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UASnet 2014 Conference: Two days of focus on applied research in Copenhagen

posted 11 Nov 2014, 03:33 by UASnet   [ updated 11 Nov 2014, 03:38 ]

This year the European network of universities of applied sciences (UASnet)  conference was organised jointly with the University Colleges Denmark in Copenhagen. The theme of the conference was:  ‘Tackling the societal challenges of Horizon 2020’, the conference took place on 23rd and 24th of October 2014 at the National Museum in Copenhagen.

The two-day-programme featured four keynote speeches. The first on innovation 2.0, the second on the development of universities of applied sciences as strategic platforms for innovation, and the third on the first lessons from U-Multirank. The second day of the conference started with the fourth keynote speech on a new concept for applied science. In addition, the programme contained a number of workshops with concrete examples from the different institutions on health, social inclusion, chronic diseases, welfare etc.

Rector of University College UCC, Laust Joen Jakobsen, is the representative of University Colleges Denmark in UASnet and one of the promotors of this year’s conference taking place in Denmark.

”This conference has only confirmed that a European network for universities of applied sciences is important. The two days we have spent together in Copenhagen have shown that the participants can learn a great deal from each other, and the international development of and cooperation on education programmes and research projects shows promising potential”, Laust Joen Jakobsen says.

In his closing sum up of the conference Dr. Tim Creedon, the chair of UASnet and the representative of Institutes of Technology Ireland in UASnet, called for an increased focus on strengthening cooperation in the future.

 ”It simply requires that the employees of the institutions start working together. However, it is also quite necessary that the universities of applied sciences have a strategic approach to their research defining the substance of research projects as well as the societal value. Proposals responding to calls under Horizon 2020 should be assessed in this perspective, an assessment that must be made at the institutional level and not by individual employees”, Tim Creedon said.

Tim Creedon sees a potential in exploring further the diversity of the European UAS institutions and turning this diversity into a strength. He also called on the universities of applied sciences to establish one voice at European level.

”We must recognise that the universities of applied sciences are a young sector that still needs to work on its political positioning. We must work on structuring our communication, so it becomes more easily applicable to politicians. We must get better at communicating how the universities of applied sciences contribute to developing and creating value in society”, Tim Creedon said.

The conference at the National Museum in Copenhagen was the fourth UASnet member conference. There were approximately 90 participants at the conference.

 All the material related to the conference can be found on the conference website: 

PowerPoint presentations from the different speakers.

Photos from the conference.

Welcome speech by Minister for Higher Education Sofie Carsten Nielsen (video)

Text by David Erichsen