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At PoliTo

First summit of the seven partner universities of UNITE! European University Alliance

19 February 2020

On 12-14 February, around 150 representatives of faculty, staff, students, plus some 20 Rectors and Vice Rectors of seven European universities – partners of UNITE! European University Alliance – gathered at Aalto University for the first Dialogue event. The alliance of these universities was recently selected by the EU as a pilot project and it aims to create a European inter-university campus for students, faculty, staff, regional and European partners and society, increasing the competitiveness of European Universities.

The Task Forces at work

The Dialogue served as an opportunity to discuss the work done so far, and to plan the main UNITE! actions until Lisbon’s next meeting, scheduled for the end of September. Nine Task Forces have been set up to deal with governance, quality management, development of joint student services, flexible paths of students and faculty mobility, research and PhD, innovation and territorial involvement, communication. The Dialogue’s agenda included,  among the various issues, the proposal of joint initiatives for the development of new teaching methods, aimed supporting the professors of all partner universities in their daily work. Virtual and online learning experts met to share their experience and vision of socially inclusive virtual learning and teaching environments currently implemented across Europe.

Professor Roberto Zanino, Rector’s Delegate for European Relations and UNITE! Key Liaison Officer guiding PoliTO’s large delegation, has stated: “This Dialogue was for many participants a first occasion of meeting, awareness and discussion of the big issues that will affect future European Universities. Our Politecnico coordinates the Task Force focused on PhD and Research, themes that are relevant to our Strategic Plan and connected with the current European Commission’s topic of education. We will organize a motivational Summer School on energy, planned for the end of next summer, which will involve master and doctoral students and professors from all the 7 UNITE! partners.”

Seven partner universities

UNITE! – University Network for Innovation, Technology and Engineering – was selected last summer as one of the 17 European pilots to be funded by the European Commission for 2019-2022. The kick-off meeting, where the UNITE! Charter was signed by the presidents of the 7 partners, was held last November at its coordinating university, TU Darmstadt, Germany. In addition to TU Darmstadt, UNITE! includes the Aalto University (Finland), the KTH Royal Institute of Technology (Sweden), the Universite’ Grenoble Alpes (France), the Poltecnico di Torino (Italy), the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya–Barcelona Tech (Spain) and the Universidade des Lisboa (Portugal).