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.

LIT and AIT awarded €1 million additional funding for their role in RUN-EU

LIT RUN-EU Team

Our members Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT) and Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) have been awarded €1 million funding for their participation in the Regional University Network – European University (RUN-EU) initiative.

This represents another significant recognition of the potential of RUN-EU’s mission, values and work, and emphasises the project’s importance in ensuring Europe’s capacity to deal with the most urgent societal challenges.

The awards were determined based on an evaluation of 21 Impact Case Studies submitted by higher education institutions (HEIs) to the Irish Higher Education Authority (HEA) in March 2021.

The Irish Minister for Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris, said the awarded institutions are ‘making a positive and significant impact on Irish society, in areas such as inclusion and gender equality, leadership and sustainability, and are helping create an Ireland that is progressive, and one in which every person has the same opportunities to reach their potential’.

Speaking about the funding, Vice-President for Research Development and Innovation and RUN-EU project leader at LIT, Dr Liam Brown, said: ‘We very much welcome the announcement made by Minister Harris today. This funding will allow us to further develop partnerships between the RUN EU consortium partners in delivering the project mission’.

The RUN-EU director at AIT, Jane Burns, and the director of the AIT – LIT Consortium TU project, Dr Niall Seery, co-authors of the RUN-EU case study, also welcomed the funding and said it was indicative of the project’s value and what could be achieved.

On 1 October, LIT and AIT will merge to become the new Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest.

SAP ‘How to Navigate Through Unfamiliar Contexts’

To face the challenges demanded by a changing and uncertain world, you’ll need a variety of future skills to navigate through unfamiliar contexts. What skills will employers of the future be looking for?

‘How to Navigate Through Unfamiliar Contexts’ is a RUN-EU Short Advanced Programme (SAP) jointly coordinated by Häme University of Applied Sciences (HAMK), Polytechnic of Leiria (IPL), NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences (NHL Stenden), Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (FHV) and Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT).

To face the challenges demanded by a changing and uncertain world, you’ll need many more skills than those you get from your degree. These kinds of skills are called generic competencies or future skills. They include, for example, collaborating with others, problem-solving, flexibility, and taking responsibility. Plus, balancing contradictory demands require empathy, compassion and respect towards yourself and others.

Understanding how to learn in a self-directed manner and reflecting on your development are two essential skills that will play an increasingly important role in the future of work. Developing future skills will raise your employability prospects, and most importantly, they will enhance your – and your peers’ – well-being.

This SAP aims to make students aware of the importance of future skills and encourage them to set goals for developing them.

Proposed learning outcomes

At the end of this Short Advanced Programme, you will:

  • be familiar with various definitions of future skills
  • utilise this information to develop proactive strategies that can be used in navigating in unfamiliar contexts
  • able to think about the requirements for successful working in multidisciplinary and multicultural environments
  • unravel your own conceptions of learning practices, and recognise learning as an important future skill
  • recognise how future and study skills are related to your wellbeing and propose solutions for enhancing wellbeing
  • and evaluate the development of your future and study skills on the basis of given feedback and self-assessment.

Date: from 5 October to 29 October 2021

Online sessions and remote teamwork: 5, 7, 12, 14 and 19 October (14h00 – 16h00 CET)

Contact week: 25 to 29 October at Häme University of Applied Sciences (Hämeenlinna, Finland)

Mode of delivery: blended

Language of instruction: English

ECTS credits: 3

Academic recognition: to be defined by each higher education institution. Generally, most students will have this RUN-EU SAP certified in their diploma supplement, as a minimal condition

Eligible participants: all RUN-EU degree students

How to apply: fill in the application form

Deadline for applications: 17 September 2021

Selection criteria: order of submission, motivation, wide representation of subject fields of study and balanced participation of RUN-EU member institutions (a maximum of 5 students per RUN-EU member)

Total number of students to be selected: 35

Coordination

HAMK, Finland

IPL, Portugal

NHL Stenden, The Netherlands

FHV, Austria

LIT, Ireland

If you have any further questions, please send an email to liisa.postareff@hamk.fi (Liisa Postareff).

SAP ‘Game Changing Games’

The complexity of global challenges is constantly rising. Can we change the game with games?

‘Game Changing Games’ is a RUN-EU Short Advanced Programme (SAP) jointly coordinated by Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (FHV) and Polytechnic of Cávado and Ave (IPCA).

It aims to understand how game designers can address the most urgent global challenges and incite change, by fostering the sustainable co-existence of humans and the ecological systems. Creating games that motivate people to engage with social issues in a playful way could be one way of making critical issues easier to perceive.

From 4 October to 1 November 2021, students will approach this through online lectures, cutting-edge workshops and presentations, short-term international mobility and multidisciplinary group work dynamics.

To be able to better discuss this topic, students need to understand:

  • Game cultures
  • Dimensions of sustainability
  • Best practices for project presentations
  • Playful methods in future design (eg speculative design)
  • Formal and dramatic elements of games
  • Games as systems, economics of games
  • Approaches to and methods of game design (playcentric approach)
  • Community-centred design 
  • Designing digital games, urban games, social impact games, serious games, mixed reality games, alternate reality games
  • Interaction design in games
  • Design and implementation of social interaction in games
  • Game content and design considerations to evoke motivation
  • Creation of playful elements in immersive environments and affective infrastructures (eg for exhibitions and/or in the museum context)
  • Motivation to play vs motivation to change beliefs, attitudes, and behaviours
  • Storytelling, dramaturgy and visual design of games

Proposed learning outcomes

At the end of this Short Advanced Programme, students will be able to:

  • Know crucial concepts and approaches of game design, theoretical approaches and indices of ecological, social and economic sustainability
  • Be capable of developing and prototypically realising a concept focussing on future challenges (eg climate change, social segregation, digital divide) using games as a medium or creating playful experience(s)
  • Work in multidisciplinary and multicultural teams
  • Communicate solutions for societal real problems and challenges that demand innovation and various skills

Date: from 4 October to 1 November 2021

Online sessions and remote teamwork: 4 to 22 October

Contact week: 25 to 29 October at Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (Dornbirn, Austria)

Learning assessment: 1 November

Mode of delivery: blended

Location: online and in-person at Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (Dornbirn, Austria)

Language of instruction
: English

ECTS credits: 3

Academic recognition: to be defined by each higher education institution. In general terms, most students will have this RUN-EU SAP certified in their diploma supplement, as a minimal condition

Eligible participants: RUN-EU’s students from any cycle of studies. This SAP is interdisciplinary, but situated in the fields of Information & Communication Technologies and Arts & Design.

How to apply: fill in the application form

Deadline for applications [UPDATED]: 17 September 2021

Selection criteria: motivation, learning objectives, wide representation of subject areas/fields and balanced participation of RUN-EU member higher education institutions. A maximum of 40 students will be selected for this programme. The selection team will also take steps towards ensuring diversity and representativity

Coordination:

FHV, Austria

IPCA, Portugal

Read all the details about this programme.
Please send an email to run-eu@ipca.pt or SAPchanginggames@ipca.pt if you have any further questions.

SAP ‘Circular Design with Plastics’

Circular economy is a hot topic and a trendy term. However, what does it really imply for industry, for society, and for development? What are the existing and emerging challenges?

‘Circular Design with Plastics’ is a RUN-EU Short Advanced Programme (SAP), jointly coordinated by Polytechnic of Cávado and Ave (IPCA), NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences (NHL Stenden), Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) and Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT).

It aims to present insights into these topics and examine some existing tools that can help designers, engineers, managers and entrepreneurs. From 20 September to 8 October 2021, participants will find answers to these and other questions through online lectures, cutting-edge presentations and multidisciplinary group work dynamics.

Proposed learning outcomes:

This is an introductory programme aimed at those interested in becoming familiar with circular design (specifically with plastics), circular economy, and circularity. Participants will be introduced to the topic of circular design, starting from a variety of concepts, passing through several important approaches and methodologies, and finally covering some specific tools (in terms of their purpose and how they are employed, and not learning to use them in detail).

At the end of this programme, students will be able to:

  • Appreciate current driving features for sustainability in a multidisciplinary and international context
  • Understand the concepts of circular design, circular economy, circularity and ecodesign (among others)
  • Recognise the key challenges and opportunities for improving circularity in plastics, and how to quantify it
  • Understand the different perspectives of ecodesign/design for X
  • Understand circular supply chains and sustainable modelling

Date: from 20 September to 8 October 2021 (Lecturing/contact week from 27 September to 1 October)

Mode of delivery: blended; simultaneously co-located with live audience room at the four partner institutions

Language of instruction: English

ECTS credits: 2

Academic recognition: to be defined by each home institution. In general terms, most students will have this RUN-EU SAP certified in the diploma supplement, as a minimal condition

Eligible participants: RUN-EU’s students from any cycle of studies, with a particular emphasis on students from Engineering, Design and Management

How to apply: fill in the application form

Deadline for applications [UPDATED]: 12 September 2021

Selection criteria: a maximum of 40 students will be selected for this programme. A minimum of 5 places are reserved for each of the 4 host institutions. After that, the remaining 20 places will be distributed by all applicants. Selection will always be based on the order of submission (first come, first served), although priority will be given to RUN-EU partner students. Only after all RUN-EU partner students are placed will external applicants be selected. The selection team will also take steps towards ensuring diversity and representativity.

Coordination:

IPCA, Portugal

NHL Stenden, The Netherlands

AIT, Ireland

LIT, Ireland

Read all the details about this programme.
Please send an email to run-eu@ipca.pt or SAPcirculardesign@ipca.pt if you have any further questions.

Conference ‘From the Sea to Society’

Hosted by Politécnico de Leiria, the EU conference ‘From the Sea to Society’, held on 25 May, in the city of Peniche (Portugal), highlighted the importance of the ocean and a blue economy in the institutional strategy of higher education institutions.

The President of Politécnico de Leiria and Coordinator of RUN-EU, Mr Rui Pedrosa, opened the event where he noted that Politécnico de Leiria has been – and will continue – investing in marine and maritime research, aligned with the ‘green transformation agenda, included in the 2030 strategic plan of Politécnico de Leiria’.

The first panel debated sustainability supported by knowledge and the importance of European collaborative networks for the blue bioeconomy with representatives from European research and innovation centres. The keynote speaker of this panel was the General Coordinator of the European University of the Seas (SEA-EU), Mr Fidel Echevarría.

The second panel focused on the enhancement of coastal identities in Europe associated with the sustainability of resources and the social resilience of fishing communities with representatives from different marine organisations. In this panel, the keynote speaker was Mr Han Brezet, member of the EU Projects Boosting Team, Innovatiepact Fryslan (NL), and member of the RUN-EU’s Steering Board.

The conference ended with a set of different in-person cultural activities, held at the Politécnico de Leiria’s School of Tourism and Maritime Technology, for those who could attend the event in Peniche.

We are hiring: RUN-EU Project Manager!

  • Job title: RUN-EU Project Manager
  • Location: Politécnico de Leiria
  • Number of posts: 1
  • Length of employment: 1 Year
  • Contract type: Fixed-term Contract (Contrato de Trabalho em Funções Públicas)
  • Professional category: Técnico Superior
  • Grade: 6.ª posição remuneratória, nível 31
  • Working pattern: Full-time
  • Reports to: Project Coordinator
  • Application deadline: 13 May 2021 – 23h59 (Lisbon time)

Job Description:
The postholder will work as a Project Manager of the Regional University Network – European University (RUN-EU). In the next three years, Politécnico de Leiria (Portugal) and the H2020 RUN-EU PLUS Project will be coordinating a network composed of eight higher education institutions in the European Union.

The Project Manager will work on behalf of Politécnico de Leiria, supporting the coordination and management of the project to keep teams on track of their goals and ensure deliverables are completed on time.

This position offers an exciting opportunity to monitor the progress of an international cooperation-based project, communicate with regional and international stakeholders regarding project needs and goals, schedule meetings, and maintain project documents and reports to be submitted to the RUN-EU AG and the European Commission.

The RUN-EU Project Manager will also support the management of the H2020 RUN-EU PLUS Project in the creation of international and multidisciplinary research teams, which will include researchers from Politécnico de Leiria, and in the application to European funding projects, such as the Eramus+ and the Horizon Europe.

Educational requirements
Degree (Bachelor, Master or PhD) in Health Sciences, Life Sciences, Exact Sciences and Engineering, Natural and Environmental Sciences, Business and Management, Economics, or similar fields of study.

Read more about RUN-EU.

HOW TO APPLY:
As a public service contract, you can find more information at Bolsa de Emprego Público | Aviso n.º 7914/2021 or at the original Diário da República publication – DR 2.ª série n.º 83, de 29 de abril.

Conference ‘European Universities: Pioneering Transformation in Education, Research and Innovation’

The “European Universities: Pioneering Transformation in Education, Research and Innovation” conference held on 14 April demonstrated one thing above all: transnational higher education alliances will not only revolutionise the European education and research spaces, but most importantly they will increase the competitiveness of the regions where they are set in. 

Hosted by Politécnico de Leiria, the EU videoconference brought together representatives from European Universities and the European Commission, as well as relevant stakeholders from business and society to discuss the main topics on the European Universities Initiative’s agenda.


Opening Session

The opening session of the conference was chaired by the Minister for Science, Technology and Higher Education of Portugal, Manuel Heitor, and the Director-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission, Themis Christophidou.


Panel 1 – The Transformation Potential of European Universities

Keynote Speaker

  • Sophia Eriksson-Waterschoot, Director for Youth, Education and Erasmus+ of the European Commission

Speakers

  • Màrius Martinez, Vice-President for International Relations of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain, and President of ECIU European University
  • Daniela Trani, University of Maastricht, Netherlands, Director of YUFE Alliance
  • João Rocha, President of the Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal, and Coordinator of ATHENA European University
  • Rui Pedrosa, President of Politécnico de Leiria, Portugal, and Coordinator of Regional University Network – European University
  • Anna-Lena Claeys-Kulik, European University Association
  • Stéphane Lauwick, President of the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education

Panel 2 – How can European Universities Foster Skills for a Green, Digital and Inclusive Society

Keynote Speaker

  • Thomas Weko, Head of Higher Education Unit in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)

Speakers

  • Mark Brown, Director of the National Institute for Digital Learning (Ireland)
  • Célia Reis, Chair of the Board Altran (Portugal)
  • Timea Csanaki, HR-Representative – Academic Cooperations of Audi Hungaria, Hungary.
  • Juha Haukka, Managing Director of Suomen Yrittäjät in Häme (The Regional Association of Entrepreneurs in Hame), Finland
  • Jimmy Heinzl, CEO of WISTO – Wirtschafts-Standort Vorarlberg GmbH (Austria)

Panel 3 – Future and Advanced Skills for Societal Transformation

Keynote Speaker

  • Nuno Rodrigues, Vice-President for Research of the Polytechnic of Leiria, Portugal, RUN-EU European University

Speakers

  • Joan Guàrdia Olmos, Rector of the University of Barcelona, Spain, and Coordinator of CHARM European University
  • Manuel José Damásio, Lusófona University, Portugal and Coordinator of FILMEU European University
  • António Cunha, President of the Norte Portugal Regional Coordination and Development Commission
  • Eduardo Anselmo Castro, Vice-President of the Centro Portugal Regional Coordination and Development Commission
  • Hans-Paul van der Snee, Director of Innovatiepact Fryslân, Netherlands

Panel 4 – The Role of European Universities in Leading Regional Innovation Ecosystems

Keynote Speakers

  • Ruaidhri Neavyn , Special Advisor to the Higher Education Authority of Ireland, and member of the Steering Board of the RUN-EU European University
  • Han Brezet, EU Projects Boosting Team – Innovatiepact Fryslan, Netherlands, and member of the Steering Board of the RUN-EU European University

Speakers

  • Pat Daly, CEO of Limerick City and County Council, Ireland
  • Pat Gallagher, Chief Executive Westmeath County Council, Ireland
  • Anna-Mari Ahonen, Region Mayor – Regional Council of Häme, Finland
  • Arno Brok, King’s Commissioner of the Province of Friesland, Netherlands
  • Gabriela Dür, Head of the Department of Science and Continuing Education of the Federal State of Vorarlberg, Austria
  • Emile Boc, Rapporteur of the European Comittee of the Regions

Signing Ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding

Agreement of RUN-EU members with Regional Government representatives about the long-term vision and the construction of the EZ-ID – European Zone for Inter-regional Development.


Closing Session

The closing session of the conference was chaired by the President of Politécnico de Leiria and Coordinator of the Regional University Network – European University, Rui Pedrosa, and the State Secretary for Science, Technology and Higher Education of Portugal, Manuel Sobrinho Teixeira.