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Higher education institutions of Turku collaborate in EU advocacy

Åbo Akademi University together with the the University of Turku, Turku University of Applied Sciences and Novia University of Applied Sciences are now collaborating more closely in EU advocacy. The aim is to raise awareness of the higher education institutions’ top research and expertise areas within the European Union and promote their active role in key research networks and decision-making processes.

Anniina Jaako, Head of EU Affairs for the higher education institutions, works part-time in Brussels.

“A presence in Brussels helps increase the recognition of our higher education institutions and facilitates advocacy work and timely acquisition of information. Identifying opportunities where they emerge is much simpler than searching for them one by one from afar”, Jaako explains.

EU advocacy is a long-term effort. The results of the work may not become evident immediately, but can have a far-reaching impact.

“I am constantly keeping my eyes open for opportunities related to, for example, partnership networks in Commission research and industry – one of our main goals for advocacy is to become an even more attractive international partner for major EU-funded projects. Everything we do also aims at promoting best practices and collaboration between higher education institutions.”

Higher education institutions play a major role in EU’s competitiveness and sustainability

During the EU’s Research and Innovation Week, the higher education institutions of Turku joined forces with other Finnish higher education institutions and Nordic partners in Brussels and organised the joint The Role of Higher Education Institutions in Securing the EU’s Competitiveness and Resilience event.

“The event is in itself a concrete example of our collaboration, advocacy and promotion work. We wanted to demonstrate the major role that higher education institutions have to play in meeting the EU’s goals for competitiveness and sustainability and solving the related challenges. As our event attracted a large number of European and Brussels-based operators, we also succeeded in promoting the dialogue between decision-makers, higher education institutions and the business world”, Jaako explains.

The discussions will be summarised and used e.g. for informing MEPs, the Commission and other key operators of the objectives. The aim is to secure the central role of higher education institutions in the EU’s strategic focus points.

“The topics raised in the event include e.g. promoting the wider inclusion of scientific perspectives in political decision-making, supporting democracy and increasing scientific literacy, and creating attractive career paths for researchers in Europe”, Jaako concludes.

(Photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash.)