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EUT+ Riga Week 2024 Focuses on Education and the European Degree

Published on July 9, 2024 Updated on July 12, 2024

on the July 9, 2024

The annual Riga Week of the European University of Technology (EUT+) consortium took place at the RTU Campus in Ķīpsala from 8th until 12th of July, gathering more than 120 participants from all 9 EUT+ partner universities.

The EUT+ Riga Week 2024 was officially opened on July 9th in RTU’s Domus Auditorialis building with welcome words by RTU Rector Tālis Juhna and the Principal Representative of RTU at EUT+ Professor Igors Tipāns. One of the highlights of Day 1 was a panel discussion on European Degree with representatives of EUT+, E³UDRES² and FORTHEM European University alliances and the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Latvia. Moderated by the head of International Projects Unit of the International Cooperation Department of RTU Kārlis Valtiņš, the discussion touched upon the different experiences European University alliances have had so far in fostering the European degree and an outlook for the future. With the overarching theme of the week being education, the panel set the tone for the work to be carried out in the days to come. Numerous working sessions were dedicated to education issues and the Technology, Engineering and Design school (TEDS) - a flagship initiative of EUT+ led by RTU that met at RTU campus for the first time to discuss the outlook for innovative curriculum and didactics.

For two years now, since the war in Ukraine begun, RTU has been supporting Ukrainian students, lecturers and scientists who have taken refuge in Latvia, as well as come up with initiatives to reverse the damage caused by the war. One of these initiatives was introduced to EUT+ partners during the EUT+ Riga Week by Associate Professor at the Faculty of Civil and Mechanical Engineering of RTU Māris Kaļinka. RTU scientists, in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, carried out three-dimensional scans of cultural heritage sites in Ukraine, recording damage and obtaining data to plan the strengthening and restoration of cultural monuments affected by the war, while transferring experience and training to Ukrainian specialists. RTU hopes that this will help Ukraine rebuild after the war and is determined to continue showing unwavering support to the country until the war ends and after.

The EUT+ Riga Week 2024 was also marked by the official opening of the EUT+ Citizen Living Lab. EUT+ Citizen Living Lab (CLL) is an exploratory vehicle that allows EUT+ to build bridges with external stakeholders and engage in meaningful discussions to create design elements for new solutions around global problems. The first three themes that CLL has focused on are: Democracy in Higher Education, Development of Digital Skills and Social Entrepreneurship. It deploys Action Design Research as the core methodology to formulate problems, build interventions and formalize learning. CLL was initiated as a part of EUT+ EXTRAS Horizon 2020 project component and is envisaged to continue after the project lifespan. Up to date it has brought together around 50 people coming from different fields and backgrounds throughout 4 initial pilot workshops.

Among the many memorable events taking place during the EUT+ Riga Week 2024, it is also important to mention that this was the first time RTU was visited by the new EUT+ partner that joined the consortium in November 2023 - University of Cassino and Southern Lazio (UNICAS) from Italy. Colleagues from UNICAS were welcomed to RTU with a dedicated campus tour and had a meeting with the Executive Director of the Latvian-Italian Cooperation Centre, Mr Ēriks Badamšins, during which they discussed cooperation opportunities within and beyond EUT+ and were introduced to the existing projects RTU carries out with Italian universities and companies. Together with the Rector of RTU, the new partners also planted a tree in the RTU campus. Now all 9 EUT+ partners have a tree in the RTU Ķīpsala Campus, symbolizing the growth and unity of the alliance.

EUT+ weeks are an opportunity for the partners to advance the work that is carried out online daily, make breakthroughs as well as get to know each other better. The customary social event of EUT+ week took place on Wednesday at the Ķīpsala International Exhibition Centre BT1 and gave the partners an opportunity to find out more about Latvia, participate in a quiz to test their existing knowledge, as well as enjoy performances by the talented artistic groups of the RTU Culture Center.

The next EUT+ week is set to take place after the summer break in October 2024 and will be hosted by the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca in Romania.

The nine partners making up EUT+ are:
Date of update 12 juillet 2024