Annual Summit 2023 in Lund, Sweden: Building Bridges and Making Memories

Mingling and connecting over “fika”, nourishing relationships both new and old, incubating new ideas for research and education, exploring the beautiful Lund campus – that was the Annual Summit 2023 in a nutshell. With over 300 representatives from EUGLOH full partner and associated partner universities, the first summit of the second phase of the European University Alliance for Global Health (EUGLOH) marked the integration of the expanded Alliance. From June 12 to 14, all participants to the summit were actively engaged in a programme designed around the theme “Building Bridges between Education and Research”. Besides the many ways in which the summit served to reinforce the shared long-term aim of the Alliance to become a world-class higher education, research and innovation alliance, it also left participants with inspiring memories to carry them through the next academic year.

The Annual Summit was a unique opportunity to gather students and staff from all nine EUGLOH partner universities as well as all four Associated Partner universities in order to foster exchanges and interactions between education and research, between countries and between students, teachers, researchers, and staff.

The official opening of the summit took place on June 13 in the grand hall of the 141-year-old main building of Lund University. Welcome remarks were given by Erik Renström, Vice-Chancellor of Lund University, Alva Söderbäck, Vice President of the Lund University Student Union, EUGLOH Coordinator Sandrine Lacombe and Mats Helmfrid, Mayor and Chairman of the City Council of Lund. Mats Persson, Minister for Education at the Ministry of Education and Research in Sweden, also welcomed the guests and emphasized the importance of University Alliances, saying that “[he] firmly [believes] that interconnected institutions are very important for tackling the challenges related to the green and digital transition and the global health challenges that we all face.”

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Capturing the essence of EUGLOH’s interdisciplinary approach to global health, keynote speaker Petter Hartman, CEO of Medicon Village Lund, pointed out that “Health is not just about illness, it is also about how the world is doing in general. Politics and climate change also have an impact on our health.”

The various sessions, study visits and working meetings that followed the opening ceremony focused on three key themes: Art and Health, Agenda 2030, and EU – a vision of an integrated education, research and innovation area.

The over 60 students, who attended the Annual Summit as part of their engagement in EUGLOH Local Student Boards on their respective campuses, appreciated the opportunity to connect with each other. Anna Wagner of Universität Hamburg’s student board said, “I really enjoyed meeting so many new, inspiring and amazing people and to get to know all the people behind EUGLOH.” Anna especially appreciates the Alliance’s “interconnectedness, because there are so many topics, people and countries that are connected through EUGLOH.”

The EUGLOH Annual Summit is held every year at a different member university. It offers the chance to establish new projects for education, research, innovation, and start-ups, to identify new professional opportunities, and generally to increase the visibility and impact of the Alliance and its partner institutions. In 2024, the Annual Summit will be held at the University of Szeged, Hungary, again from June 12 to 14.