3 min

International Week for European Higher Education

St. Pölten UAS Hosts International Week 2023

International Week for European Higher Education

This year’s International Week at the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences was dedicated to the future of higher education in Europe. Representatives of higher education institutions, of the European Commission, and the European University Alliance E³UDRES² exchanged views and experiences on this topic. Students of the St. Pölten UAS and from all over Europe participated in various interdisciplinary and international formats, while guest lectures and the accompanying programme inspired UAS staff members and students.

Under the motto “Meet European Universities. Melting Pots for Innovation in Higher Education“, national and international experts and participants explored the cornerstones of higher education development in Europe. The main topics were the future of education and the role of higher education institutions as innovation ecosystems. More than 90 participants from 15 countries designed workshops, idea labs, and other programme items.

“We hosted an intensive and inspiring International Week with the aim to develop ideas together and to exchange good practices and experiences within the framework of the European Universities Initiative. One of the topics discussed was the scepticism towards sciences in society. As a European University, we want to help reduce that by means of various activities in collaboration with society”, explains Hannes Raffaseder, St. Pölten UAS CEO, President of the European University E³UDRES² coordinated by the UAS, and President of the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE).

European Formats and Lifelong Learning

Participants of the International Week presented model projects relating to, for example, European and future teaching and learning formats, so-called micro-credentials – flexible learning offers for lifelong learning – and questions of inclusion and the future of higher education institutions in general.

Among the presenters were Klara Engels Perenyi (online) from the European Commission, Anthony Camilleri from the Knowledge Innovation Centre (KIC) in Malta, the former Director of the des European Quality Assurance Register for Higher Education (EQAR) Colin Tück, and Aleksandar Šušnjar from the alliance YUFE – Young Universities for the Future of Europe.

European Universities Initiative

With the European Universities Initiative, the European Union promotes excellent higher education alliances that collaborate closely in strategic terms, sustainably develop the European higher education, research, and innovation area further by means of future-oriented concepts, and are in the process of evolving into full-fledged European Universities in the medium term. The St. Pölten UAS is the only university of applied sciences in Austria to coordinate one of currently 50 European Universities: E³UDRES²: Engaged – European – Entrepreneurial University as Driver for European Smart and Sustainable Regions. The alliance brings together nine higher education institutions from small to medium-sized towns throughout Europe and is dedicated to the role of higher education institutions for innovation and sustainability in the region.

 "Our International Week allowed us to bring together people from existing alliances and those planning to establish such an alliance as well as other people focused on actual key issues in European higher education policies. Widely-recognised European policymakers and our alliance experts provided a wonderful basis for discussing up-to-date views on flexible learning, micro-credentials, their quality, thoughts on future higher education, and teaching formats with a focus on building a bridge to society and addressing a wide range of learners," says Michal Karpíšek, Senior Policy Officer European University at the St. Pölten UAS.

Living Labs for Innovation in Europe

The participants also had the opportunity to try out one of the E³UDRES² alliance formats offered for students: the so-called Mini I Living Labs. I Living Labs are an interdisciplinary and innovative format designed by E³UDRES² in which numerous institutions, entrepreneurs, and regional facilities submit challenges that the international student teams then work on. The Mini I Living Labs gave the International Week’s participants a chance to take on the students’ roles.

While the participants of the event tried their hand at the I Living Labs, an “Intensive I Living Lab” with 80 local students and 30 students from the E³UDRES² partner institutions took place at the same time.

Moreover, two of the St. Pölten UAS’ departments hosted Blended Intensive programmes (BIPs) during the International Week that involved local students as well as approximately 80 students and 20 lecturers from the UAS’ partner universities. BIPs are short-term mobility programmes made up of a physical mobility component lasting between 5 and 30 days and a virtual component. Due to their shorter duration, this is the ideal format for all who are unable to complete an entire semester abroad for whatever reason (e.g., because they study on a part-time basis).

Go International! Day

An important component of the International Week was the “Go International! Day“. At this annual event, students of the St. Pölten UAS obtain information on study and internship possibilities abroad, while employees learn more about the option of staff mobility. Representatives of the St. Pölten UAS’ partner universities presented their institutions at the Study Abroad Fair. In addition, international guest lecturers held courses at the UAS.

“With the International Week and the Go International! Day, we once more provided our students and staff members with a rich and informative programme for international exchange between universities as well as for internships abroad”, says Daniela Lohner, Head of the UAS service unit International Relations which organised the International Week.

You want to know more? Feel free to ask!
Mag. Mag. Lohner Daniela

Mag. Mag. Daniela Lohner

Head of Service Unit
International Office
Center for Study and Organisation
Grötzl Claudia

Claudia Grötzl

Staff Mobility Coordinator Incoming and Outgoing Service Unit Assistant
International Office
Center for Study and Organisation
Ing. Karpíšek Michal, MSc

Ing. Michal Karpíšek, MSc

Senior Policy Officer European University
Center for Research and Cooperation