The University of Nicosia at the Inaugural Event of NEOLAiA Alliance

Rector Pouyoutas: “It is a great honour to participate in one of the fifty European University Alliances funded by the European Commission”

The University of Nicosia (UNIC), as a partner of the NEOLAiA Alliance of European Universities, participated in the official Kick-off Meeting of the Alliance, which took place in Brussels, on 07-08 February 2024.

In this context, the Rectors and Vice-Rectors of the 9 universities participating in the Alliance attended the festive ceremony of the official launch of the project. They also participated in the meetings of the Rectors’ Governing Board and the Steering Committee of the Alliance respectively, and took part in the social events organised as part of the meeting.

At the official launch event, the University of Nicosia was represented by a large group of academics, researchers and administrators, led by the Rector of the University, Professor Philippos Pouyoutas, who sits on the Rectors’ Governing Board of the Alliance.

The University was also represented by Senior Vice Rector Professor Constantinos Phellas, the Vice Rector for Academic Affairs, Professor Panayiotis Angelidis, also member of the Alliance’s Steering Committee, the Vice President for International Relations, Professor Dimitris Drikakis, as well as the Director of the Erasmus+ and European University Alliance NEOLAiA Office, Dr Melpo Iacovidou, and Ms Marianna Charalambous, Research Project Manager at the Institute For the Future, members of the Alliance’s Executive Committee.

The launch event was attended by the University of Nicosia Delegates and task force members of the Work Packages, as well as one Doctoral Degree and one Bachelor’s Degree student, as members of the Student Governing Board that will bring together students from the nine Alliance partner universities. Dr Stelios Mavromoustakos, Director of the Lifelong Learning Foundation (LLP), was also present at the launch event.

The aim of the Brussel’s event was to officially launch the Alliance and therefore the 10 Work Packages. The members of each Work Package had the opportunity to meet in person with their counterparts from the participating universities. The agenda included meetings, round table discussions, joint meetings with all participants, separate meetings for each Work Package, and social events.

The University of Nicosia has assumed a substantial role in the implementation of the Alliance’s vision, as the leader of the “Digital Transformation” Work Package, as well as co-leader of the “Adopting and Sustaining Open Science” Work Package.

At the conclusion of the two-day meeting, the Rector of the University of Nicosia, Professor Philippos Pouyoutas, stated: “The inaugural event of the NEOLAiA Alliance in the presence of distinguished guests from the 9 countries of the participating universities took place in a very joyful and moving atmosphere. The Rectors’ Governing Board discussed the strategy for the implementation of the Alliance’s objectives and reiterated once again its commitment to consolidate the Alliance as an innovative, inclusive and digital European University, with 9 campuses. With a focus on our students, we are ready to serve our role as Educators and, having the Knowledge Square as our compass, to engage together in quality teaching and learning, research, innovation and contribution to society and culture. I would like to thank the twenty colleagues and students from our University who participated during the two-day event in the working groups and contributed significantly to the great success of the event.”

Representing the doctoral students, the doctoral degree candidate of the Department of Digital Innovation of the School of Business, Mr Stamatis Papanggelou said: “To have, as a student, the opportunity and the honour to contribute substantially to the processes, work and implementation of the project of such an important European Alliance is an excellent experience. It is great to be able to engage in dialogue and exchange views on mobility, diversity and digital reform within our University Alliance. The connections made have been instrumental in establishing a solid organisational structure that serves not only the current, but also future generations of the Student Governing Board. My participation in this project and the inaugural ceremony was an unforgettable experience and I feel fortunate to be a part of it.”

UNIC undergraduate Law student Mr. Dimitrios Verdi reported: “Thanks to the Rector of the University of Nicosia, Professor Philippos Pouyoutas, I had this unique opportunity to participate in this exciting project as a student representative on the Student Governing Board. Attending the opening ceremony in Brussels and participating in the meetings was an invaluable experience for me and I will use this experience for the benefit of all the students of my University and our Alliance in general. It was an unforgettable experience and I feel fortunate to be involved in this project.”

About the NEOLAiA Alliance

Among others, the main strategic objectives of the NEOLAiA Alliance are to empower and acquire a common digital identity for its members, to digitise the educational environment, to foster tolerance, diversity and inclusion, to invest in research and contribution to society and culture, to support democracy, to offer innovative solutions for global health and to provide high quality education.

The Alliance is funded with €14.4 million from the European Commission for 4 years, under the European University Alliances programme.

Together with the University of Nicosia, the network includes top, young, outward-looking and innovative universities, ranked among the best universities in the world according to the main university rankings: University of Jaén, Spain; University of Tours, France; Bielefeld University, Germany; Örebro University, Sweden; University of Salerno, Italy; Šiauliai State University of Applied Sciences, Lithuania; “Ştefan Cel Mare” University of Suceava, Romania; and University of Ostrava, Czech Republic.

For more information about the University of Nicosia and its participation in the European University Alliance NEOLAiA, please visit