1st year in ATHENA European University

It has been already a year since our University has joined ATHENA European University Alliance. Together with 8 universities from all over Europe, we are implementing high-tech activities in higher education. We have achieved the first successes and we are looking for next challenges and opportunities for cooperation in upcoming years.

Currently there are nine universities engaged in the ATHENA network:

1. Politécnico do Porto, Portugal (Project Coordinator)
2. Hellenic Mediterranean University, Greece
3. Universität Siegen, Germany
4. Univerza v Mariboru, Slovenia
5. Universita Degli Studi Niccolo Cusano Telematica Roma, Italy
6. Université d'Orleans, France
7. Vilniaus Gedimino Technikos Universitetas, Lithuania
8. Universidade de Vigo, Spain
9. Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Poland

UMCS joined the network in June 2022. From the very beginning we have been active, both in the sphere of educational and research cooperation. Our efforts to join the consortium began in 2021, at which time we sent a letter of intent to the ATHENA network coordinator.

In February 2022 our Rector, prof. Radoslaw Dobrowolski presented UMCS at a meeting of Rectors of consortium's universities. After the positive decision of the Council of Rectors operating in ATHENA, we began the process of joining the consortium.The process was finalized with the official signing of the consortium agreement by the University authorities in June 2022, during the network meeting in Heraklion, Greece. This was the first meeting of the entire Consortium in which UMCS participated. At the meeting we were represented by the Vice-Rector for Students and Quality of Education, Prof. Dr. Dorota Kolodynska, and the Vice-Rector for Science and International Cooperation, Prof. Dr. Wieslaw Gruszecki.

UMCS and VGTU meeting in portal, 2022

Just two months later, representatives of our university had the opportunity to participate in the International Staff Week in Chania, Greece, where the knowledge and experience of trainers in the field of soft and transversal skills were transferred. October was the time of the next project meeting, this time at the headquarters of the project coordinator, the Polytechnic University of Porto. During this meeting, the role of our university in the consortium was also outlined, that UMCS will be responsible for supporting the students and getting them more involved in ATHENA activities. 

The following months were full of meetings focused on broading cooperation within the framework of individual task packages (communication and dissemination, education and cooperation with business), which were attended by representatives of our central administration departments.

The last project meeting was held in Rome in May this year, attended by the Rector's College, representatives of the administration and students and doctoral students.

ATHENA is also the platform for establishing direct cooperation with the universities in the consortium. In January 2023, a delegation from UMCS visited Vilnius Polytechnic University, where they discussed the possibilities of creating joint majors and degree programs in sustainable development. In February, meanwhile, UMCS was visited by a French delegation from the University of Orléans. During the meetings we mapped out further paths of cooperation.We didn't have to wait long for the effects, a joint project within the framework of the Erasmus+ program was submitted. Right now our scientists are also preparing to carry out internships abroad in Orléans.

UMCS visit in Vilnius, 2023

During the past year, our University was also visited by ATHENA Consortium Coordinator Dr. Nuno Escudeiro of Porto Polytechnic University, and ATHENA Secretary General Dr. Konstantinos Petridis of the Mediterranean University of Heraklion.

During the meetings, the potential of the UMCS, very useful during the implementation of activities in the project, was discussed, and research and teaching contacts were established, including with the Laboratory of Fiber Optic Technology, engaged in Photonics Hub of ATHENA.

During the visit of the ATHENA coordinator, the University organized the Young Scientists Forum, during which Dr. Escudeiro was one of the main speakers. During his speech, he presented the main principles of ATHENA and the opportunities for students, doctoral students and Early Stage Researchers.

Dr. Petridis' visit coincided with the most important event of the past year, the inauguration of the Erasmus Student Network ATHENA. On May 10-12 this year. Maria Curie-Sklodowska University hosted students from universities affiliated with the consortium. Three days of intensive meetings and workshops were finalized by the the official launch of the Erasmus Student Network ATHENA - the first such association among the more than forty European Universities' consortia. A total of 50 people attended the event.
The event was supported by funds from the National Agency for Academic Exchange under the Welcome to Poland (2020) program.

ESN inauguration and training event in Lublin, 2023

ATHENA is a strategy, a vision of our University to create joint initiatives, projects, study programs with a stron European context.

With this, we become a key partner on the international arena, develop our scientific potential, and above all, focus our activities on students so that they can develop their passions beyond the borders of the university, the region and the country. ATHENA is nine partners, but one University!

The network on the UMCS side is coordinated by the Centre for Education and Study Services and the International Cooperation Center.

More information about ATHENA


    Date of addition
    3 July 2023