Call for Proposals Open for the First Annual Conference of the European Culture and Technology Lab (ECT Lab+)

The European Culture and Technology Lab (ECT Lab+) is a structural unit within the European University of Technology (EUt+) with a mission to develop research in the Arts, Humanities and Social Science within EUt+ and to develop Science, Technology, Studies including philosophy of technology. In December 2021, ECT Lab+ is organizing its first annual conference, hosted by Technological University Dublin, (Ireland).

The call for proposals is open until 31st August 2021. More information on the conference topics and submission of abstracts can be found here.

Third Seminar of the ‘Thinking Human First’ Seminar Series to be hosted by Technical University of Cartagena

“Human First… and humans in the end” is the motto of the cauldron in which we are going to mix a selection of technological developments concocted in Cartagena, which will be served up in a two-course menu for the summer solstice. First: Human First. Technology devoted to help people with visual and hearing impairment, specifically in a learning context. BeMyVega aims at a more inclusive education, and this intervention will move beyond technical details to discuss researchers’motivation and rewards, social impact and feedback from final users. Second: the curse for the environment that we may represent, seasoned with a caring technology as a second chance to redeem ourselves and remedy environmental damage. From the use of light as a language tool for plant-human communication in the fight against global warming, to the local recovery of our Mar Menor coastal saltwater lagoon, remarkable contributions by UPCT researchers through nature-based solutions will be displayed. As a dessert, the UPCT-Bloopbusters team will tell us about their experience teaching Physics for engineers, while making the most of their passion for the Seventh Art. Scientific mistakes in films and hands-on experiments are used to help our students with complex aspects of their courses, develop critical thinking and rise awareness of their responsibility towards global challenges for their future professional career.

 

FIRST WITCH: When shall we meet again?

In thunder, lightning, or in rain?

(Macbeth, Act I, Scene I)

 

Schedule

17:00-17:15 ECTLab Introduction. Noel Fitzpatrick – TU Dublin (English) and Local host introduction: José Luis Serrano – UPCT (Spanish/English).

17:15-17:30. Maria Carmen Martínez – Assistant Professor at the Department of Agronomical Engineering. “Light as a language tool for plant-human communication”

17:30-17:45 María Nazaret González – Biologist, PhD, Contract Researcher (Saavedra Fajardo program). “Nature based solutions can help us, but only if we help them:the case of the Mar Menor Coastal lagoon”.

17:45-18:00 Ángel Molina – Professor at the Department of Electric Engineering. “Use of Technology to improve accesibility and inclusion in education: BeMyVega”

18:00-18:15 UPCT Bloopbusters – Enrique Castro y Juan Francisco Sánchez Assistant Professors at the Department of Applied Physic “A methodology of teaching physics and technology concepts using movie scenes and related experiments”

18:15 Q/A in local host language and/or English.

18:25 Wrap up: José Luis Serrano –UPCT (Spanish)

18:30 Conclusion: Noel Fitzpatrick – TU Dublin (English)

 

Join from the meeting link

Second Seminar of the European Culture and Technology Lab+ ‘Thinking Human First’ Seminar Series to Take Place

The discussion of the second seminar within the ECT Lab+ ‘Thinking Human First’ seminar series will focus on the quality of interpersonal relationships in the context of social media. The patterns of behavior projected in the cyberspace and the “colonization” of the human cognitive world with outer content, manipulation, idealization and /or omnipresent commercial messages are important factors in this context. To what extent, despite the advantages of digital communication, does it reproduce the preconditions for emotional alienation and difficulties in maintaining of full value relationships is the main question of the discussion. It is an attempt to clarify the benefits and harms of online communication and to explore new forms and ways of emotional experience of the technologically engaged individual in order to offer opportunities for prevention of counterproductive influences.

Date and time: Thursday the 27th of May, 17:00 CET

Webex link: https://utt.webex.com/utt-en/j.php?MTID=m2e4f6aa9412b02b69f3ced3d8a97a317

 

 

EthiCo – Project Focusing on Ethics and Ecology in Technological Education

As a member of the European University of Technology (EUt+), Riga Technical University (RTU) is committed to strengthening its relations with all EUt+ partners not only within the European Universities initiative, but also by implementing other joint research and cooperation projects. One of the projects aimed at broadening cooperation among all EUt+ partners is EthiCo – an Erasmus Strategic Partnership (KA203) project with the aim to develop new approaches to ethics and ecology in technology education. The project is coordinated by Professor Noel Fitzpatrick from Technological University Dublin (Ireland) who is also leading a structural unit within EUt+ – the European Culture and Technology Lab (ECT Lab+). All ECT Lab+ partners are also actively involved in the EthiCo project: TU Dublin, University of Technology of Troyes (France), Hochschule Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences (Germany), Riga Technical University (Latvia), Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Technical University Sofia (Bulgaria), Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus) and Technical University of Cartagena (Spain).

ECT Lab+ aims to develop research in the arts, humanities and social sciences within EUt+ and focus on science and technology that includes philosophy of technology. EthiCo is the first ECT Lab+ project that has received funding and its importance is explained by Prof. N. Fitzpatrick as follows: “With the advent of ecological transition, ethical and ecological questions have tended to converge in relation to the development and impact of technologies; the focus of the project will be to develop ethical frameworks in order to better understand the ethical implications of technological development in and for society in a time of transition.”

ECT Lab+ partners are currently developing a new project application that will add an additional dimension to the topics addressed by EthiCo and focus on the study of aesthetics. For more information about the EthiCo project and the work of the ECT Lab+, please contact the International Projects Unit of RTU: Anete Beinarovica (anete.beinarovica@rtu.lv)

European Culture and Technology Lab+ Kicks-Off the ‘Thinking Human First’ Seminar Series

The roundtable discussion of the first seminar will focus on the question of ‘Thinking’ in the statement ‘Think Human First’. The question of what does it mean to think (human first) has become urgent with the growth of AI and social networking platforms and the immanent nature of climate change. There is an inherent tension within the statement to “think human first”, which on the one hand implies recentring technological development on human(ity), such as ethical and societal implications of technology, on the other it implies that a privileging the human (anthropocentrism) has led to the climate disaster (Anthropocene). The panel will set out to pose the question of ‘thinking’ in the 21st Century.

Date and time: Thursday the 29th of April, 17:00 CET – 18:30 CET

Webex link ECT Lab+ Seminar: https://utt.webex.com/utt-en/j.php?MTID=m8dc3917832f17bce91c3bf626dfc3111

Governing Board of the European University of Technology Meets for the First Time

On 26 January 2021, the first European University of Technology (EUt+) Governing Board meeting took place, gathering student representatives and rectors of all involved universities, as well as external experts. Following the preventive measures for COVID-19, the meeting was held in a safe online environment.

In the first EUt+ Governing Board meeting RTU was represented by its Rector, Academician Leonīds Ribickis and the President of the Student Parliament, Lāsma Līga Reisa. The Head of the International Projects Unit of the International Cooperation and Foreign Students Department and the coordinator of the initiative at RTU, Kārlis Valtiņš, also participated.

During the meeting, Tine Delva, representative of the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture of the European Commission, delivered a presentation on the “European University” initiative of the Erasmus+ program, which is employed in the development of the proposal for creating a uniform EUt+ alliance. A deeper insight into the regulations and the terms of reference assigned to the EUt+ Governing Board were also provided, emphasizing the Board’s role in achieving a common goal. Its successful implementation is based on the following activities:

  • formulating the EUt+ position within the long-term strategy of all universities involved;
  • promoting student and staff mobility among the alliance’s partners;
  • aligning the content of engineering education at the European Union level.

The rectors of the universities involved in the EUt+ development process gave presentations on their institutions, while the student representatives discussed various issues related to the representation of students’ interests within the alliance.

The eight members involved in the creation of the EUt+ are: RTU, University of Technology of Troyes (France), Technological University Dublin (Ireland), Technical University of Sofia (Bulgaria), Cyprus University of Technology (Cyprus), Hochschule Darmstadt: University of Applied Sciences (Germany), Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (Romania) and Polytechnic University of Cartagena (Spain).

6.25 million EUR have been allocated for the implementation of the project.

RTU Participates in the First Online Meeting of the European Universities

On 4 November, Rector of Riga Technical University (RTU), Academician Leonīds Ribickis, Kārlis Valtiņš, Head of the International Projects Unit and Oleksii Avdieiev, student representative of the European University of Technology (EUt+) at RTU, participated in the first webinar “European Universities – first and second call” hosted by the European Commission.

The rectors from all 41 European University Alliances that received funding in the first (in 2019) and second call (in 2020) came together. The rectors discussed the transformational potential of European Universities, the support of the EU Member States for the initiative, as well as emphasized the important issue of student involvement in the development process of the projects.

To emphasise the importance of student engagement for the European Universities Initiative a parallel session for students of all funded alliances took place. The workshop gave students the opportunity to discuss best practices and to share their visions and recommendations for establishing European Universities.

RTU holds the first European Universities Breakfast Meeting in Latvia

On October 9, International Cooperation and Foreign Students Department of Riga Technical University hosted the very first European Universities Breakfast Meeting involving the representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science and four Latvian higher education institutions selected for the European Universities Initiative.

The purpose of this meeting was to share experience, ideas and views on the major managerial matters related to the implementation process of the European Universities initiative all the parties are working on in conjunction with other universities from different European countries. Additionally, representatives of the four Latvian higher education institutions explored possibilities for further cooperation in exchange of good practices and dissemination of the information.

We would like to convey our gratitude to the Vice-Rector for Humanities and Social Sciences of University of Latvia, Prof. Ina Druviete and her team – Alīne Gržibovska, Sintija Maculeviča and Sintija Ķestere – for sharing in-depth insight into their experience and several key takeaways from the first year by implementing the project “Fostering Outreach within European Regions, Transnational Higher Education and Mobility” and the detailed and constructive comments about the project “For Common Fine Arts Curriculum” and its first year of implementation given by the Head of Project and Development Department of the Art Academy of Latvia, Jānis Gailītis.

Since we are going to begin our journey towards formation of the European University of Technology on the 1st of November (preliminary starting date), we would like to express our sincere thanks also to the Administrative Vice-Rector of Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, Iveta Putniņa for sharing their experience and challenges that come along with a preparatory process before launching the project “Engaged and Entrepreneurial European University as Driver for European Smart and Sustainable Regions”.

We would like to highlight the insightful contribution brought to the discussions by Daiga Ivsiņa, an expert at the Ministry of Education and Science, enriching our understanding regarding different organizational matters.

We hope this meeting will serve as a basis for further cooperation between our universities and supporting each other in the establishment process of our each separate European University.

Invitation to RTU 61st International Scientific Conference section

International Cooperation and Foreign Students Department of Riga Technical University invites you to the International Education / European University Initiative Section of the 61st RTU International Scientific Conference taking place on 16th of October at 10:00 (Riga time), online platform ZOOM.

Unified and strong European Union universities, joint diplomas, conditions and requirements for obtaining higher education – so ambitious are the goals of the EU, which are also shared by Riga Technical University (RTU). With the support of the European Commission, RTU has joined forces with seven other universities from different European countries with the ultimate goal to build a single European University of Technology (EUt+).

In this section, current topicalities in international education in general as well as future perspectives within the framework of the European Universities initiative by the European Union will be discussed by the representatives from Riga Technical University and other universities of the EUt+ consortium.

CONFERENCE AGENDA HERE

Moderator of the section: Kārlis Valtiņš, Head of the International Projects Unit, International Cooperation and Foreign Students Department of Riga Technical University.

CONFERENCE FEE

The conference is free of charge and anyone interested is welcome to join the conference. No prior registration is required.

VENUE

Conference via ZOOM platform here.

LANGUAGE

The conference language is English.

CONTACTS

In case of questions related to the section “International Education / European University Initiative”, please contact us via e-mail (Karlis.Valtins@rtu.lv, Ieva.Ziemele@rtu.lv) or by phone +371 67089185.\

More information about the RTU 61st International Scientific Conference can be found on the conference website here.

Become a student representative of the European University of Technology at RTU!

Riga Technical University has joined forces with 7 other European higher education institutions to create a joint model of a European University of Technology (EUt+) within the next 3 years, which would be more competitive on an international level than any of the universities individually. More information on the EUt+ initiative is available in here.

Taking into account that the EUt+ development process will significantly affect all departments of RTU as well as the overall image of the university, it is crucial for the entire university, especially RTU students, to be involved in the process of creating a joint EUt+. RTU student representatives have to be ready to be actively involved in the work of EUt+, cooperate with students from other consortium universities, write and implement joint projects, participate in the decision-making process and meetings in all 8 EUt+ universities.

If you are ready to become a representative of EUt+, please fill in this form until September 20th.

If any questions arise, feel free to contact the International Projects Unit of RTU: rtuipu@gmail.com