadership training, mentoring programmes and peer group counselling.


University of Tartu sets out to increase climate awareness

With the new academic year, a joint project of Estonian universities was launched, aiming to increase the climate awareness of Estonian society with systematic climate education at all levels of education. In the project, education strategies are developed, learning materials for teaching climate change mitigation and adaptation are created, and teachers are supported in using them. The partners of the project "Climate awareness from school to society: empowering children, youth and teachers to reduce the effects of climate change" are the University of Tartu, the Estonian University of Life Sciences, Tallinn University and the University of Bergen in Norway.

Climate conscious person changes society, not the climate
Climate change poses high risks to many natural and human systems. An effective fight against climate change starts with climate awareness: an understanding of the causes of global warming and the skills to reduce human-induced greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate change.

According to Piia Post, Associate Professor in Meteorology and Climatology at the University of Tartu and the leader of the project, it is important to combine the best knowledge of climate science and education to increase climate awareness. "In Estonia, awareness of climate change mitigation and adaptation is often not based on science. Therefore, as one output of the project, we are preparing a simple "ABC of Climate Change", which every Estonian resident could use to start their journey towards climate awareness. Thus, the broader goal of the project is to include not only schools but the whole society," added Post.

The project will first develop strategies for teaching how to mitigate the effects of climate change and adapt to it. More specifically, the project team will analyse in which school subjects climate change is currently discussed and which teaching strategies are used for this purpose. It also describes new strategies to help provide knowledge about climate change, mitigation and adaptation, while considering teachers' and parents' personal opinions, confirmation bias, cultural ideologies and ethical aspects.

In addition, the project aims to develop educational programmes, create learning materials for all target groups, support their use in educational institutions, and offer recommendations for curriculum renewal. In the course of the project, training materials and continuing education courses will be produced, as well as climate awareness assessment tools to monitor the impact of using the created learning materials.

The project is financed from the open application round "Increasing Climate Awareness" of the European Economic Area's Financial Mechanism 2014−2021 Programme "Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation". The project's total budget is 588,000 euros, of which the EEA support mediated by the Estonian Environmental Investment Centre is 499,800 euros. The project deadline is 30 April 2024.

International Graduate Workshop Seeking a new Internationalism. Origins, Concepts, Ideas

Date: 10 – 12 November 2022
Venue: Stiftung Adam von Trott (Bebra-Imshausen, Germany)

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UGent podcast on mental health: Unpublished

‘Unpublished’ is a podcast about mental well-being at work, created by Trustpunt, the confidential counselors' service at Ghent University. 

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ENLIGHT Concert "The Four Seasons in (Climate) Change", 09 September 2022

The new composition "The Four Seasons in (Climate) Change" premiered on 9th September in concert, at the University of Göttingen. The ENLIGHT concert was livestreamed online.

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ENLIGHT Lecture: „Equity in Science & Technology”, September 14, 6 pm CET

On September 14th at 6pm, this semesters’ third ENLIGHT lecture will be hosted and livestreamed online. This session investigates the issue of equity in the broad context of science and technology as many people are facing unequal treatment or structural obstacles due to gender, ethnicity, or socio-economic positions. Furthermore, the unequal distribution of scientific infrastructures and data due to unequal resources is an obstacle to more equity in science. In this lecture therefore three experts of the ENLIGHT network give presentations on how different projects work to reduce inequalities in science and technology from different angles.

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ENLIGHT Repository of Good Practices on Research Impact

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