SustainabilityOn 31 May and 1 June, a second U4 Workshop on Sustainability will take place in Uppsala. In this session, experts of all U4 partner universities will take part. The members represent various bodies concerned with sustainability, such as environment offices, green offices, and deptartments on sustainability research, program managers and scientists. Student delegations of all partners will also join the meeting.

The aim of the meeting is to follow-up on the frontrunner approach, initiated at the first Sustainability Peer Review meeting (Ghent, 15-16 September 2016). The frontrunner approach involves the implementation of a chosen frontrunner idea or best practice at the own institution in one of the many dimensions of sustainability: Sustainability Policy, Energy Policy and Mobility, Sustainability Education, Green Office, Involvment of Students etc. On occasion of the meeting other possibilities for joint projects with the U4 sustainability network will also be addressed.

Medical Law 2017 smallThe medical law group of Uppsala University organized the second workshop on medical law from April 24th – 26th 2017 in Uppsala. Participants from Groningen, Göttingen and Uppsala discussed research findings within the field of medical law and human rights. The workshop focused on the thematic areas of children's rights in medical law, end-of-life decision-making and reproductive medicine. The topics were discussed from a national as well as international and European perspective.

The broad range of topics included the rights of the child and tobacco-related harm; human rights challenges in enforcing life-saving treatment; "the right to know" of donor offspring; the "concept of truth" in medical law; and a report from the Committee on Bioethics on the rights of children in biomedicine. All presentations were followed by lively discussions that showed different legal approaches to these subjects in the different legal systems and promoted a comparative analysis.

taiwanstudies-2017In collaboration with the Department of International and Cross-Strait Education of the Ministry of Education of Taiwan, the U4 network organized a two-days’ workshop (Ghent, 20 and 21 April 2017) on the current issues concerning the Asia Pacific region: 'Maritime Territorial Disputes In The Asia Pacific Region: A Critical Appraisal'. 

The international workshop consisted of specialists in geopolitics, international relations, economics, and law. Over the course of the event many topics were discussed, including: the domestic implications of the maritime territorial disputes in the region; the way maritime territorial disputes change the dynamics of Asian security and the power balances between great powers in the region, and how the shifting power balance has impacted management of the disputes; the way middle powers in the region have handled the maritime affairs; the way the territorial disputes in the South and East China Seas may change the current normative order for maritime governance in the future and what their implications for international law are; and the question where outside powers – and especially the European Union and its member states – stand and what actions they could take. As an outcome of this workshop, an edited volume will be published with one of the major publishing houses in the field of international relations studies.

Gender 2017 midOn 6 and 7 April 2017, the U4 Gender team held a meeting at the University of Groningen in order to prepare the Summer School 'Gender Research' 2018 at Uppsala University. The title of the next Summer School is 'Methods, Methodologies and Responsibility: Complexities in Gender Research'.

During the meeting, the last U4 Summer School on 'Gender Studies' at the University of Göttingen in 2016 was evaluated. The Summer School attracted 22 PhD students.
The third Summer School on Gender Research will be held in Groningen in 2020. The fourth in Ghent in 2022. After this first 'carrousel', the four editions will be evaluated and aims for the future will be formulated.

lung-2017The brand new Medical Research Building at Ghent’s University Hospital provided the location for this year's spring meeting of the U4 Ageing Lung network.

From 30 to 31 March 2017, participants from all U4 universities shared current research projects and thoroughly discussed the research highlights within the field of obstructive lung diseases.The meeting focused on how to obtain healthy lung ageing and how we can further join forces to obtain that goal.

Common areas of interest in basic science included the role of immune responses. Clinical scientists also shared their interest in better genotyping and phenotyping subjects with obstructive lung diseases in order to find early markers of deteriorating lung health. By increasing the insight into the onset and progression of COPD and asthma, the network aims to find better treatment and prevention strategies to maintain a good lung health while ageing.

taiwanIn the framework of the Taiwan Studies Programme Ghent University organizes a workshop on 'Maritime Territorial Disputes In The Asia Pacific Region: A Critical Appraisal' on 20 and 21 April 2017.

The Ghent workshop is the first of a series of annual rotating workshops in the framework of the Taiwan Studies Programme.

This workshop intends to examine some recent developments in the Asia-Pacific region after the UN arbitration and the election of Donald Trump. It will provide participants a special opportunity to assess the current situation in the region from a variety of disciplinary perspectives in intensive discussions and brainstorming sessions over the above questions. Panels will engage on relevant historical, legal, political and military issues, and discuss the wider geo-strategic implications for the region.

The full call, scope of the workshop, and tentative programme is availble for download.

Registration for participation (non-paper presenters): Email to Prof. Yih-Jye Hwang: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

PandFrom 14 to 16 February Ghent University organises its annual international staff training week around the theme of 'Digital Tools in Internationalisation' in cooperation with the U4 network.  

The aim of this staff training week is to welcome both non-teaching and teaching staff from our partner institutions in order to share experiences and address specific challenges on various topics, such as grade conversion, inter-institutional quality review, the integration of (exchange) student applications, only study guides, housing applications (halls of residence), business intelligence platform, digital mapping, ticketing

Student Union Groningen 2016 Nov smallOn 10 and 11 November 2016 the representatives of the U4 Students Network met in Groningen. It was the 7th meeting of the delegations and U4SN works together since 2013. The meetings benefit the four universities by establishing contacts between the students from the network, which is fantastic for the future to come.

The topic for discussion was sustainability, both in the environment, in student life and in education. For example, in regards to the environment, the student networks believes that University buildings should be energy neutral and sustainable. In student life, the Universities should also divest from non-sustainable products and companies and strive to be CO2 neutral. They should also have a partnership with student associations to motivate and support them with information and offer logistics and financial support to make student activities and associations more sustainable. Regarding education, the Universities should promote and facilitate transnational education and awareness around topics of sustainability, through further digitalization of education and examinations.


Villa bei TagThe U4 Staff Training Seminar on Graduate Schools took place in Göttingen from the 6th to 8th November 2016. Its aim was to deepen the mutual understanding of institutional settings, practices, and traditions as well as concepts of supervision and training.

Graduate schools are located at an interface between young researchers and international offices. They build an important hub for the international exchange of PhD students and researchers, and therefore act as a central agent in promoting the U4 Network and its many possibilities among doctoral and postdoctoral researchers.

This training seminar initiated intense exchanges of experience and expertise. Representatives of all four universities and from a wide range of disciplines were present, amongst which included experienced researchers and supervisors, policy advisors on Faculty and central levels, and operative graduate school staff.

sustainability2016On 15 and 16 September 2016 Ghent University hosted the fifth peer review session on Sustainability. In this session experts of all U4 partners universities took part representing various bodies in the central administration and academia concerned with sustainability, such as the responsible environment officesgreen offices, deptartments on sustainability research, program managers and scientists.

Within the vast scope of sustainability four dimensions were selected for in-depth peer review discussions: Overall Sustainability Policy, Energy Policy and Mobility, Sustainability Education, and Green Office and Involvment of Students.