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Know the UNICA Student Declaration: students call for action to build the university of the future

Students across Europe want universities to be more inclusive, sustainable, collaborative, community driven, prepared for the digital transformation… and more!

UNICA, the Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe of which NOVA University Lisbon is a member, presented the UNICA Student Declaration 2021, a formal statement and set of recommendations that voices the position and proposes solutions for common concerns written by UNICA’s students on different topics related to European Higher Education and outlines solutions for common concerns.

The Declaration is the main outcome of the 10th UNICA Student Conference, organised together with NOVA and student/ youth organisations Erasmus Student Network, European Students’ Union, and International Young Nature Friends. During the conference, which took place online in July 2021, almost 100 students from universities of the network discussed their concerns and ideas related to Higher Education and its role in the society.

Describing universities as “privileged pit stops in the route of knowledge and innovation fluxes”, students agree that universities have the potential of transforming positively the cities and communities.

Divided in 10 chapters that represent the 10 Fora of discussion in which the Conference was organised, the document describes how to unlock the full potential of universities in the post-COVID 19 era, from the role they should assume in society to what curricula should look like. Nonetheless, despite different topics of discussion, there are common principles transversal to all chapters - Inclusion/ integration, Collaboration, Citizenship/ Community-building, Advocacy, Truth, Sustainability, Innovation and Wellbeing.

These priorities (and other principles expressed in the Declaration) are in many ways in accordance to the ones included in the new Erasmus+ Programme and the rationale behind European University Alliances – like EUTOPIA, that NOVA recently joined - while going further in some other aspects.

You are invited to read and share the UNICA Student Declaration 2021.

Source: UNICA