TUM Brussels: EuroTech Partner Days premiere took off to a great start

The six EuroTech Alliance members co-organized their first joint Partner Days at EPFL to showcase their institutions to strategic global partners. The two-day program on September 22 and 23, combined lab-visits, workshops, university presentations, a panel discussion and an international fair to attract prospective exchange students.


Six EuroTech vice presidents during a panel discussion at the Partner Days in Lausanne.

EuroTech vice presidents present their excellent institutions. Photo: Marita Mau / TUM

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Dr. Hannemor Keidel presents TUM’s newest developments in internationalization. Photo: Marita Mau / TUM

TUM colleagues are advising interested students.

The TUM booth was very busy throughout the international fair at EPFL. Photo: Marita Mau / TUM

TU Eindhoven, DTU Copenhagen, TU Munich, EPFL Lausanne, École Polytechnique Paris and the Technion, Israel, are among the best technical universities in Europe. The partners are not only very well connected amongst each other but also have excellent partners in other regions of the world, such as the National University of Singapore, University of Technology Sydney or University of California, San Diego.

The idea among the EuroTech universities was to join forces in creating one big and comprehensive Partner Days event to network, brainstorm, and exchange best practices with each institutions’ international partners – many of them, who have bilateral connections to more than one alliance university. 63 people from 30 institutions and 18 countries joined the first Partner Days hosted at EPFL.

The young research institution is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Thus, the first day was dedicated to showcase the EPFL campus including visiting high tech labs such as the Blue Brain Project at the EPFL Biotech Campus. The day concluded with a dinner at the Lausanne Olympic Museum, giving room to extended networking and a view of EPFL’s prime location at the banks of Lake Geneva.

International fair and World Café spark lively discussions

Day two encompassed all of the EuroTech spirit, opening with each institutions’ vice president giving an overview of the six excellent research strong universities and their accomplishments together as an alliance. The first cohort of the EuroTech Postdoc Programme, co-funded by the European Commission, participated in this session and later engaged in workshops on attractive career paths and specially designed training modules.

Highlight of the day was an international fair where all institutions presented themselves to EPFL students interested in study abroad. Current exchange students joined the booths to help answer questions about their home universities as well as their study experiences in Switzerland.

The event was concluded with a World Café and poster exhibition on four topics the partners worked on in diverse groups during the afternoon. EuroTech hosts guided lively discussions on themes such as “Can international collaboration in education benefit from a strategic university alliance?” The answer is Yes! Moreover, the participants discussed how to develop strategic partnerships including each institutions eco-system to provide internships with industrial and research partners.

Although the evaluation is still pending, EuroTech considers the pilot a full success and plans to host the 2020 Partner Days at DTU in Copenhagen and 2021 at TUM in Munich. A future rotation among the other partners is envisioned.