26 Apr 2021

EELISA Announced Its Vision for a European Education and Research Area

The European Engineering Learning Innovation and Science Alliance (EELISA) formed by nine prestigious European universities including ITU announced its vision and engagements for a European education and research area aligning technical excellence and social impact.

News: İTÜ Media and Communication Office

The declaration announced by the alliance, of which our university is a partner, includes the following statements:

The European Engineering Learning Innovation and Science Alliance, EELISA, with its acronym inspired by Elisa Zamfirescu —the most international of Europe’s pioneering women engineers—, brings together nine universities from seven different countries, with 180,000 students, 16,000 academics and researchers, and 11,000 other staff, with the aim of promoting a model European engineer and architect combining technical competence and societal impact.

EELISA has been selected by the European Commission to be part of the pioneering European Universities network, a flagship funding and recognition programme involving only 3 per cent of all institutions in the European Higher Education Area, with the mission to provide the foundation of a Europe based on cooperation and sustainability. Each of these transnational alliances of universities has defined an ambitious, but feasible, plan to implement the required changes at its own institutions within five years.

By aligning knowledge and commitment, EELISA strives to promote the growing role of universities in identifying and helping to solve challenges facing their societies. Our nine higher education institutions are committed to renewing the time-honoured tradition of public service through a wide range of initiatives where students, faculty, researchers, and other staff take part in real-world projects. EELISA seeks to expand and consolidate these spaces for innovation, based on the belief that an inclusive student body must not only be trained as competent future professionals, but must also prove to have an effective impact on society over the course of their studies together with the suitable external stakeholders.

Just as university degrees (bachelor’s or master’s degrees) recognize the acquisition of knowledge and skills, student commitment and impact on society will be measured by a Credential, which all students at EELISA universities will earn. These Credentials will certify their proven ability to identify and understand social challenges, become an active part in establishing key stakeholder alliances and contribute to sustainable solutions and build a real sense of the European Citizenship. They will be issued by EELISA, will be oriented towards missions of social impact linked to the 2030 Agenda, and will cut across disciplines.

Students, faculty, and staff from the seven countries represented in EELISA will work within EELISA Communities, the place where education, research, innovation, and public debate coexist and connect, enhancing the connection of engineering with society. They will also collaborate with external stakeholders (administrations, companies, civil society...) who will not only provide resources but also be fully involved in solving the societal challenges towards which each community will be geared. We are confident that our commitment to have 100 per cent of our students working towards EELISA Credentials by 2025 will prove to be a milestone not only for our institutions but also for Europe, bringing in a new paradigm in higher education, which aligns technical excellence and societal impact.

EELISA universities will also award an EELISA Diploma Supplement: a common European endorsement that will round out each university’s instruments recognised by their national regulations. This Supplement will specify the credential, as well as mobility at other institutions of the alliance.

As a reaffirmation of our ambition, a testbed for the full integration of technical education and societal impact, the Alliance will develop EELISA European degrees, heralding the next generation of European engineers, capable of pursuing their career and leading sustainable change in a multidisciplinary, diverse, multilingual, and global environment, leveraging the European values.

Members of the EELISA Governing Board:

Rector Janos Jozsa, Budapesti Mûszaki es Gazdasagtudomanyi Egyetem

Director Sophie Mougard, Ecole Nationale des Ponts et Chaussees

President Joachim Hornegger, Friedrich-Alexander-Universitat Erlangen-Nürnberg

Rector İsmail Koyuncu, İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi

Director Luigi Ambrosio, Scuola Normale Superiore

Rector Sabina Nuti, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

Rector Guillermo Cisneros Perez, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid

Rector Mihnea Costoiu, Universitatea Politehnica din Bucuresti

President Alain Fuchs, Üniversite PSL

Dr. Laura Trapiella-Alfonso, faculty & researchers representative

Francesco Serra, students representative

Merve Çalımlı-Akgun, staff representative

Mr. Damien Owens, ENAEE President

Dr. Wendy M. Purcell, external counsellor

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