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EUt+ Alliance's Inaugural "Blended Intensive Programme": Fostering International Learning and Innovation

Published on September 4, 2023 Updated on September 6, 2023
Blended Intensive Programme
Blended Intensive Programme

on the September 4, 2023

Young Students from Latvia, Romania, and France Unite for a Unique Learning Experience

The alliance introduced a "Blended Intensive Programme," a pioneering endeavour within its framework. This innovative initiative, held in Darmstadt, brought together EUt+ students from Latvia, Romania, and France, fostering international cooperation and academic growth.

An Evolutionary Learning Experience

The "Blended Intensive Programme" (BIP) marked an innovative departure from traditional learning frameworks. Facilitated by the EUt+ alliance, 24 mechanical engineering students from the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca in Romania, Riga Technical University in Latvia, and the University of Technology of Troyes in France embarked on a collaborative academic journey. This approach began with a semester-long online seminar, "Material Modelling – Testing and Parameter Identification," providing a comprehensive foundation for the ensuing in-person experience.

Seamless Integration of Online and In-Person Learning

The singularity of the BIP lay in its seamless blend of virtual and physical learning components. Participants initially engaged in weekly online seminars, fostering connections across geographical boundaries. Subsequently, they converged in Darmstadt for an immersive week that encompassed hands-on experiments, insightful excursions, and invaluable company visits. The BIP model emerged as an efficient conduit for nurturing international partnerships, fostering exchange, and transcending the challenges posed by longer study abroad programs.

Promoting Cross-Cultural Exchange

The driving force behind the BIP was to foster cross-cultural exchange and expand students' horizons. Spearheaded by Professor Brita Pyttel from the Faculty of Mechanical and Plastics Engineering, along with Professor Thomas Pyttel from Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen (THM), the program exemplified the EUt+ alliance's commitment to facilitating dynamic learning experiences. By offering shorter, more accessible formats, the alliance succeeded in breaking down barriers and empowering students to embark on meaningful international academic pursuits.

Empowering Students for Future Challenges

Edward Wagner, a Bachelor's student from the University of Cluj-Napoca, lauded the BIP's transformative impact. Acknowledging that a full semester abroad can be daunting, he found the week-long program a manageable and valuable alternative. With an emphasis on digital elements, he anticipated that the future of engineering education would mirror this interdisciplinary approach. Students also appreciated the hands-on approach to learning, as Amanda Arvizu from Riga commended Darmstadt's practical orientation, highlighting its real-world relevance.

Stepping into Laboratories and Beyond

A highlight of the BIP was the immersive lab experiences, exemplified by the mechanical testing demonstrations led by Professor Brita Pyttel. As the students explored the intricate world of material behaviour and parameter identification, they gleaned practical insights and enhanced their problem-solving skills. The experience underscored the EUt+ alliance's commitment to providing tangible learning opportunities, transcending theoretical confines and preparing students for the challenges of tomorrow.

A Roadmap for the Future

The success of the BIP resonates as a testament to the collaborative process of the EUt+ alliance. Friederike Luther from h_da's International Office, a co-organizer of the program, expressed the profound impact of the initiative. Not only did the BIP strengthen inter-university bonds, but it also nurtured essential soft skills and earned participants ECTS credits, enriching their academic journeys. As Matthias Vieth, future Vice President for Teaching, Learning, and Collegiate Affairs, aptly stated, the BIP epitomizes the spirit of European integration, setting a precedent for future endeavours. And another BIP project is already in the planning for 2024, organised this time by the Faculty of Media in cooperation with partner universities in Cyprus and Dublin.

Date of update 06 septembre 2023