ENHANCE+ kick-off meeting | Gdańsk University of Technology

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Date added: 2024-03-06

ENHANCE+ kick-off meeting

On 22-23 February, over 130 representatives from ten partner universities of ENHANCE Alliance met in Berlin to officially launch ENHANCE+ project. As far as internationalization is concerned, this project is a priority undertaking for Gdańsk University of Technology.

Let’s recall: in November 2022, Gdańsk University of Technology became a member of the ENHANCE Alliance – a consortium of technical universities from Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Netherlands and Poland.  In July 2023, the ENHANCE Alliance received 14,4 million euro from the European funds to run ENHANCE+ project scheduled for the years 2023-2027. The resources were allocated as part of the European Universities call, organized by the European Commission.

The obtained project funding means that for the following four years, Gdańsk University of Technology, together with partner universities, will conduct large-scale activities related to, among others, creating new educational pathways, teaching future skills, developing entrepreneurship in the spirit of sustainable development, raising professional competences of employees and promoting diversity, inclusiveness and equality.

Two-day meeting event

The February meeting held in Berlin was an occasion to officially inaugurate the ENHANCE+ project. The host of the meeting was Technische Universität Berlin (TU Berlin) – one of the leading technical universities in Germany and the project coordinator. The event was attended by members of the Steering Committee (vice-rectors), university coordinators (so-called core officers – usually heads of international departments) and leaders and participants of individual tasks (academic staff, administrative staff, students) – a total of over 130 people from 8 countries.

Gdańsk University of Technology was represented by: Prof. Janusz Nieznański, Vice-Rector for Internationalization and Innovation; Prof. Mariusz Kaczmarek, Vice-Rector for Education; Michał Nowacki, Deputy Director of Information Systems Development at the IT Services Center (CUI);  Anna Modrzejewska, Head of International Relations Office;  Katarzyna Bruder, HR Center;  Krzysztof Dudek, HR Center; Prof. Joanna Mytnik, Director of the Center for Innovative Education; Anna Trzaskowska, PhD, Faculty of Management and Economics;  Robert Bajko, Technology Transfer Office; Prof. Christian Jungnickel, Faculty of Chemistry; Prof. Justyna Szostak, Faculty of Applied Physics and Mathematics; Mohammad Ghaemi, PhD, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering and Ship Technology; Justyna Sudakowska, International Relations Office.

On Thursday, 22 February, there was a meeting of teams responsible for individual work packages planned in the project. Gdańsk University of Technology is the leader of the task devoted to the professional development of employees – Work Package 2 : Human dimension. Katarzyna Bruder for HR Center is the coordinator of the package.

Katarzyna Bruder, HR Center: – The main objective of this work package is to encourage the employees of ENHANCE member universities – the academic and administrative staff,  to develop their professional skills in an intercultural, European environment. This way we want to support the employees in their activity aimed at promoting European values and, in particular,  the values determined in the European Strategy for Universities and ENIHEI report on innovation in European higher education.

Core officers, responsible for efficient management of the project at their universities and acting as liaisons between the Operational Office and partner universities, also had their meeting in Berlin. At Gdańsk University of Technology, this function is held by Anna Modrzejewska, Head of International Relations Office, who is also responsible for employee well-being within the work package coordinated by Gdańsk Tech.

– Work on ENHANCE+ project started immediately after receiving confirmation of granted funding in July 2023. We spent the first months mainly on building the team, dividing responsibilities and planning project tasks. The majority of work was done online, thus the meeting in Berlin was vital for the project to take on a more human, not only technical, dimension – says Anna Modrzejewska, Head of IRO, ENHANCE Core Officer at Gdańsk Tech. 

On the second day of the event, 23 February, Prof. Geraldine Rauch, President of TU Berlin and Naveed Syed, Secretary General delivered speeches. Both emphasized the success of the first project within the Alliance in the years 2019-2022, but also underlined the vast amount of work to be done by the members in the new project – more ambitious and more complex, proceeding with a part of the tasks and implementing a number of new, innovative initiatives,  co-run by a larger number of entities, with a special role of affiliated universities from Ukraine. 

In addition to the teamwork of ten individual work packages groups, there were also cluster meetings (the tasks within the project were divided into three clusters to strengthen the synergy effect between the teams) and a meeting of the Steering Committee members attended by the Vice-Rector, Prof. Janusz Nieznański.

The event in Berlin ended with ENHANCE Conversations – a discussion format used in the previous Alliance project – devoted to the topic of desired future skills of engineers. The panel of experts included the following representatives: Prof. Ena Voûte, Vice-Rector of International Affairs (Delft University of Technology, Netherlands), Prof. José Monserrat del Río, Vice President for International Affairs and Communication (Universitat Politécnica de València, Hiszpania) and Katrin Redmann, Chief Operating Officer SAP Lab Paris. Video from the meeting is available on ENHANCE Youtube channel.

Prof. Janusz Nieznański, Vice-Rector for Internationalization and Innovation, summarizing the inauguration of the project –  The meeting in Berlin strengthened our belief that ENHANCE+ will play a crucially important role in the internationalization process of Gdańsk University of Technology. Our presence in such a strong consortium of technical universities will strengthen our position and recognition in the European arena. The meeting deepened the sense of community among Alliance members and reinforced the belief in the great value of cooperation within this consortium.

A report from the meeting in Berlin can also be found on the ENHANCE website.

About ENHANCE+ at Gdańsk University of Technology

The project is managed and supervised by Prof. Janusz Nieznański, Vice-Rector for Internationalization and Innovation.

The project is assigned to International Relations Office. Head of the International Relations Office – is also the university core officer for the project.

More information about the project, Gdańsk Tech stakeholders engaged in its implementation, individual work packages etc., can be found here pg.edu.pl/international.

If you have any questions, please contact us at enhance@pg.edu.pl