RUN-EU Kick-off Meeting and Launch Event (WEBINAR)

November 25, 14:30– 17:00 CET
Delivering Future and Advanced Skills for Societal Transformation in the EU Regions

The RUN-EU will organize the Kick-Off Meeting and Launch Event, on the 25th of November, at 2:30 pm (Central European Time – CET) and will be carried out in an online session.

The Presidents and Rectors of the Higher Education Institutions that make up the RUN-EU together with the representatives of the governments of each country, as well as the students and staff members, will present this new European University and discuss the importance of RUN-EU in the transformation of the HEI and its Regions.

Webinar link


14h30 – Welcome/Opening Session
14h40 – The RUN-EU European University
14h50 – “The transformation potential of European Universities”
Round table discussion with the Presidents and Rectors from RUN-EU
15h30 – “Student engagement and involvement in European Universities”
Presentation and round table discussion with the Students from RUN-EU
16h00 – “Member states in Support of European Universities”
Round table discussion with Government representatives
16h40 – “RUN-EU in the transformation of our HEI and Regions”
Questions from participants, students, staff and associated partners
17h00 – Closing Session

RUN-EU is a network of like-minded and regionally focused Higher Education Institutions committed to societal transformation in their regions in the context of both new and emerging regional and global challenges but in particular sustainable regional development.  It is proposed to achieve this collective mission through the delivery of collaborative, future and advanced skills-based teaching, learning, and research and engagement activities across the network.

The Higher Education Institutions, corresponding Countries and associated regions which compose the RUN-EU alliance are: Polytechnic of Leiria – Portugal (Center Region); Polytechnic of Cavado and Ave – Portugal (Northern Region);  Athlone IT – Ireland (Midlands Region); Limerick IT – Ireland (Mid-West Region); HAMK – Finland (Southern Region); Széchenyi István University – Hungary (Győr-Moson-Sopron County); NHL Stenden – Holland (Friesland Province); and FH Vorarlberg – Austria (Vorarlberg).

The Regional University Network aims to implement training programs that include the promotion of future and advanced skills for social transformation in the regions of the European Union. Higher Education Institutions will jointly develop a diverse range of teaching and learning actions, providing students with different international programs (short-term and e-learning), while international cooperation projects in the area of research and development are also implemented. In the future, students will also have the opportunity to obtain European double/multiple degrees within the framework of joint training programs.

RUN-EU will also have the mission of promoting the economic, social, cultural and sustainable development of the regions covered by the network, providing the necessary skills so that students, researchers and regional agents can successfully face the challenges of the future. This new consortium intends to be an active agent in the social transformation of the regions, promoting active citizenship and leading the creation of a new multinational interregional alliance (European Zone for Interregional Development – EZ-ID).

Webinar Part 2: Interactive online learning environments – good examples

Monday, Nov 16th, 11.00-13.00 CET 


Welcome to the webinar

Inspiring and engaging working and learning in digital environments – HAMK’s experiences/ Irma Kunnari & Kirsi Korkealehto HAMK Edu, Kirsi Jaakkola & Leena Koskimäki, HAMK LEAD team, Jonna Niemelä, Degree Programme in Social Services

Using Padlet to intensify interaction in the classroom / Tanja Eiselen, FHV 

Pedagogical Challenges: Reinventing some Practices / Antonio Moreira, IPCA


Implementing Active Learning in Online Classrooms / Sarah O Toole, LIT 

Webinar Part 1: Designing student-centered online teaching and learning – basic principles

Friday, November 13th, 9.00-11.00 CET 


Welcome and orientation to the webinars / Liisa Postareff

Designing student-centered online teaching and learning – basic principles / Liisa Postareff & Viivi Virtanen, HAMK Edu

COVID-19 Time for new learning opportunities / Manuela Francisco, Leiria

The Connectedness of our Students – Changing the Nature and Format of Student Induction / Michael Tobin, Athlone

Working online during COVID / Johan Postema, Stenden

Enhancing interaction and engagement, case HAMK Design Factory / Jari Jussila, HAMK 

Webinar Design Factory

Last Friday, June 5th, the management team of HAMK Design Factory organized the webinar: Applying virtual environments in distance learning of product development. Case Glue Collaboration Platform.  

Hosted by Jari Jussila, director of HAMK Design Factory, the webinar presented a case study of Glue Collaboration Platform in product development and prototyping products, and an overview of how virtual environments can be used in distance learning.

The on-line session was attended by academic staff and students of the RUN-EU alliance members, as well as members of the distance learning units, interesting in learning how to use new virtual and augmented reality techniques for on-line teaching and different on-line and virtual environments for joint product development and prototyping. 

The webinar is available here.

Learn more about HAMK Design Factory here.

New agreement for joint PhD programmes

On May, 21, Polytechnic of Leiria signed a collaboration protocol with Irish higher education institutions:  Athlone Institute of Technology (AIT) and Limerick Institute of Technology (LIT),  for joint PhD programmes. The signing ceremony  was held in Leiria, at Biblioteca José Saramago do Politécnico de Leiria, streamed through the link: The formal signing counted with the virtual presence of the reprsentatives of both Irish institutions and the intervention of Manuel Heitor, Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education. and in Dublin the Minister of State for Higher Education Mary Mitchell O’Connor. 

These PhDs are part of the European network Regional University Network – European University (RUN-EU), led by the Polytechnic of Leiria. This year will be created 10 vacancies for graduates of the Polytechnic of Leiria, covering a wide range of  scientific fields. The PhD available will have a four years duration program, and students will  spend, per year, six months in Ireland and six months in Portugal, couting with a co-supervisor of the Polytechnic de Leiria and a co-supervisor of AIT or LIT to develop the research program,.


Photo Album

Press Release


RUN-EU network will promote the future and advanced skills necessary for social transformation across the European Union. The institutions will develop several actions  allowing students to attend difrent international programs.

The mission is to promote economic, social, cultural and sustainable development of the territories covered by the network, providing the necessary skills so that students, researchers and regional agents can successfully face the challenges of the future. This consortium aims to be a dynamic agent for the social transformation of regions, promoting active citizenship and leading the creation of a new multinational interregional alliance (European Interregional Development Zone)

RUN-EU submits applications to funded projects

Polytechnics of Leiria and of Cavado and Ave have joined with Portuguese companies and RUN-EU alliance members to prepare five applications to funded projects. The co-promotion projects are a partnership between companies and non-corporate entities of the RDI System framed in Portuguese Polytechnic institutions in cooperation with European partners from Universities of Applied Sciences or Institutes of technology.

This call has been a very successful test for the RUN-EU alliance, since the RDI collaborative network has provided the international consortia for all the applications, submitted in different knowledge areas and scientific fields. These applications follow others, recently submitted to other European Calls.

The submitted application include industrial research and experimental development projects, aiming at the development of new products or services (total investment between 800 thousand and 1 million euros) as well as small industrial research and experimental development projects of exploratory nature, aiming at the development of new products or services (total investment between 200 and 300 thousand Euro).

More information about this call in:

Short Advanced Programme on Product Design-Ceramics

POLITÉCNICO DE LEIRIA, 19-21 February 2020

REPORT . RUN partners:
ESAD.CR – Polytechnic of Leiria | ESD – IPCA | LAD – LIT | HAMK UAS | NHL-Stenden


ESAD.CR – Polytechncic of Leiria (PT): João dos Santos, Carla Lobo and João Mateus;
ESD – IPCA (PT): Paula Tavares, João Santiago and Demétrio Matos
LAD – LIT (IRL): Elaine Riordan and Arturo Borrego

Distance cooperation

Frisian Design Factory/ NHL-Stenden (NL) – Marcel Crul
HAMK UAS (FI) – Mirja Niemelä

Day 1. 19th February

Morning Session, at ESAD.CR auditorium.
Common program with CLAY – Interregional Learning Event 04[1], on the themes of Ceramics in Portugal and Ceramics Education. Followed by a networking lunch.

Afternoon session, city of Caldas da Rainha and Óbidos.
Ceramic artists and designers’ studio visit: Paula Violante & Miguel Neto, Vitor Reis, Eneida Tavares, Hugo Graça, VICARA, Margarida Moreira, Inês Santos and Telma Vieira.

Day 2. 20th February

Morning Session, at ESAD.CR Library Room – workshop/ panel discussion
09:30h – 13:00h
(Previous visit to the School’s workshops and other facilities)
Professor José Luís de Almeida e Silva[2] – introduction and moderation

Theme: A reflection on the regional potential of ceramics and the role of Higher Education in its development and transformation, with the purpose of creating an advanced international course in the area of Product Design – Ceramics involving designers, artisans, artists, industry (SMEs) and policy makers, and adapted to the characteristics of each region.

National and international perspective on the links and forms of mediation between industry, Higher Education Institutions and designers

Followed by a presentation of each of the participants’ schools, its projects and approaches to the subject of Product Design – Ceramics, but also to the pedagogical strategies and forms of coping with the territory, from a global perspective to regional impact.

Open workshop attended by Product Design – Ceramics and Glass students and teachers.

Afternoon Session, at ESAD.CR Library Room – workshop / panel discussion
14:30h – 18:00h
Workshop with alumni:

The contribution of ESAD.CR, and arts and design education for the development and innovation of regional ceramics and design processes. The alumni and SME vision and experience.

João dos Santos – Short contextual introduction to the RUN Network.

Participants: Ro.Se (Rogério and Sérgio), Ana Rita Fonseca, André Sancho, Rita Frutuoso, Vítor Agostinho and Vítor Reis.

Open talk between alumni, ESAD.CR students and RUN partners.

The importance of a transdisciplinary learning environment for the development of the designer’s identity and a diverse set of skills.

The importance of school in the mediation between designers and industry. Discussion around the relative importance of industry for the development of the young designer, and around the importance of design to a more responsible and sustainable industry – what are the different roles of Schools and regional institutions in face of the sector’s challenges? On this context, what tools and skills should be addressed, considering the International Short Advanced Course on Product Design – Ceramics?

Open workshop attended by Product Design – Ceramics and Glass students and teachers.

Day 3. 21st February

RUN workshop, Library Room

10:00h – 14:00h

Short Advanced Course – Product Design – Ceramics, working draft.

Proposed thematic designation: Responsive/ Responsible Clay + keyword (regional framing)

1. Applicants

a) Who can apply: 2 students from each of the RUN partners, and everybody with interest on the subject. Selection made through the admission criteria.
b) Admission Criteria: CV, portfolio, letter/ video of intention, working proposal, 3 years’ experience in the field of ceramics and/or design.
c) The number of students for each SAC – PDC edition is, preferably, between 15 and 20.
NOTE: the SAC has a scientific committee for the selection of the applicants

2. International and regional Partners

a) RUN partners – mentors to each and all SAC editions. SAC staff is composed of one to two mentors (lecturer, associate professor, researcher, …), from each Partner School
b) Involve local communities – political representatives (e.g. municipal counsellors and technical staff from local museums); industrial associations; artistic and design associations, galleries, workshops, …
c) Regional Partners have a significant role, facilitating access to the applicants, and contributing with knowledge, experience and technology to the SAC.
d) Regional Partners are directly involved in some of the SAC activities, such as open classes, seminars, masterclasses or workshops

3. SAC duration

3 – 4 weeks long – 6 to 8 ECTS.
The SAC – PDC is designed as a module or part of a module of a master program, contributing to the student’s curricula. In the long term, we expect this to be a module of an International Open Master.
All participants receive a certificate with the corresponding credits.

4. RUN timeline (3 years)

Proposed timeline for the 5 SAC, to be held in each of the 5 participating Schools
Each SAC edition is adapted to the regional context (theme and partners). After each SAC edition, it is assessed and improved, if necessary.
SAC 1 – October 2020
SAC 2 – LAD/ LIT – 1st semester of 2021
SAC 3 – ESD/ IPCA – 2nd semester of 2021
SAC 4 – HAMK – 1st semester of 2022
SAC 5 – ESAD.CR / PL – 2nd semester of 2022
Final Event – 1st semester of 2023: balance, sharing of results, exhibition and other forms of dissemination (Dutch design Week, BID, …), next steps

5. SAC – PDC structure

This draft was designed considering a duration of 4 weeks.

1. From the admission process, the mentors will adapt the applicant’s proposals to the theme.
2. Students are expected to have different backgrounds and experience.
3. The SAC is divided in two parts:
a) An introductory part, lasting one week, designated Context, in which the students are introduced to the theme, and to the course subjects and its material conditions. At the end of the week, students will organize in teams with one mentor attributed to each. Students will work in teams for the rest of the SAC.
b) The second part of the course, lasting three weeks, is designated project development.

Week 1 – context
Day 1
a) SAC Introduction and welcome  + “wayfinding”
b) Context: Invited speaker – masterclass introducing the regional theme, with economical, historical, social, anthropological, ethnographical, artistic, or other references considered relevant.
Day 2
Masterclass/ field trip (full day) – hands on materials, inside or outside the School facilitie
Experts from faculty or regional partners will lead the masterclass
Day 3
Research day – students have to write a small report. There is no specific boundary to the research materials (library, workshops, landscape, factories, studios, galleries …)
Day 4
Masterclass/ field trip (full day) – hands on materials, inside or outside the School facilities
Experts from faculty or regional partners will lead the masterclass
Day 5
Team definition – project themes. During this day, students will organize in teams no smaller than three, and will work on the project theme.  The teams must prepare a presentation/ pitch of itself and the proposed theme.
Network Dinner (ND) with a guest speaker from regional partners. Other regional partners are invited to the dinner. The tables are organized with a mix of students, mentors, regional partners and public representatives. Teams present the pitch.

Week 2 to 4 – project development
a) Each team has 2 meetings a week with the assigned mentor (minimum contact time: one hour).
b) All teams have one peer learning session per week. This session is the forum for debate between students. Two or three mentors can help mediating the conversation. Expected to have half-day duration.
NOTE: team meetings and peer learning sessions can occur anywhere.
c) Upon team request or mentors’ suggestion, regional practitioners or experts can be invited for specific workshops, masterclasses or other kind of collaboration. These collaborations can occur at the School, or for e.g. at the partner facilities. These collaborations are important for introduction to new technologies and processes, or to redefine team’s challenges.
d) If necessary, PR experts can be invited to help teams promote linkages between the parts of each project and, when necessary HEI’s.

Week 4 – last 3 days – exhibition and presentation (E+P)
a) The last three days are dedicated to the setup of a project exhibition, and to its opening with public presentations. In Leeuwarden, this exhibition could take place at the Princessehof Museum.

[1] Lecturer at ESAD.CR, Phd, expert in economy and ceramics, ambassador of the International Academy of Ceramics, and representative of the Portuguese Ceramic Cities and Villages Association.

[2] With participants from different European countries such as Italy and France

RUN-EU Launch Event

Brussels, 12 February 2020

The RUN-EU launch event hosted by the Ambassador Pedro Lourtie, Deputy Permanent Representative of Portugal to the European Union. It was attended by around 70 representatives from the eight Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), but also the Portuguese Secretary of State for Science, Technology and Higher Education, João Sobrinho Teixeira, by the diplomatic representatives from Ireland, Hungary, Finland, the Netherlands and Austria, and also had the participation of some accredited assistants of the European Parliament.

About 24 student representatives, coming from all member Institutes, also played a leading role in this event, with a presentation in which their shared their vision for the creation of the new European university.

During the launch ceremony the Presidents, Rectors and official representatives of the eight RUN-EU alliance members signed a mission agreement that will govern the creation of the consortium and establish the lines of action of this alliance.

RUN-EU Student Workshop

Brussels, 11 February 2020

Following many focused student consultation events both at an institutional and network level, a group of 24 students composed by three representatives from each partner Institution came together in a full day pre-launch workshop in Brussels on February 11, 2020. The students were invited to participate in the RUN-EU launch event, held the following day, to present suggestions for the future of RUN-EU and the European Universities to the High Level representatives of the alliance members, as well as the Portuguese Secretary of State, Ambassadors and EC representatives present at the event.

The student bodies of each RUN-EU Institute have been involved in the co-creating of the alliance through surveys and focus groups. The student representatives present at the workshop discussed the students’ perceptions and opinions on what a European University should be and who the future RUN-EU European University should address them. These events have informed the development of the RUN-EU long term vision and, student preferences in relation to approaches to pedagogical and mobility arrangements.