First RUN-EU General Assembly will take place in Ireland

The first Regional University Network – European University’s (RUN-EU) General Assembly (GA) will be held in Ireland, at the Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest (TUS), between 1 and 5 November. This high-level event will mark the first in-person RUN-EU meeting since the pandemic started in 2020.

The GA is a strategic governing body that acts as a senate for the alliance and as a venue for the RUN-EU Student Week. It meets once a year to discuss ways to improve cooperation between the seven higher education members and associated partners in order to achieve the goals of RUN-EU and cooperate towards the development of the associated regions.

More than an opportunity to evaluate and decide on high-level policy issues, the GA will enable students, teachers, researchers, members of staff, associated partners, and all RUN-EU rectors/presidents to come together in a unique multicultural and transdisciplinary in-person event.

TUS President, Professor Vincent Cunnane said, ‘We are extremely proud to host the inaugural RUN-EU General Assembly here at TUS. The Assembly gives us the opportunity to showcase what the Midlands and Midwest of Ireland have to offer for international stakeholders. It is certainly a win for the region to host this event, and in a year where many industries and sectors have faced major challenges, it is clear TUS’s role in the RUN-EU network will bring many new opportunities for students, research, and industry in the region, particularly for SMEs. The network has been working hard to bring this assembly to fruition and enable staff, students and stakeholders involved in RUN-EU to meet and collaborate in person. Along with our 200 guests, we have 17 European partners of RUN EU-from across industry and government organisations in attendance’.

Speaking ahead of the event, Vice-President of Research, Development and Innovation at TUS, Dr Liam Brown said, ‘We look forward to welcoming staff, students and many of our associated partners and regional government colleagues to Ireland. Included in the General Assembly will be four student-led short advanced challenge programmes, delivered during the week across the TUS campuses. RUN-EU promotes and develops joint student-centred, challenge and work-based flexible educational activities, through collaborative and innovative inter-university and interregional approaches to higher education, research and innovation generating new opportunities for industry and many other stakeholders in our regions’. 

‘We are also launching the RUN-EU+ Coordination and Support Action this week. This innovative project focuses on the development and deployment of collaborative professional practice-based research degrees in Future Industry and Sustainable Regional Development, the Bioeconomy and Social Innovation, across the RUN-EU alliance’, he continued.

For the President of the Polytechnic of Leiria, Mr Rui Pedrosa, ‘the GA will be a major opportunity for the RUN-EU higher education institutions and associated partners to reaffirm their commitment to the shared values and principles underpinning the RUN-EU mission’.

‘I am delighted that our students, teachers, staff and associated partners will be able to meet in person for the first time and celebrate all the collaborative work and all the challenges we have been through during the last year. The engagement of 15 students from each RUN-EU university in the Student Advisory Board, as well in four short advanced programmes, will be a great achievement that will increase even more the cooperation within the alliance’, added Mr Rui Pedrosa.

RUN-EU General Assembly Agenda

Monday, 1 November

8h30-9h30
Welcome Station • Athlone Main Campus Reception

9h00-17h00
Short Advanced Programmes

  • RUN-EU Sustainable Development – Social Enterprise Challenge • Thurles
  • RUN-EU Bioplastics Challenge • Athlone
  • RUN-EU Eco-Innovate Challenge • Athlone
  • RUN-EU Food Challenge • Limerick

Tuesday, 2 November

8h30-9h30
Welcome Station • Athlone Main Campus Reception

9h00-17h00
Short Advanced Programmes

  • RUN-EU Sustainable Development – Social Enterprise Challenge • Thurles
  • RUN-EU Bioplastics Challenge • Athlone
  • RUN-EU Eco-Innovate Challenge • Athlone
  • RUN-EU Food Challenge • Limerick

16h0017h30
Work Package Meetings • Athlone Main Boardroom


Wednesday, 3 November

8h30-9h30
Welcome Station • Athlone Main Campus Reception

9h0017h00
Short Advanced Programmes

  • RUN-EU Sustainable Development – Social Enterprise Challenge • Thurles
  • RUN-EU Bioplastics Challenge • Athlone
  • RUN-EU Eco-Innovate Challenge • Athlone
  • RUN-EU Food Challenge • Limerick

10h0016h00
Work Package 2 Conference • Online

10h0013h00
Management Committee Meeting • Athlone Main Boardroom

14h00-15h30
Athlone Campus Tours • Meeting Point: Athlone Campus Arena

  • Tour 1
    Arena (30 minutes)
    Engineering Building (40 minutes) – Focus on contemporary undergraduate education
  • Tour 2
    Trades (30 minutes) – Focus on applied apprenticeship education
    Materials Research Institute (40 minutes) – Focus on fundamental multidisciplinary research

Throughout the day
Work Package Meetings • Athlone Main Boardroom and Meeting Annex


Thursday, 4 November

8h30-9h30
Welcome Station • Athlone Main Campus Reception

9h00-17h00
Short Advanced Programmes

  • RUN-EU Sustainable Development – Social Enterprise Challenge • Thurles
  • RUN-EU Bioplastics Challenge • Athlone
  • RUN-EU Eco-Innovate Challenge • Athlone
  • RUN-EU Food Challenge • Limerick

9h30-16h00
Work Package 2 Conference • Online

10h0013h00
Associated Partner Reception and Athlone Campus Tours • Athlone Annex and Campus

  • Tour 1
    Applied Polymer Technologies Research Centre (1 hour) – Focus on advanced polymer manufacturing
    Arena (30 minutes)
  • Tour 2
    Trades (30 minutes) – Focus on applied apprenticeship education
    Materials Research Institute Research Hub (40 minutes) – Focus on fundamental multidisciplinary research
  • Tour 3
    Arena (30 minutes)
    Engineering Building (40 minutes) – Focus on contemporary undergraduate education

11h0013h00
Presidents, Rectors and CEO Meeting • Athlone Boardroom

12h3015h00
RUN-EU+ Kick-off Meeting • Limerick Moylish Boardroom

15h0017h00
Associated Partner Visits and Meeting

19h3023h30
Reception Gala Dinner • Strand Hotel, Limerick


Friday, 5 November

9h0011h00
Student Advisory Board Meeting • Millennium Theatre, Limerick Campus

9h0010h30
Associated Partner Advisory Board Meeting • LSAD Gallery

10h3012h30
Meeting of Associated Partners with RUN-EU Presidents, Rectors and CEO • LSAD Gallery
Campus Tour • LSAD and Moylish Campuses

13h3017h00
General Assembly • Millennium Theatre, Limerick Moylish Campus


General Assembly Meeting Agenda • Friday, 5 November

13h30
Opening Session

  • Vincent Cunnane • President of the Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest
  • Rui Pedrosa • President of the Polytechnic of Leiria
  • Cllr. Olivia O’Sullivan • Deputy Mayor of Limerick City and County
  • Manuel Heitor • Portuguese Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education (Virtually)
  • Nuno Rodrigues • RUN-EU Coordinator and Vice-President of the Polytechnic of Leiria

14h30
Session 1: Delivering Future and Advanced Skills

  • Summary of the achievements of the first year
  • The experience of Short Advanced Programmes
  • Launch of the Institutional FASA

15h00
Session 2: RUN-EU Discovery and the European Innovation Hubs

  • Summary of the achievements of the first year
  • Launch of the RUN-EU+ Project
  • Launch of the RUN-EU Discovery Mobility Programme

Break

15h30
Session 3: RUN-EU Challenge Programme

Presentation from students with the conclusions of the four SAPs

  • RUN-EU Sustainable Development – Social Enterprise Challenge (Thurles)
  • RUN-EU Bioplastics Challenge (Athlone)
  • RUN-EU Eco-Innovate Challenge (Athlone)
  • RUN-EU Food Challenge (Limerick)

16h10
Session 4: Advancing RUN-EU 

  • Feedback and recommendations from the RUN-EU Student Advisory Board
  • Feedback and recommendations from the RUN-EU Associated Partner Advisory Board
  • Preview of planned activities for the second year of RUN-EU

Closing Session

  • Rui Pedrosa • President of the Polytechnic of Leiria

Are you thinking about attending the event in person?

If you’re a RUN-EU staff member or student considering attending the RUN-EU General Assembly in Ireland, TUS has a couple of accommodation agreements with local hotels and has put together a few tips about travelling to/from the airport and staying in Ireland.

Several preventative measures have been put in place to ensure the health and safety of all participants during the event, according to the Irish government public health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Other Support

LIT and AIT have merged to become the Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest

RUN-EU is now made of seven reputable higher education institutions. On 1 October, the Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) and the Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) ceased to exist and became Ireland’s new Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest (TUS). For RUN-EU, the first Irish interregional university represents a huge step forward in the transformation of the country’s higher education landscape and a strong commitment to the alliance’s regional development goals.

The merger of the two institutes resulted in a multi-campus university spread across six colleges (Athlone, Clonmel, Ennis, Thurles, and Limerick) throughout Ireland’s Midwest and Midlands region. TUS comprises a student population of more than 14,000 and a staff community of approximately 2,000 members. Being classified and recognised as a university makes TUS more attractive for international students and enables it to provide new opportunities for its students and researchers, by diversifying its research offer and awarding degrees in new areas of speciality.

TUS will preserve LIT and AIT’s identities and continue partnering with key stakeholders from industry and society, driving development across the Midlands and Midwest, thus making the region more attractive for national and foreign investment.

Professor Vincent Cunnane was appointed Founding President of the TUS, following an international recruitment process.

RUN-EU Super Week

The RUN-EU Super Week is an event organised by Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK) that will gather students and staff members from our seven higher education institutions from 25 until 29 October 2021 in Finland.

While staff members will be able to participate in the activities of the FASA Pedagogical Development Programme (PDP) and the Design Factory Bootcamp (DFB), students can expect an intensive week around the Short Advanced Programme (SAP) ‘How to Navigate Through Unfamiliar Contexts’.

If you’re planning to participate in the PDP and the DFB, you can find more information on the programme activities on HAMK’s website. Staff members taking part in the DFB are also requested to complete a pretask.

Pedagogical Development Programme and Design Factory Bootcamp

Monday, 25 October

9h30-10h30
Welcome
HAMK Presidents, Course Leaders
Orientation to the week
Coffee

10h3012h00
PDP • Pedagogical models of RUN-EU institutions – Strengths and Challenges
Bootcamp • Grouping
Designing Design Factories for each RUN-EU higher education institution

12h0013h00
Lunch

13h0014h30
Participants’ perspectives on good teaching, learning and well-being (collaboration with SAP students)

14h3016h00
What is quality learning and teaching in higher education according to recent research?


Tuesday, 26 October

9h0012h00
PDP • Promoting teaching, learning and well-being in Institutional FASAs – group work
Bootcamp • Design Factory Procedures and collaboration with enterprises & Teacher’s role in collaboration with enterprises

12h0013h15
Lunch

13h1516h30
Group work on the following topics (collaboration with SAP students):

  1. Building a pedagogical framework for RUN-EU
  2. Development and assessment of future skills
  3. Experiences of teaching and learning during COVID-19

17h00
Cocktail party for all participants of the Super Week


Wednesday, 27 October

9h0012h00
Optional workshops: eg Research on learning in Design Factory, Working-life integration and pedagogical solutions…
Seminar: Highlights of smart bioeconomy research in HAMK

12h0013h00
Lunch

13h0016h00
Prototyping session at HAMK Design Factory


Thursday, 28 October

9h0011h30
PDP • LearnWell self-reflection tool and questionnaire / How to organize LearnWell reflection sessions?
Bootcamp • LearnWell self-reflection tool and questionnaire / Following SAP students’ 3D printing at HAMK Design Factory

11h3013h00
Lunch

13h0016h00
Building DF Culture [voluntary for PDP]

16h0017h00
PDP • WP3 Pedagogy Team meeting / WP3 Skills Team meeting
Bootcamp • Design Factory Spaces and Machines


Friday, 29 October

9h0010h00
LearnWell Feedback session

10h0012h00
Designing Future Advanced Skills Academies together with SAP students
Preparing a presentation (5 min) in institutional groups

12h3015h00
Friday Gala:

  • Presentations from each institution
  • Panel discussion with associated partners
  • Comments from HAMK presidents
  • Closing of the week

Gala includes a salad buffet

Programme for Students
SAP ‘How to Navigate Through Unfamiliar Contexts’

Monday, 25 October

9h0010h30
Welcome
HAMK Presidents, Course Leaders
Orientation to the week
Coffee

10h3012h00
Group work: How the university and the teachers could enhance students’ well-being?

12h0013h00
Lunch

13h0014h30
Participants’ perspectives on good teaching, learning and well-being (collaboration with SAP students)

14h3016h00
What is quality learning and teaching in higher education according to recent research?


Tuesday, 26 October

9h0012h00
Group work presentations on future skills (done during the online period) and peer feedback

12h0013h15
Lunch

13h1516h30
Group work on the following topics (collaboration with SAP students):

  1. Building a pedagogical framework for RUN-EU
  2. Development and assessment of future skills
  3. Experiences of teaching and learning during COVID-19

17h00
Cocktail party for all participants of the Super Week


Wednesday, 27 October

9h0012h00
Prototyping session at HAMK Design Factory

12h0013h00
Lunch

13h0016h00
Prototyping session at HAMK Design Factory


Thursday, 28 October

9h009h30
LearnWell – Questionnaire

9h3012h00
3D printing at HAMK Design Factory

12h0013h00
Lunch

13h0016h00
3D printing continues
Group reflection (reflection of the SAP, preparing for Friday morning session with teachers)


Friday, 29 October

9h0010h00
LearnWell – Feedback session

10h0012h00
Designing Future Advanced Skills Academies together with RUN-EU teachers and staff
Preparing a presentation (5 min) in institutional groups

12h3015h00
Friday Gala:

  • Presentations from each institution
  • Panel discussion with associated partners
  • Comments from HAMK presidents
  • Closing of the week

Gala includes a salad buffet


Are you thinking about attending the event in person?

If you’re a RUN-EU staff member or student considering attending the RUN-EU Student Week in Finland, HAMK has a couple of accommodation agreements with local hotels/hostels and has put together a few tips about arriving and staying in Finland.

The RUN-EU Super Week takes place at the Hämeenlinna University Centre, which is HAMK’s largest campus, located 2 km away from the Hämeenlinna city centre.