On 18-20 November 2021, Warsaw University of Life Sciences hosts the meeting of the research staff, PhD fellows and students of seven European universities of life sciences, members of the EUROLEAGUE Organization (ELLS – Euroleague for Life Sciences) and of 3 non-European partners. ELLS is the network of Europe’s leading life science universities, partners in the fields of natural resource management, agricultural and forestry sciences, life sciences, veterinary, nutrition, food and environmental science. It brings together the following institutions of higher education: Wageningen University & Research, the Netherlands, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna, Austria, Czech University of Life Sciences in Prague, Czech Republic, University of Hohenheim, Germany, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden, University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Science, Denmark, and Warsaw University of Life Sciences. Since 2013 three non-European partner universities have joined the EUROLEAGUE: China Agricultural University in Beijing, China, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Israel, and Lincoln University, New Zealand.
The goal of the EUROLEAGUE is to develop and run joint research and teaching programs, foster the mobility of students and university teachers by simplifying relevant procedures and ensure high-quality of teaching. Curricula offered by universities – members of the ELLS network – include master degrees usually offered by these institutions, with the mutual recognition of courses and the ECTS system, as well as joint short-term programs implemented under the so-called summer schools. One of the goals of the organization is to run joint master’s degrees with mutual recognition of diplomas.
The EUROLEAGUE works are managed by advisory and management groups, namely:
ELLS Board (management), composed of university Rectors, the decision-making body which usually meets once a year;
ELLS Task Force which meets twice a year and deals with network coordination, addresses its strategy and policy issues and integrates network activity at the university level;
IRO, representatives of international cooperation offices.
Moreover, the EUROLEAGUE is the platform for the student representation body: the Euroleague Student Association (ELSA). ELSA’s mission is to support the network’s tasks and to communicate to its Board students’ views on the issues of interest for ELLS. Student representatives are present in all network agencies and bodies.
During the EUROLEAGUE meeting at SGGW two conferences are organized:
Staff conference: ELLS General Assembly, and the Forum “Actions towards a more sustainable future, lesson learned from the crisis” (18-19 November 2021);
Student scientific conference: “Green (r)evolution: from molecules to ecosystems” ( 19-20 November 2021) split into 4 thematic sections: Molecule, Organism, Community, Ecosystem.
The themes of the meetings fit into a broader picture of key issues and challenges for the academic community of European universities, including the universities of life sciences.
It is a true challenge to organize a conference in the times of a persisting epidemic threat and for this reason the hybrid format was chosen for the event. Physical meetings for staff groups, including the representatives of the management of the Euroleague universities were held on 18 and 19 November, at the SGGW campus.
Our virtual campus, set up for the purpose of the conference, hosts over 400 students representing 10 universities from Europe and from all over the world. This year meeting is organized under the motto of “Green (r)evolution: from molecules to ecosystems”, split into 4 thematic sections: Molecule, Organism, Community, Ecosystem. As part of scientific meetings workshops, poster sessions and many informal student activities are organized as a platform for exchange of experiences and fruitful scientific discussions.
The Euroleague conference is organized with the strategic partnership of State Forests – the largest forest management organization in the European Union owned by the State Treasury. State Forests organization manages the forested area equal to one fourth of Poland’s territory, maintains the biodiversity of forests, ensures their protection against threats and supervises forest management measures. One of its primary tasks is to make forests available to the society as a whole. Its mission fits into the goals and tasks of the Euroleague, and the conference becomes an opportunity to promote sustainable development, attention to climate and the concern for a better tomorrow.