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Students making an impact on European level

Ulysseus aims at becoming the European University for the citizens of the future, and will get there only with the help and involvement of the students.


Mirjam Gamrasni

international project officer
Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences

Marjaana Mäkelä

yliopettaja, PhD, FL, YTM
Haaga-Helia ammattikorkeakoulu

Published : 02.03.2022

Haaga-Helia is a proud partner of Ulysseus European University , one of the 41 European University Alliances. The European University Initiative (EUI) has an ambitious vision of an innovative, globally competitive and attractive European Education Area and European Research Area, in full synergy with the European Higher Education Area.

The EUI is co-developed by higher education institutions, student organisations, Member States and the Commission. European Universities are transnational alliances that will become the universities of the future, promoting European values and identity, and revolutionising the quality and competitiveness of European higher education.

Students are the citizens of the future

European Universities are not only big and beautiful words but actual possibilities for students from all over Europe. In December 2021, Ulysseus European University organized an Open Event for more than 50 students coming from the six partner universities. Haaga-Helia was represented by six students, both from Bachelor and Master levels.

The event was hosted by the University of Seville in Spain. The occasion, registered as a Conference for the Future of Europe event, was opened by Miguel Ángel Castro, the Rector of the University of Seville who addressed the students of the alliance.

Today we can really say that Ulysseus is coming alive. You are not only an essential part of our crew, but also the wind that pushes us all forward. Ulysseus aims at becoming the European University for the citizens of the future, and we will not be able to get there without your help.

First steps of co-creation

During the event, the students were divided in two groups. One group concentrated on writing a position paper that will feed the Manifesto on the Future of European Universities, to be presented by the European Universities Community (EUC) at the European Student Assembly in Strasbourg in March 2022. The other group focused on the design of the very first Ulysseus Joint Master Degree in Energy, Transport, Mobility and Smart Cities.

Below, two Haaga-Helia students share their experience of the sessions.

The Future of Europe -topic paper was created between us students. It astonished me, how well and proactively we executed the work together already from the first online co-creation session. The active, positive and energetic spirit continued in Seville where we took the outcomes of the first session forward. In my team we discussed the environment and delivered several great ideas. It was rewarding to notice how our practical and future-orientated thoughts were part of the final topic paper. It felt like we truly achieved to be the joint European voice.
This journey will continue at the European Student Assembly at the European Parliament in March 2022, where I have been selected to represent Ulysseus European University and Haaga-Helia.

Tomi Lempinen, BA Student in Aviation Business

As we started to plan our first joint degree together, it was quite clear that students all over Europe wish for the same things regarding degrees and studies. Flexibility, quality and safety clearly at the front. Creative brainstorming was called for and once all our ideas were gathered, we voted for the best ones to develop further. Goals and ambitions for the joint degree were presented to the world at the closing ceremony of the event.

Iida Tervo, BA Student in Business Management, Official Student Representative of Ulysseus European University at Haaga-Helia

The co-creational mode of Ulysseus

The Ulysseus consortium will create six entirely new joint Master degrees to expand the knowledge, networks and objectives of the six Innovation Hubs, each hosted by one partner institution. The pilot process of the Master in Energy, Transport, Mobility and Smart Cities is currently coordinated by the University of Seville across two parallel dimensions that ensure the European Approach in higher education and co-creation in learning design.

The co-creational mode engages Ulysseus’ stakeholders on a broad scale, as lecturers, researchers, students, external associate partners and key professionals from administration will collaborate. In order to make all voices heard, professional facilitators contribute to the design of content and the delivery of the joint degree.

For students, being able to engage in this innovative pedagogical development demonstrates the commitment of Ulysseus to value their vision and to transform it into concrete study offerings. Eventually, Ulysseus will also offer joint PhD pathways in the fields of the Innovation Hubs.

Next stop is the European Parliament

The European University Community (EUC) organizes for the first time, on the occasion of the Conference for the Future of Europe, the official European Student Assembly at the European Parliament in Strasbourg in the beginning of March 2022.

The event will gather 275 students from 38 European University alliances. A total of 18 students from Ulysseus were selected, of which three from Haaga-Helia. The event will be a unique opportunity for students from across Europe to address some of the complex challenges that the EU faces today. The Assembly will make student voices heard through the publication of their policy recommendations. Stay tuned and follow Ulysseus’ journey towards the future of Europe!

Ulysseus European University is led by the University of Seville, Spain together with the University of Genoa, Italy, Université Côte d’Azur, France;, Technical University of Košice, Slovakia, MCI|The Entrepreneurial School®, Austria and Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences, Finland. Ulysseus will allow students, researchers and graduates to move freely between universities, carry out internships in companies and start high-impact research projects.