First Una Europa Summer School held in Edinburgh
From 25 July to 5 August, more than 50 students from the University of Edinburgh and European partner universities came together to tackle One Health issues.
Students and academic mentors considered the inter-related health of people, animals, plants and the environment. Led by Professor Lisa Boden, Chair of Population Medicine and Veterinary Public Health Policy, along with world-leading academics from Edinburgh and across the Una Europa alliance, students teamed up to pitch their ideas.
It’s not an understatement to say that it’s been one of the most meaningful teaching experiences of my life... [The students] all came from different backgrounds – so we have journalists and lawyers, people who are studying philosophy, as well as veterinarians, as well as medics.
Edinburgh is the first of the Una Europa partners – a collaboration of 11 leading research-intensive European institutions – to pilot and host the summer school.
Earlier this year Edinburgh signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv as part of a UK-Ukraine twinning initiative. Five students from this partnership were able to join Edinburgh in this Una Europa initiative, as well as share their experience with students and staff.
For one of the workshops, we talked about food security issues in Ukraine and how the war has impacted the country’s grain supply. I feel this is a safe space to talk openly and coming here makes you realise that you are not isolated. This experience has given myself and other Ukrainian students the confidence to tell our story. I’m grateful for the chance to be part of this programme.
Watch the video interview
This interview and coverage was broadcast on STV in August.
Our ability to connect across Europe, across the world, is fundamental. It relates to a post-Brexit world, a post-pandemic world, and also a world in which war is an issue at the moment. Connecting to Taras Shevchenko University is a really fundamental part of what we’re trying to do.
One Health Programme
The Summer School ran for two weeks, where students attended lectures, seminars, and collaborative group work, complemented by a social and cultural programme.
During the first week, groups investigated the various concepts in One Health and Planetary Health. Participants began working in groups to explore specific challenges, conduct preliminary research, and shared their results with everyone. In the second week, our groups will work creatively to identify potential solutions and develop a pitch which effectively communicates their idea to others.
In their free time, students were able to explore Edinburgh and celebrate completing the program with a farewell dinner and ceilidh.