UNIVERSEH officially launched

“UNIVERSEH – The European Space University for Earth and Humanity”, an alliance of five higher education institutions, was officially launched in a virtual inauguration ceremony today. UNIVERSEH was established in November 2020 to develop new ways of collaboration in the field of space, within the “European Universities” initiative by the European Commission.

UNIVERSEH associates Université de Toulouse (France), Université du Luxembourg (Luxembourg), Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf (Germany), Luleå tekniska universitet (Sweden) and Akademia Górniczo-Hutnicza im. Stanisława Staszica w Krakowie (Poland). Université de Toulouse oversees the general coordination of the alliance, while each partner institution has the responsibility to manage specific areas. Under the team leadership of Professor Tadeusz Uhl, the AGH UST will focus on stimulating entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills among students through university-business cooperation, as well as equity, inclusion and diversity of the network in its cooperation. In all its areas of activity (science, engineering, economy, social and human sciences, entrepreneurship and innovation, medicine and culture), UNIVERSEH will contribute to the vision of the European Education Area, notably in supporting job, industrial growth and resolving societal challenges. UNIVERSEH also envisions to make the space sector more sustainable and to help maintaining the EU’s autonomy and a top position in the SPACE and New Space domain.

UNIVERSEH focuses on four pillars of activity: Space for societal challenges, Space sustainability, Space exploration, Space resources and settlement. The alliance UNIVERSEH was approved by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme in July 2020 and obtained 5 million euros for 3 years to lead innovative teaching activities in support of the space sector. In its combined power, UNIVERSEH has the potential reach of over 140,000 students and staff. European Universities are transnational alliances that prefigure the universities of the future, and promote the European values and identity.

UNIVERSEH’s long term strategy foresees to encourage thematic mobility of students and teachers, promote cooperation between higher education institutions and facilitate interactions on questions shared by the multiple European education systems. Within its field, UNIVERSEH will help align skills development in higher education and research with the future needs of the labour market. The UNIVERSEH alliance will draw on its expertise and its relationships with the space industry, European space institutes and agencies to offer pioneering study courses.

UNIVERSEH project gives us a great opportunity to work in international team of very experienced teachers and researchers form space sector. The role of space research for a Earth population will rapidly grow in near future. The technology based on space solutions will help people to have better and easier life. The space resources will satisfy our needs for everyday life, but firstly we have to understand space and her role, we have to educate people who should accept the use of space for improving life conditions on Earth. UNIVERSEH is a big challenge for us. We have to be more open for multicultural and multilingual cooperation which is common practice in space exploration. We need to organize a very modern and friendly environment for students and researchers  which will help them to discover new ideas related to space innovation and give them the possibility to start their space business. The role of space is growing rapidly in human life. In the near future space resources will be used in many areas of common life, then education and research in this area are important for Europe. UNIVERSEH gives us a chance to exchange good practices in the education and research area between partner Universities. The project results will help to educate engineers for the future

explains Professor Tadeusz Uhl, the project leader at AGH UST. 

UNIVERSEH now enters its implementation phase, with the workload being combined through the partner institutions. The first distributed and common courses will tentatively start in autumn 2021, probably in a teaching and learning distance mode. UNIVERSEH partners share common values and commitments to facilitate mobility and multilingualism, support interdisciplinary curricula, implement new pedagogical models and accelerate entrepreneurship in the European space sector.

UNIVERSEH is a strategic project for us and our local partners, both from academia and the industry, space being one of our main research focus and economic sector here in Toulouse. Our expectations are high regarding the improvement of students’ mobility, the creation of new and improved multidisciplinary courses to better prepare our students for the job market, and of course, reinforcing access to mobility for all students, regardless of their background. We are looking forward to the official launch of the project to see inspiring ideas emerge.

explains Professor Philippe Raimbault, President of the Université de Toulouse.

It is an extraordinary honor for us. Together with partners from Europe, we will create a network of space universities. The development of disciplines beyond our terrestrial globe is the direction of development of the best universities in the world. I am extremely proud and honored with this opportunity. Additionally, it is a motivation for us to let the Academia contribute to the development of the discipline of the future, which is the cosmos and its better understanding. We are starting the second century of the Academia’s activity with ambitious plans to develop advanced technologies in the space sector

states Professor Jerzy Lis, Rector of AGH UST.

Source: AGH University of Science and Technology

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European Higher Education Organization is a public organization carrying out academic, educational and information activities on higher education in Europe.

The EHEO general plan stresses that:

  • Higher education systems require adequate funding and, as an investment in economic growth, public spending in higher education should be protected.
  • The challenges faced by higher education require more flexible governance and funding systems, which balance greater autonomy for education institutions with accountability to stakeholders.

Thus, EHEO plans:

  • improve academic and scientific interaction of universities;
  • protect the interests of universities;
  • interact more closely with public authorities of European countries;
  • popularize European higher education in the world;
  • develop academic mobility;
  • seek funding for European universities.