Universities define engineering education to meet European challenges

The UPC hosts the 4th Dialogue Unite! Dialogue: ‘Past, Present and Future’, from November 29 to December 1, in an online and face-to-face format at the Auditori of the Vèrtex building in Barcelona. Experts from the seven European universities that are part of the Unite! alliance, as well as representatives from the world of industry, institutions and governments will discuss key issues for the future of European development.

More than 200 people, including industry representatives, students, faculty and European university strategy and government officials, will meet, on line and in person at the Vèrtex Auditorium (Plaça Eusebi Güell, 6, Barcelona) of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya · BarcelonaTech (UPC), at the 4t diàleg ‘Unite!: Past, Present and Future!to continue shaping the Unite! alliance, which brings together some of Europe’s best technological universities. Beyond aspects such as student mobility or the degrees recognized by the participating universities, experts from different nationalities will reflect on how engineering education should evolve, ethics in technology, European leadership in intelligent technologies and the impact that the Unite! alliance has on European higher education and on local, regional and global development.. Precisely, one of the novelties of the meeting is a day in which universities, industry, governments and society will discuss how to intensify the transformative capacity of technological universities in society.

The Unite! community – the European University Network for Innovation, Technology and Engineering – is made up of the UPC, the Technical University of Darmstadt, Aalto University, the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), the Grenoble INP graduate schools of engineering and management (University Grenoble Alpes), the Politecnico di Torino and the Universidade de Lisboa. The aim of the meeting is to share ideas and learn from best practices in the fields of teaching and research, which are already being worked on by the Unite! alliance is already working on to build the European university of the future.

To attend the sessions virtually, which will be open to the public, and in person at the Branding Event, which will take place on December 1, prior registration is required, which can be done until November 26.

Building the European university of the future

The development of the new generation of engineering and architecture professionals, the construction of an inter-university metacampus, the development of integrated mobility throughout Europe, more flexible and inclusive, the programming of a master’s degree in Artificial Intelligence (AI) or the creation of a joint Doctoral School between the seven universities are some of the projects on which multidisciplinary groups of researchers, students, faculty and staff of Unite! are working. Ethics, sustainability, multilingualism, gender equality, co-creation, entrepreneurship and open science are some of the values on which the project of this great European university is based and which is decisively linked to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

During the last two years, Unite! has promoted different activities and training proposals for students, researchers and academics. Masters, summer universities, international hackathons and training in teaching innovation for teachers have concentrated a good part of the most visible activities.

A network for innovation, technology and engineering

This alliance is part of the strategic commitment to increase the quality and attractiveness of higher education in Europe. Together they are creating a common space for multidisciplinary training, cooperation in teaching and research and the transfer of knowledge with a view to the development of the regions. Technology and innovation are the common factors in all of them.

Together, the seven partners have 167,000 students and graduate 36,700 people each year. They cooperate closely on more than 80 EU projects and have exchanged more than 2,000 students in the past five years.

In 2019, the European Commission (EC) proposed the European Universities Initiative to promote the creation of the European Education Area in 2025. Unite! is one of the main alliances to respond to this challenge, which must be carried out by the most competitive European universities, attractors of talent and agents for the transfer of knowledge in a global world with great university references in other continents, such as Asia or America.

The EC promotes and funds these partnerships through the Erasmus+ Framework Programme and the Horizon2020 program Science with and for Society.

A new concept of education and research

Unite! shares, groups and complements the teaching capacities of each university. A new concept of European university for which flexible study paths and joint curricula are already being designed. Unite! is especially leading the creation of new concepts of education and research in engineering, science and technology based on innovative transdisciplinary approaches derived from art, design, architecture, business, social sciences and humanities. New profiles for university education with technology as a powerful transforming substrate. All this, aimed at training the new generation of highly qualified European professionals to meet the challenges of the labor market, with a multidisciplinary and quality training.

Innovation in three strategic areas

With the intention of addressing some of Europe’s major societal challenges, the *Unite! alliance is promoting an integrated research and innovation strategy, focusing, among others, on three main priority areas: energy, Industry 4.0 and Artificial Intelligence. This strategy is developed in line with the policies of the Green Deal and the European Digital Agenda.

SOURCE: Leading technological universities define to *Unite! how engineering education will respond to the great European challenges, a Press Room, UPC