On April 1, 2023, the University of Tübingen took over the presidency of the European university alliance, CIVIS. Tübingen and ten other European universities work together within the alliance to promote student exchanges as well as the cooperation in teaching and research relating to current social challenges. The presidency rotates every six months between the participating institutions; Tübingen's President, Professor Karla Pollmann, will take the lead until the end of September 2023.
Pollmann is emphasizing sustainability during her tenure. "We want to promote 'green' mobility between partners. Sustainability also means making good decisions about whether a meeting requires travel at all," she says, adding that it is important effectively to combine online formats and face-to-face meetings. Another focus is to expand the alliance's strategic partnerships with African universities.
As part of the presidency, the University also hosts the members’ annual conference. The "CIVIS Days" will be held in Tübingen from May 24 to 26, 2023. More than 200 academics and administrative staff from all European CIVIS partners are expected to attend.
Sustainability will be emphasized at the CIVIS Days, for example with the use of local products and less packaging. In addition to events for alliance-internal cooperation, CIVIS will introduce itself at several events to which the public and media are cordially invited:
- The conference opens on Wednesday, May 24, at 4:00 p.m. in the Neue Aula Festsaal/ Great Hall (Geschwister-Scholl-Platz) focusing on the topic "CIVIS: a Sustainably Connected Alliance" (event in English).
As an alliance, CIVIS stands for free exchange and intensive cooperation between the partner universities. How can this be implemented in a lasting and environmentally friendly way? These questions will be discussed at the opening. The speakers will be Professor Monique Scheer, Vice-President for International Affairs and Diversity at the University of Tübingen; and Dr. Daniela Trani, Maastricht University (Keynote: Building Strong Alliances). Students from CIVIS partner universities will report on their exchange experiences within the alliance. Experts will also discuss the CIVIS core concerns: promoting environmental awareness and sustainability; integration and diversity; expanding partnerships in Africa; and involving social stakeholders in the activities of the alliance.
• 2 pm to 3:45 pm, Festsaal/ Great Hall – Hub 3: Possible Futures in Medicine and Health
- On Thursday, May 25, the CIVIS Hubs will present their research work. The Hubs are thematic focal points in which joint projects in research and teaching are designed. These events will also take place in English in the Neue Aula.
In short presentations, researchers will present current developments in medicine, such as the use of artificial intelligence. The connections between social policy and health and the future of medical training will also be examined. The session will conclude with a panel discussion.
• 2 pm to 3:45 pm, Festsaal/ Great Hall – Hub 4: Foodscapes and Postcolonial Landscapes as Fields for Interdisciplinarity
Researchers from the focus area "Cities, Territories, Mobilities" will provide insights into their work. In addition, they will discuss the potential for interdisciplinary collaboration using the example of the topic "Foodscapes" and postcolonialism research.
• 4:15 to 6:00 pm, Festsaal/ Great Hall – Hub 1: Taking on Wicked Problems in the Anthropocene. What Is the Role of Education?
Climate, environmental and energy crises pose complex challenges for humanity. Academic teachers show what the education of the future must look like to enable young people to solve these problems and what CIVIS can contribute.
• 4:15 pm to 6:00 pm, Festsaal/ Great Hall – Hub 2: Cultural Heritage – Global Challenges
Researchers from various disciplines will discuss the challenges posed by global efforts to preserve cultural heritage. Topics include the definition of (im-)material goods, the treatment of property, and the problem of separatist identity politics.
• 2:00 pm to 3:45 pm, Kleiner Senat meeting room – Hub 5: Making/Seeking/Sharing Homes and Being at Home in a Digital Age
How the digital transformation affects our understanding of "home" is the focus of this thematic block. The opportunities and risks of a home in the digital age will also be discussed in a round table with all participants.
CIVIS Days program
Public events: https://civis.eu/en/civis-days-2023/civis-days-2023-public-events
Registration for participation via video stream:
The European University Alliance CIVIS – A European Civic University
has been funded as a European University since 2019 under the ERASMUS+ program. In addition to Tübingen, members of the CIVIS Alliance are the University of Aix-Marseille, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, the University of Bucharest, the Free University of Brussels, the University of Glasgow, the Autonomous University of Madrid, Sapienza University in Rome, Paris Lodron Universität Salzburg, and the University of Stockholm. Last year, CIVIS members also signed a strategic partnership agreement with six universities in Africa – Makerere University (Uganda), Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo (Mozambique), the Université de Hassan II de Casablanca (Morocco), the University of Sfax (Tunisia), the Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar (Senegal), and the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (South Africa). Cooperation in the alliance focuses on the five areas of climate, environment and energy, society, culture and heritage, health, cities, territories and mobilities, and digital and technological transformation. (Website: civis.eu)
The CIVIS Days are funded by Germany’s Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) as well as the European Union.
CIVIS at the University of Tübingen