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Expanding mobility horizons through Ulysseus European University

Within the initial two and a half years of the Ulysseus journey, a significant number of haaga-helians together with other Ulysseus community members have been actively engaged in mobility experiences at partner universities. A notable accomplishment considering that the first half was heavily impacted by the dominant presence of Covid-19.


Kitte Marttinen

project director
Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences

Mirjam Gamrasni

international project officer
Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences

Published : 21.08.2023

Ulysseus European University continuously strengthens its capacity to serve as a model of best practices, enhancing the quality, international competitiveness, and appeal of the higher education landscape in Europe.

A Ulysseus mobility experience entails a physical or virtual exchange or a combination of these two formats between two or more Ulysseus partner universities. It connects the whole university community in new and innovative ways. Moreover, Ulysseus strives to enhance seamless and climate-responsible mobility – for this purpose a green mobility guide has been developed within the alliance.

Versatile Mobility Opportunities

Ulysseus Researcher’s Days is a great example of how researchers’ mobility is in synergy with the innovation ecosystem of the alliance. Each partner university has organised a Researchers’ Days event focusing on the theme of its specific Innovation Hub.

At Haaga-Helia, the event was organized around the theme of applied artificial intelligence. The event gathered more than 20 AI researchers to foster high quality research and innovation, as well as to plan joint European project proposals on AI.

Blended Intensive Programmes (BIPs) are innovative and intensive short-term programmes that utilize various methods of learning, teaching, and training, including virtual collaboration. Although this initiative is relatively new, having been launched in 2021, Haaga-Helia was one of the pioneering institutions to organize a BIP programme in collaboration with Ulysseus in the summer of 2022.

Since the inaugural event, Ulysseus has successfully conducted several BIPs, bringing together academics, students, and non-academic staff from all partner universities while Ulysseus digital platform is hosting the virtual part of the initiatives.

In the beginning of 2023, Haaga-Helia teachers had the opportunity to explore innovative pedagogical approaches along with their colleagues from partner universities in the picturesque city of Nice at Université Côte d’Azur.

Additionally, non-academic staff members had the benefit of immersive learning experiences focused on EU project management, Ulysseus activities, and intercultural communication during three different winter and summer schools hosted by MCI in Innsbruck, Austria.

Furthermore, Ulysseus students were treated to two enriching Entre Camps held in Helsinki during the summers of 2022 and 2023. The camps attracted 40 international students and 12 coaches from all partner universities to learn more about entrepreneurship and design thinking through challenge based learning.

From traditional semester exchanges to co-creation events and virtual mobility

Ulysseus European University offers a range of other mobility activities that contribute to the diverse and enriching learning experiences of its students and staff members. These include among others traditional semester exchanges for students, staff weeks, partner courses, and co-creation events.

Partner courses offer students the opportunity to engage in specialized subjects and explore interdisciplinary perspectives. The courses can be conducted in various formats, including virtual or on-site intensive sessions.

Ulysseus Co-creation events bring together students to actively participate in shaping the content of Ulysseus joint degrees and living labs. The events serve as platforms for students to voice their opinions, suggestions, and ideas regarding e.g the content of the degrees and the living lab experience. Co-creation and Living Lab events have been successfully organized in Seville, Nice and Kosice, engaging students from across the Ulysseus network and promoting a sense of ownership and involvement in their education.

Virtual mobility initiatives, all hosted by Ulysseus Digital Platform, provide students and staff with the chance to participate in joint courses, international collaborations, and seminars from the comfort of their own campuses. The first joint courses, mainly organized by Haaga-Helia, have gathered more than 1200 Ulysseus students. Lifelong learners from all around the globe have studied current topics like languages, entrepreneurship and sustainability in forms of MOOCs, self-paced virtual courses and traditional online courses.

Embracing mobility for all-around growth

Ulysseus European University’s commitment to mobility extends beyond academic boundaries, empowering the entire university community. From academics engaging in research mobility and co-creation events to students embarking on transformative mobility experiences and non-academic staff enjoying professional development opportunities, Ulysseus fosters collaboration, personal growth, and intercultural understanding.