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14 October 2021Bilbao Campus

The European University UNIC celebrates one year and celebrates its first UNIC CityLabs Festival in the city of Liège

A year has passed since the European University of which Deusto is part began its journey. Under the name of UNIC-European University of Post-Industrial Cities, this ambitious European University, in which Deusto and 7 more universities located in 8 post-industrial cities participate, celebrates its first International UNIC CityLabs Festival in Liège from October 14 to 16. Three days with a wide range of free events, many of them open to online participation, addressed to students, university staff, citizenships and city stakeholders.

The University of Liège is the host of this first festival that is going to bring together all the UNIC community -gathering around 100 students and 50 university staff members-, together with the city representatives and associated partners of the 8 cities that constitute the Alliance: Belgium (Liége), Croatia (Zagreb), Finland (Oulu), Germany (Bochum), Ireland (Cork), the Netherlands (Rotterdam), Spain (Bilbao) and Turkey (Istanbul).

The CityLabs festivals are the result of the process of identification of local social challenges and co-creation of solutions to these problems to enhance societal impact in post-industrial cities. A meeting point between citizens, students, the university academia, public administrations and city stakeholders that contributes to the resilience and renaissance of the European post-industrial urban centers. Deusto will host the third edition, in 2023, of these CityLabs Festivals.

Deusto, Bilbao and Euskadi

The University of Deusto, the city of Bilbao and the Basque Government will be represented in this European encounter in Liège through a delegation led by Adolfo Morais, Deputy Minister of Universities and Research of the Basque Government; Oihane Aguirregoitia, Councilor for Citizen and International Attention, and Estíbaliz Luengo, Director of Internationalization, both of them from Bilbao City Council; the rector and vice-rector of International Relations and Digital Transformation of Deusto, José Mari Guibert and Alex Rayón, respectively; together with 9 Deusto students of different faculties and 6 members of the International Relations team.

These institutional representatives will be received by the City Council of Liège and will participate in activities and meetings aimed at strengthening the relationship between the universities and municipalities of the UNIC cities. Concurrently, the students of the different universities will attend diverse training workshops, city visits or cultural activities. Moreover, following the UNIC strategy of involving the students in the development of this new European University, these students will be involved actively in the organization of different initiatives of the festival.
With UNIC, in the words of the rector José María Guibert, “the university will become even more present in the city and the city in the university. Euskadi will benefit from the know-how of eight European universities in incorporating the city and reflection on the future of European cities in training and research, and Europe and the European university system will benefit from the expertise of some model Basque capitals that are a reference of transformation, values and sustainable development”.

The festival programme offers a series of activities in English and in a hybrid format, allowing the online participation of all those interested in the event.

Programme of activities available remotely
October 14: Opening session: from 18:00 to 21:00, from the YouTube account of UNIC. More information here.
October 15:
- Launching of CityLabs: from 9:00 to 10.00. More information here.
- Inclusive Local Elections. Trust, Exclusion and Democracy: from 10:15 to 11:45. More information here.
- Tourism and Economic Resilience: here.
- Urban Resilience in the Context of Natural Disasters: from 13:00 to 14:30. More information here.
- CityLabs General Feedback: from 14:45 to 15:15. More information here.

Specifically, the University of Deusto will participate in the Tourism and Economic Resilience session, with the presentations of two scholars of the University: PhD Roberto San Salvador del Valle (Deusto Cities Lab Katedra) and PhD Samiha Chemli, researcher and associate professor in the area of Hospitality and Tourism. This festival also entails a celebration of UNIC’s first year of existence, a year dedicated mainly to laying the foundations of what this European University will be.

European Universities

UNIC is one of the 41 European Universities approved by the European Commission and made up of 8 universities: Ruhr University Bochum (Germany), University College Cork (Ireland), Koç University (Turkey), University of Liège (Belgium), University of Oulu (Finland), Erasmus University Rotterdam (the Netherlands), University of Zagreb (Croatia) and the University of Deusto (Spain). The cities where each of these universities are located share an industrial past and have a common commitment to its transformation, which makes UNIC to focus on the dialogue with the city. Thus, UNIC’s objective is to unlock a truly European experience for a new generation of students who will advance the post-industrial transformations of our cities. To achieve it, UNIC is structured around three fundamental pillars:
- The creation of an Inter University Campus that allows the mobility of students, researchers, professors and university staff within the universities of UNIC, regardless of their socioeconomic and cultural background.
- The development of a Superdiversity Academy, whose mission is to encourage universities to welcome students and staff with diverse profiles and backgrounds.
- Organization of CityLabs: area co-led by the University of Deusto that proposes activities of co-creation and meeting points for the city and the Universities to establish dialogues with each of the cities of UNIC.

Complete programme of the festival: available here.
More information about UNIC: UNIC website