UNIC Thematic Lines

Communities of researchers and educators enabling innovation in education, engagement, and cooperation capacities.
UNIC's seven cross-cutting Thematic Lines
are interlocking collaborative structures that establish relations between faculties of our universities around specific areas of post-industrial transition.
Topics covered by UNIC's thematic lines include health and wellbeing, sustainability, resilience and digitization, security, inclusion, entrepreneurship, and arts. They are communities of researchers and educators within UNIC that provide the contents for UNIC’s innovation in education, engagement, and cooperation capacities.
The first seven Thematic Lines were established in October 2023 with the aim of developing a community of educators and researchers, established around a specific post-industrial transition theme, to conduct education, engagement, and cooperation activities.

Thematic Line 1: Superdiversity

The Thematic Line “Superdiversity” builds on the UNIC Superdiversity Academy from the first period of UNIC and aims to connect research on superdiversity and inclusion to education, engagement, and university policies in the coming period. It responds to one of the needs identified in the process towards UNIC, referring to the diverse and mobile nature of the populations of our post-industrial cities. A core question in this TL is how higher education can be transformed to make optimal use of the potential of superdiverse student and staff populations.

Thematic Line 2: Sustainability and Green Cities
The goal of the “Sustainability and Green Cities” Thematic Line is to establish sustainable and green cities within the UNIC research and teaching community. It will do so, by making Universities and Cities collaborate, by involving its staff, students, and citizens. This will raise awareness, improve welfare, and build resilient communities globally. Furthermore, it will deepen collaboration between universities and cities to increase climate mitigation and sustainability, supporting the development of climate action pathways and deliberative citizen and community engagement. The output of this TL will be that Sustainability and Green Cities become an established theme within UNIC research and teaching community.

Thematic Line 3: Urban Resilience and Smart Cities

The “Urban resilience and smart cities” Thematic Line will bring together academic, teaching and professional staff, working together and strongly linked with relevant stakeholders in the cities and different communities. The goal of the Urban Resilience and Smart Cities TL is to have a new generation of students, researchers and citizens that are aware of the challenges faced by urban areas. These challenges have consequences for the way of living in the future and should therefore be taught at an early stage. Thus, this TL builds awareness on SDG 11 “Sustainable Cities and Development” with a focus on developing urban areas and communities that are more inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. It will propose innovative solutions to urban challenges and resilience building needs by bringing together students, researchers, professors and important stakeholders from partner universities and cities.

Thematic Line 4: Justice, Security, and Institutions
The “Justice, Security and Institutions” Thematic Line focuses on equal access to justice, governance of the justice system, and rule of law. It looks at established institutions of public character: political institutions, public administration – state, local, public services, courts, civil society organisations, and religious institutions. Additionally, the Thematic Line aims to design solutions to enhance the security of the city's public areas and critical infrastructure.

Thematic Line 5: Entrepreneurial Learning for Innovation

This Thematic Line proposes innovative teaching solutions by bringing together students, researchers, professors and important stakeholders from partner universities, cities, government, and industry. Outputs of this Thematic Line are Entrepreneurship Education as an established theme within UNIC research and teaching community.

Thematic Line 6: Health and Wellbeing
This Thematic Line aims to bring together experts from different disciplines such as public health, health sciences, psychology, social work, design, technology, and the likes to map mutual concerns affecting our cities and identify scope and viable solutions to existing challenges. Some of the topics of interest include but are not limited to health and healthcare of vulnerable groups, aging in urban contexts, addressing mental health issues, public health, design and technology related aspects for health and wellbeing for a sustainable and sufficient future and the like.

Thematic Line 7: Arts, Culture, and Creativity

The “Arts, Culture and Creativity” Thematic Line will plan, develop, pilot, and improve both PhD and University staff education and training (infrastructure, programme, workshops) to bridge the disciplinary gap between Artistic Research and Scientific Research to engage with key societal challenges in our member cities and institutions and thereby catalyse transformations.

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