An alliance of leading European science and technology universities is starting an international study program with the goal of jointly shaping the engineering education of the future. This "EuroTeQ Engineering Campus" will be open not only to students enrolled at the partner universities, but also to engineers working in industry who are interested in life-long learning. The initiative will reinvigorate the symbiosis between society and technology together with various stakeholders and orient its programs towards a human-centered engineering.
The EU will fund the project in its "European Universities" program with approximately five million euros over the next three years. The initiative emerges from the EuroTech Universities Alliance , a strategic partnership of Technical University of Denmark (DTU), École Polytechnique (L’X), Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Technical University of Munich (TUM) as well as Ecole polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology. For this project, they have brought two other strong partners on board: Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) and Czech Technical University in Prague (CTU). EPFL and Technion, being located in non-EU countries and hence not eligible for funding, will contribute to the implementation of the program.
The partners will establish a joint engineering sciences study program across different disciplines as well as across national and institutional boundaries whose content will reach well beyond the treatment of individual technologies. The goal of the alliance is to look at technology developments on a holistic level. "Today we can’t talk about mobility without considering climate impacts, and robotics and artificial intelligence will not succeed without winning over human trust," says Prof. Thomas F. Hofmann, President of TUM, which is coordinating the project. "A modern engineering education must provide students not only with in-depth technical knowledge but also with an extended educational horizon, an entrepreneurial mindset and sociopolitical sensitivity."
In order to promote this understanding on a Europe-wide basis, the "EuroTeQ Engineering Campus" will not be restricted to sudents enrolled at the respective partner institutions. It will also be open to those who do not hold an academic degree yet, but who play an important role in value creation and communication processes. Students will be trained with individually designed curricula and new digital formats and will be able to continue their education in the sense of life-long learning.
The alliance will furthermore bring their university students together with vocational trainees in technical careers as well as a large number of stakeholders from industry, trade associations and various areas of society to explore the great challenges of the 21st century and to jointly formulate solution strategies. The project has already won the support of 45 collaboration partners. In the process, the "EuroTeQ Engineering Campus" will gain comprehensive experience with the various qualification structures within Europe and will learn about the needs of the younger generation. These findings will then in turn be integrated in the design of teaching at all the partner universities.
"We are building a truly open university program, bridging not only national boundaries, but also boundaries of age and social circumstances, which will serve as a pioneer in the whole European academic sector," says TUM President Hofmann. "The program will produce engineers who act with a sense of responsibility and it will foster the development of new technologies in an environment of mutual understanding that is sustainable and accepted by society."
The European Universities Initiative, introduced by French President Emmanuel Macron, is one of the European Commission’s most prestigious calls for proposals. The objective of this promotional instrument is to establish ambitious European university alliances over the next few years that will make the European university landscape even stronger in the fierce competition with the USA and Asia.