The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Designing Learning Opportunities for the Universities of the Future. SAPs, Short Advanced Programmes in the RUN-EU Regional University Network.

Paula Tavares, IPCA Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave / ID+ (Portugal)

António Moreira, Polytechnic University of Cávado and Ave, 2Ai (Portugal)


Keywords: European Universities; Learning Offers, Future.

The European Universities initiative was outlined in 2017 as the vision of the future for education and culture in Europe with the following purpose:

“European Universities are transnational alliances that will lead the way towards the universities of the future, promoting European values and identity, and revolutionizing the quality and competitiveness of European higher education.”

After the 2023 Erasmus+ call, we have 50 alliances spread across European capital cities and remote regions in 35 countries today. Besides EU Member States, we also have Iceland, the Republic of North Macedonia, Norway, Serbia, Türkiye, Albania, Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Montenegro.

RUN-EU is one of these European universities with one main objective – to support the development of the regions covered by its universities. The mission of RUN-EU is to strive to secure the sustainable economic, social, cultural, and environmental progress of its regions and stakeholders. RUN-EU delivers this mission by identifying the future and advanced skills required by regional stakeholders to successfully meet the challenges of the future, engage in societal transformation, and promote active citizenship, thereby creating a new type of multinational interregional alliance, the European Zone for Interregional Development.

RUN-EU involves the following partner institutions: Polytechnic of Cávado and Ave (Portugal), Polytechnic of Leiria (Portugal), TUS Technological University of the Shannon (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), and more recently Universidad de Burgos (Spain) and Howest University of Applied Sciences (Belgium).

RUN-EU has been carrying out training programs that promote future and advanced skills for social transformation in the regions of the European Union. Through pedagogical innovation, the partner Higher Education Institutions have been jointly developing a diverse range of teaching and learning actions, offering students different international short-term programs and e-learning, and international cooperation projects in the field of research and development are also being implemented.

In the case of IPCA, our home institution, we have been responsible for coordinating the design of the Short-Advanced Programmes SAPs; SAPs are short and small individual learning units based on transnational curricula focusing on the future advanced skills needs, enabling the promotion of flexible learning pathways, short-term international mobility, innovative pedagogies and blended learning. SAPs are means to increase the effectiveness and flexibility of Higher Education (HE) and to provide upskilling and reskilling opportunities to the labour force.

The current experience has exceeded initial expectations and promoted extraordinary results in learning, inclusion, diversity, multiculturalism and multilingualism.

So far, within the alliance, during the first period of the project (3 years), we promoted a significant number of SAPs (almost 80) in different cutting-edge topics, transversal skills, and challenge programs, among other current relevant trends.

At this conference, we present our pivotal role in pedagogical innovation through the SAPs, other learning offers and projects, and future RUN-EU aims and developments.

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