Run-EU Project Launches Promoting Cooperation across Higher Education

A new higher education network intended to increase cooperation between universities and institutes across Europe has launched.

The network, dubbed ‘RUN-EU’, will promote future and advanced skills necessary for social transformation across the European Union and give students the opportunity to obtain double/multiple degrees within the framework of a joint training programme.

A diverse range of teaching and learning actions will also be developed which will provide students with different international programs (short-term and e-learning). International cooperation projects in the area of research and development will also be implemented.

RUN-EU will also promote 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.

Eight higher education institutes have been selected to participate in the programme, among them Athlone Institute of Technology and Limerick Institute of Technology – who recently announced their intention to form Ireland’s next technological university.

According to Dr Sean Lyons, Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Informatics at Athlone Institute of Technology, the consortium marks “an important step forward” in AIT’s internationalisation strategy, forming deep thematic relationships with other higher education institutions across Europe who are also committed to delivering long lasting regional impacts.

“The RUN EU Initiative will enable AIT and LIT, our technological university consortium partners, to leverage international best practice, enable student and staff mobility while facilitating joint research and undergraduate programmes,” he added.

“Our goal, as Ireland’s next technological university, is to reflect the educational demands and economic needs of the communities we serve and cultivate a talent pipeline furnished with the skills and competencies necessary to succeed in today’s expeditious innovation economy,” explained Michelle McKeon Bennett, Dean of Faculty of Business and Hospitality, Athlone Institute of Technology.

“Partnerships, such as Run-EU, will aid us in achieving our technological education mission and provide new, exciting opportunities for all learners – including studying abroad, the benefits of which have been shown to greatly improve employment prospects, and for staff, teaching abroad boosts professional development.”

An agreement was signed at the launch of the RUN-EU network which will govern the creation of the network and establish the lines of action of its alliance.

“RUN-EU is an exceptional opportunity for like-minded regionally-based institutions across Europe to collaborate for the benefit of the regions they serve. In many ways, the transformation of Irish and European society can be most deeply felt in its regions and in regional cities,” explained Dr Liam Brown, Vice President of Research, Development and Innovation at Limerick Institute of Technology.

“These are the locations where the effect of increased mobility and sustained regional development can most readily impact on everyday life. Through this project, the collaboration between LIT and AIT can produce a dividend for the development of both regions and provide us with some advantages in national and international contexts.”

The RUN-EU launch event was attended by the Portuguese Secretary of State for Science, Technology and Higher Education, João Sobrinho Teixeira, by the Ambassador Pedro Lourtie, Deputy Permanent Representative of Portugal to the European Union, 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.

The eight participating colleges include: Polytechnic of Leiria (Portugal), Polytechnic of Cávado and Ave (Portugal), Limerick Institute of Technology (Ireland), Athlone Institute of Technology (Ireland), Széchenyi István University (SZE) (Hungary), Häme University of Applied Sciences HAMK (Finland), NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands), and FH Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences (Austria).

Athlone Institute of Technology is a contemporary third level institute distinguished by academic excellence in teaching, learning and research. The institute was awarded The Sunday Times ‘Institute of Technology of the Year 2020, 2018 and Runner-Up in 2017. The institute also tops Ireland’s official league table for research and was listed in U-Multirank’s ‘Top 25 Performing Universities in the World for Interdisciplinary Research’ in 2018 and 2019. Athlone Institute of Technology is currently ranked number one nationally for student satisfaction - a position it has maintained for six consecutive years. For more information relating to the institute’s CAO programmes, visit #ChooseAIT

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