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Five higher education institutions create UNIVERSEH

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Published on Monday, 14 December 2020

“UNIVERSEH – The European Space University for Earth and Humanity”, an alliance of five higher education institutions, was officially launched in a virtual inauguration ceremony today. UNIVERSEH was established in November 2020 to develop new ways of collaboration in the field of space, within the “European Universities” initiative by the European Commission.

UNIVERSEH associates Université Fédérale de Toulouse (France), Université du Luxembourg (Luxembourg), Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf (Germany), Luleå tekniska universitet (Sweden) and Akademia Górniczo-Hutnicza im. Stanisława Staszica w Krakowie (Poland). Université Fédérale de Toulouse oversees the general coordination of the alliance, while each partner institution has the responsibility to manage specific areas. Under the team leadership of Prof. Eric Tschirhart, the University of Luxembourg will focus on stimulating entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial skills among students through university-business cooperation, as well as strengthening the sustainability of the network and its communication.

In all its areas of activity (science, engineering, economy, social and human sciences, entrepreneurship and innovation, medicine and culture), UNIVERSEH will contribute to the vision of the European Education Area, notably in supporting job creation, industrial growth and resolving societal challenges. UNIVERSEH also envisions to make the space sector more sustainable and to help maintaining the EU’s autonomy and a top position in the Space and New Space domain.

UNIVERSEH focuses on four pillars of activity: Space for societal challenges, Space sustainability, Space exploration, Space resources and settlement.

The alliance UNIVERSEH was approved by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme in July 2020 and obtained 5 million euros for 3 years to lead innovative teaching activities in support of the space sector. UNIVERSEH has a potential reach of over 140,000 students and staff. European Universities are transnational alliances that prefigure the universities of the future, and promote the European values and identity.

UNIVERSEH’s long-term strategy foresees to encourage thematic mobility of students and teachers, promote cooperation between higher education and research institutions and facilitate interactions on questions shared by the multiple European education systems. Within its field, UNIVERSEH will help align skills development in higher education and research with the future needs of the labour market. The UNIVERSEH alliance will draw on its expertise and its relationships with the space industry, European space institutes and agencies to offer pioneering study courses.

Space is a priority field for the University of Luxembourg, which holds since 2010 the SES Chair in Space, Satellite Communications and Media Law, which is endowed by satellite Operator SES, and offers two Master programmes, the Interdisciplinary Space Master and the Master in Space, Communication and Media Law. It also conducts research in engineering and telecommunications related to space activities.

UNIVERSEH now enters its implementation phase, with the workload being shared through the partner institutions. The first distributed and common courses will tentatively start in autumn 2021, probably in a distance teaching and learning mode.

UNIVERSEH partners share common values and commitments to facilitate mobility and multilingualism, support interdisciplinary curricula, implement new pedagogical models and accelerate entrepreneurship in the European space sector.

UNIVERSEH is a strategic project for us and our local partners, both from academia and the industry, space being one of our main research focus and economic sector here in Toulouse,” explains Prof. Philippe Raimbault, President of the Université Fédérale de Toulouse. “Our expectations are high regarding the improvement of students’ mobility, the creation of new and improved multidisciplinary courses to better prepare our students for the job market, and of course, reinforcing access to mobility for all students, regardless of their background. We are looking forward to the official launch of the project to see inspiring ideas emerge.”

We are proud to be part of this initiative, recognised by the European commission as a blueprint for future European universities”, states Prof. Stéphane Pallage, rector of the University of Luxembourg. ”UNIVERSEH will open exciting new opportunities in space education and entrepreneurship. It is well aligned with the international character of space activities and has the potential to create new strategic partnership opportunities.

More information on universeh.eu