Category: News

WTUN July COVID-19 Webinar Series

WTUN are running a series of 3 webinars over July 2020 to share how technology universities have been working during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has had huge impacts on how we function.

For more information on dates, times and speakers visit the July Webinars page.

WTUC 2020 Announcement

The international COVID-19 pandemic has had a substantial impact across the globe. Faculty and students across all our members have felt this and we have had to evaluate which WTUN activities are safe to continue, as this must be the priority.

For the health and safety of our hosts, members, and delegates, the WTUN Boards have decided that it is best to cancel this year’s physical WTUC 2020, which was due to be held in Germany in October later this year.

However, we will instead be delivering a virtual alternative featuring the usual Congress activities including keynote speakers, parallel sessions, and opportunities to network across the globe, later this year. Please check back to the WTUN website for further information in due course.

We will return to our physical Congress next year with WTUC 2021 being hosted by one of our founder members, Heriot-Watt University at their Malaysia campus. This year’s original hosts, TU Ilmenau will resume their hosting duties in 2022. We look forward to seeing our members and delegates in person next year, but in the meantime, we hope you can join us at our virtual events.

Please stay safe.

WTUN

WTUN Student Competition Shortlist announced!

WTUN’s first student competition “What does “Digital Creativity” mean to you? ” has reached its first stage of shortlisting.

Students from WTUN member institutions were invited to take part in a student competition and submit a project proposal that would help to address an issue connected to one of the 3 WTUN’s chosen UN Sustainable Development Goals; Clean Water and Sanitation, Good Health and Wellbeing, Sustainable Cities and Communities. The proposals were required to contain an element of public engagement, have a societal impact and use digital creativity.   

The competition has now closed to new entries, and we received a total of 38 proposals from 9 different institutions. Of those; 8 focused on Clean Water and Sanitation, 12 focused on Good Health and Wellbeing and 18 on Sustainable Cities and Communities. There was a good geographical spread with proposals from many of our members taking part. The entries were scored on several criteria including use of public engagement, societal impact and harnessing digital creativity. Proposals were also assessed on their feasibility and cost effectiveness. The students rose to the challenge and submitted excellent proposals to a very high standard. The assessors (made from the WTUN Operational Board) had a very hard job but have shortlisted teams from the following institutions:

  • Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte
  • Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • FH Oberösterreich University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria
  • University of Bradford

All shortlisted teams have now been asked to produce a short video showcasing their proposal. Keep an eye out on WTUN social media channels for these over the coming weeks.

The winning team will be announced in early July – good luck to all the shortlisted teams!

WTUN Update: COVID-19

WTUN would like to send our best wishes to all of the staff and students at our member institutions.

As an international network with members in various countries, we are aware of the impact of the current Coronavirus pandemic. Some of our members have now closed for teaching and staff are working from home. In some countries, our members are on lockdown and may be unable to work.

WTUN will continue to operate but we will be taking the impact of the current situation into account for our activities.

We will be extending the deadline for exchange proposals to Friday 1 May 2020.

We will make every effort to deliver WTUC 2020 as scheduled in October. However, we are making contingency plans if this cannot go ahead. We will make a final decision later in the year and communicate with all members.

Please stay safe.

WTUN

WTUN 19/20 Exchanges programme now open

The annual WTUN exchanges programme is now open for applications.

Each member institution is welcome to submit up to 2 proposals for assessments.

This year WTUN would like to encourage two-way and multi-way exchanges. For the further information please visit the exchanges page.

We also welcome applications that are continuations of impact that has come from the previous rounds of exchanges.

We look forward to your submissions.

The World Technology Universities Network welcomes its newest members

The Shibaura Institute of Technology (SIT), in Japan and the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria (FH Upper Austria), are the latest institutions to join the World Technologies University Network (WTUN).

They join Koforidua Technical University, in Ghana, which also joined WTUN during 2019, to form a thriving network of 25 technology-focused institutions from every continent. Each member is committed to working collectively and collaboratively to develop pragmatic and sustainable solutions to global challenges.

In particular, both SIT and FH Upper Austria are firmly focused on the benefits of international networking to provide the best-possible opportunities for students as well as delivering world class research.

Benefits to WTUN membership include opportunities to take part in exchanges and collaborative research, as well as making links between institutions, industry, NGOs and SMEs. Our annual congress, hosted by one of the member institutions, offers valuable opportunities to keep up-to-date with WTUN activities and acts as a springboard for new collaborations.

Professor Brian Cantor, Chair of WTUN, said: “We’re delighted to welcome these three new members to the WTUN network. Each of them will bring distinctive strengths that will enable us to pursue our overall aims of bringing together the collective technology research power of our members to address some of the worlds most complex and systemic challenges.”

Shibaura Institute of Technology, in Japan, is one of the country’s top global universities, focusing on  nurturing practical engineers to lead Japan’s industrial development. Founded in 1927, SIT has three campuses, two in Tokyo, and one in Saitama, about 30 km to the north of the capital. The Institute’s philosophy of ‘learning through practice’ informs teaching and research across its four faculty with a firm emphasis on developing competent, skilled and creative individuals capable of making a sustainable contribution to society.

Shibaura’s president, Professor Masato Murakami, “WTUN draws together like-minded institutions with an emphasis on global exchange programmes and partnerships. As well as opening up opportunities for students, we hope that, through our membership of WTUN, we will be able to extend our research capabilities – this is key for increasing our ranking both globally and regionally. We’re also very pleased that SIT’s emphasis on gender equality is also a priority for the WTUN and we’re looking forward to joining with WTUN’s initiatives in this important area.”

The University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria (FH Upper Austria) is the country’s strongest university of applied sciences in terms of research. It has 6,000 students studying at campuses in Hagenberg, Linz, Steyr and Wels and brings in research grants worth around €20M per year. The university’s strengths in technology, including AI, energy and renewable energy, medical engineering and food technology, make it an important partner for companies both in Austria and neighbouring countries.

The University also has a strong focus on international collaboration, fostering a large network of around 250 partners across all five continents. Membership of the WTUN will enable the University to further strengthen its collaborations in technology and engineering research.

Dr. Günther Hendorfer, co-ordinating WTUN activities at FH Upper Austria, said:  “We’re very much looking forward to engaging in joint research programmes across all of our areas of research expertise. We’re also keen to invite WTUN specialists to come and talk to our students in our new PhD college that is currently under construction and to taking part in the WTUN Student Competition.

“A priority for FH Upper Austria is to ensure that we have sufficient qualified engineers – intiatives such as WTUN could be really valuable in developing a common approach to bringing new young people into the field of engineering.“

Professor Shirley Congdon begins her term as the first female Vice-Chancellor at the University of Bradford

We are happy to announce that Professor Shirley Congdon has taken up her post as Vice-Chancellor at WTUN’s Network Host, University of Bradford.

Shirley, who has been an active member of the Operational Board and will now sit on the General Board, is the first female Vice-Chancellor at the University of Bradford. She was previously DVC (Academic) and she has over 28 years’ experience in the higher education sector. During that time, she has worked at several universities and undertaken a number of significant strategic leadership roles, including Head of Department at Teesside University and Dean of School and Director of Academic Delivery at Liverpool John Moores University.

Read more about Shirley’s appointment.

Professor Lynne Jack named first female President of CIBSE

Professor Lynne Jack, Chair of WTUN Student Competitions working group and Director of Research at one of our founding members, Heriot-Watt (Malaysia) has been named the first female president of the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE).

‘I am delighted to take on this role of CIBSE President. As we face the ongoing challenges of urbanisation, increasingly high energy demand and continued environmental change, we must find ways of decarbonising our built environment. I am very proud to be part of an organisation that is so invested in the development of competencies and the sharing of knowledge required to deliver against carbon targets’. – Professor Jack

Congratulations!

See more about Professor Jack’s appointment.

Chair of WTUN, Professor Brian Cantor writes about “Technology Universities – Making knowledge work” for UWN

Technology universities – Making knowledge work

The 21st century has seen the growth of a global market in information and knowledge. Science and innovation have become the key drivers of economic growth and societal development and technology universities are at the forefront, doing applied research that can be translated directly into benefits for people and society and delivering professional and vocational courses that enable their graduates to move directly and successfully into high-skilled job markets.

Unlike the traditional role of conventional universities as ivory towers for contemplative study and scholarship, technology universities are now playing a direct role as creators of wealth and motors for economic, social and technological change.

At the same time, the problems confronting the world are increasingly complex and systemic. Obvious examples are endemic poverty and ill health, climate change, energy and water supply, and collapsing states, migration and terrorism.

Collective strength

The World Technology Universities Network or WTUN has been launched as a response to these challenges.

WTUN consists of a wide range of different universities, geographically diverse, large and small, public and private, new and old, resolutely non-elitist and non-exclusive, committed to working together to do cutting-edge, challenge-led research and to provide socially relevant education for the next generation of global citizens.

The objective is to harness our collective strength, resources, expertise, experience and intellectual capital to make knowledge work for the benefit of society.

WTUN activities include sharing best practice on collaborative research to tackle the world’s problems, developing new teaching methods to educate global citizens, enhancing interactions with business, commerce, government and non-governmental organisations, creating new companies and small and medium-sized enterprises, running innovative student competitions and developing joint policy statements on key issues.

These activities contribute to all 17 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, with four identified as initial priorities: gender equality; good health and wellbeing; clean water and sanitation; and sustainable cities and communities. We have three major current workstreams, on gender equality, innovation and entrepreneurship and the application of technology in learning.

Expanding the membership

WTUN was discussed initially at the first annual World Technology Universities Congress or WTUC1 in 2016, and was then launched at WTUC2 the following year in Bradford in the United Kingdom, with 18 founder members from Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and South America. WTUC3 was held in Chennai in India late last year, when a number of other universities joined, and yet more indicated that they would join this year.

The network is growing rapidly, with an ambition to reach up to about 50 members over the next few years. Associate members include businesses and NGOs such as UNESCO, with over 300 additional university links.

We are actively seeking new members to contribute to this growth and strengthen all our activities. WTUC4 will take place in October in Taipei, Taiwan, and all universities, institutes, government agencies, NGOs and partner institutions are welcome.

Professor Brian Cantor is vice-chancellor of the University of Bradford, United Kingdom, which is a member of the World Technology Universities Network.

This article was originally published and  is available at University World News

© World Technology Universities Network 2020