Seven big European technological universities change Covid-19 emergency into an opportunity, by creating ENHANCE - European Universities of Technology Alliance, awarded 5 million euros over the coming three years by European Commission to strategically develop cooperation between educational institutions.
The Politecnico di Milano is one of the seven partner universities in ENHANCE, together with Chalmers University of Technology (Sweden), Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Norway), Politecnico di Milano (Italy), RWTH Aachen University and Technische Universität Berlin (Germany), Universitat Politècnica de València (Spain), and Warsaw University of Technology (Poland).
The health crisis in which we find ourselves reinforces the belief that only through the union of the strengths and resources of the best European technological universities it is possible to transform global challenges into opportunities, to allow our students to approach educational systems other than ours.
The initiative is designed to significantly strengthen mobility of students, staff and faculty, and foster the inclusiveness of higher education in Europe. More flexible study and research offers and fewer bureaucratic hurdles will make it easier for students, doctoral candidates, researchers, and staff to pursue their educational and career paths. The current health crisis, in particular, has shown how important cooperation and coordinated action are and what a great difference sharing innovative and creative ideas and solutions can make.
The Politecnico di Milano, thanks to this initiative, is increasingly at the centre of Europe, and it shows it right now, while preparing to deliver blended learning, crossing national borders and leveraging technology. In fact, students will be able to follow lessons in physical and virtual mode, and the first experiments of virtual joint classrooms in Europe will begin in autumn. All of this is the result of a vision that materializes in the ENHANCE project, with the ambition to create a real European university campus, free of physical, administrative and educational barriers.
We have had a dream for many years: sharing people, competences, resources and infrastructures with our key partners in Europe overcoming national borders. ENHANCE will make this dream true. Even more, not expected before, joining forces with other technical universities in this crucial period will contribute to sustain the European recovery after Covid-19.
says Professor Stefano Ronchi, Rector’s delegate for international affairs at the Politecnico di Milano. Overall, the seven partners have approximately 245,000 students and have exchanged more than 4,400 students and staff over the last five years. The envisioned instruments will first be tested in selected bachelor’s and master’s programs.
The implementation of innovative teaching and learning formats will enable all students to profit from international ENHANCE offerings, such as online courses, virtual student communities, or projects, workshops and summer schools. As an alliance of universities of technology, an important focus of ENHANCE is also on sustainable innovation and entrepreneurship. ENHANCE is one of 24 university networks selected in the second call of the European Universities initiative for creating a European Education Area by 2025.
This article was first published by Politecnico di Milano.