The annual U4 Rectors' conference will be hosted by the University of Groningen this year. Rectors, Presidents, Cluster Chairs and cluster contact persons, as well as EU liaison Officers and Heads of International Relations, have been invited to evaluate the ongoing U4 actions and set the agenda for the upcoming year. Among others the results of the peer review on Sustainability is on the agenda. There are various fields in which the U4 partners can join efforts and learn from best practices.
Core business of U4 is the joint education and training of Master and PhD students and the preparation of Horizon 2020 applications on common research themes. The university management cluster focusses on more general horizontal issues such as Leadership courses, Intercultural Teaching and Learning courses, career services and benchmarks.
During academic clusters meetings evaluations have been made on the current double and joint PhD arrangements. There is room for improvement. More transparency is needed on the modalities for double and joint PhD-candidates, since legal frameworks for PhD studies and employment or bursary conditions are different at each institution. Successful "instruments" such as summer schools and workshops can help PhD's and their supervisors to get insights in different research approaches, interdisciplinary and career perspectives.