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ENLIGHT connects research with society - the DAAD podcast on European Universities.

The ENLIGHT-Network was invited to present itself in the DAAD podcast “Campus Europa”. Together with a student representative from the Bochum network UNIC and joined by Dr. Katrin Wodzicki Professor Casper-Hehne explained the goals and challenges of ENLIGHT.

The project of the Europeans Unions initiative “European University” aims to reach multiple developments, explains project leader Casper-Hehne. It is pivotal, that 2025 50 % of the students have gained international experiences. To reach this goal, the project focuses on reduction of barriers through virtual and blended mobility as well as through the internationalisation of the participating universities.

Besides of building networks, ENLIGHT focuses on working on solutions on societal problems. Casper-Hehne highlights, that the mobility as well as the organisation of the university as a whole is thought from a perspective of sustainability. The projects aims to empower students to contribute to the social-ecological transformation of Europe. With the long-term goal of the European citizenship in mind, research will be supported from a professional as well as from a societal perspective. This is also connected to the topics of health and social cohesion.

Wodzicki, who is reporting from her perspective as a staff representative, adds that ENLIGHT can build on many experiences from the U4 or GUILD networks. Two instances would the graduate school or the career-service. Both have a strong international network and are profiting from meeting up regularly with international colleagues. Simultaneously, it is a challenge to integrate internationalisation in the administration, as German law is locally bounded. Therefore, it is very important for her work to motivate colleagues and build a solid connection with their professional environment.

Overall, there is strong desire for physical mobility. After the pandemic measures, physical mobility will continue to be a strong component of mobility, as Casper-Hehne explains. The virtual and blended formats are primarily made for underrepresented groups. ENLIGHT in these terms is especially innovation by the broad transfer of internationalisation in the region and the teaching staff.

As Wodzicki stresses out, this feature of the network is one of the most important: A network of heterogeneous actors is an important foundation for the generation of knowledge and innovation. Therefore, she is optimistic that the network can contribute a helpful part for the further development of the European society.

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