“Reimagining Universities as Drivers of Sustainability” at HU Berlin

How can universities respond to climate change? From 22 to 26 August, this programme invites students to develop ideas and measures for transforming universities into drivers of sustainability.

From 22 to 26 August, the summer school “Reimagining Universities as Drivers of Sustainability” invites you to develop ideas and models for how universities can respond to the growing urgency of climate crisis.

Universities have a unique responsibility in working towards climate neutrality: as sites of innovative research and teaching but also as local players that are embedded in specific urban landscapes as well as social and economic networks.

Diverse and practice-oriented perspectives

The summer school recognises the potential of universities to act as disseminators of knowledge and to develop best practices. We want to help this potential to become reality: by investigating the possibility of a green campus, by reflecting on how to integrate sustainability into university curricula, and by developing ideas for a better knowledge exchange between universities and civic partners.

Over one week, you can take part in creative, solution-focused modules and activities, such as workshops, meetings with start-ups and excursions. We’ll combine approaches from the natural sciences, education and cultural studies, from architecture, urban development and social entrepreneurship. The interdisciplinary programme will offer diverse and practice-oriented perspectives on developing measures for transforming universities into drivers of sustainability. The full programme for the week-long scholl is available here.

How to apply

If you are a graduate or advanced undergraduate student (second year and up) and would like to apply, please submit your application and supporting documents (CV, letter of motivation, enrolment certificate and transcripts) online by April 29.* (Applications are closed.)

The selection committee consisting of staff and professors from Circle U. universities will select eligible participants based on the following criteria: motivation letter, CV, English language proficiency (at least level B2 according to the CEFR), the applicant’s willingness to work on an interdisciplinary basis, and a good mix of disciplines within the summer school. Our Summer School is competitive and even excellent applications may be rejected if all 20 places have been filled. The selection committee will aim for an even distribution of participants across all alliance members. Students will receive their confirmation letters by the end of May. Please contact us by email if you have any questions regarding the application procedure.

Travel grants

The summer school is free of charge and comes with a grant provided by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) with funding from the Federal Foreign Office. The grant covers travel and accommodation. It includes 250 Euros for the stay in Berlin as well as a country-specific travel stipend according to DAAD specifications (Belgium: 225 euros, Denmark: 225 euros, France: 325 euros, United Kingdom: 250 euros, Italy: 375 euros, Norway: 200 euros, Austria: 225 euros, Serbia: 300 euros). The grants will be handed out in cash at the start of the summer school. Students of Humboldt-Universität are welcome to apply. However, the abovementioned DAAD grants are not available to them.

* Please note that for the purpose of selecting summer school participants we intend to disclose your personal data (name, semester, letter of motivation, grade point average) to our Circle U. partner universities (Aarhus Universitet, Univerzitet u Beogradu, King’s College London, Université catholique de Louvain, Universitetet i Oslo, Université Paris Cité, Universität Wien, Universitá die Pisa).

** Since the ongoing pandemic situation is highly dynamic it may lead to changes at short notice. Therefore, please note we might have to reschedule or conduct the summer school in a virtual format.