Thematic
University-Business Forum

Driving Competitiveness, Employability and Prosperity

The Thematic Forum featured a mix of keynotes, panel discussions and presentations of inspirational examples. The opening session and panel discussions set the scene for the Forum and introduced the overarching theme of university-business collaboration from different viewpoints. Discussions and presentations from internationally recognised researchers and academics further to representa­tives of businesses – associations, small and large companies – focus on four main themes during the parallel sessions of the Forum:

  1. Dual Study Programmes – Combining Academic and Professional Learning
  2. Adapting Higher Education to Lifelong Learning
  3. The Impact of University-Business Cooperation
  4. Higher Education and Entrepreneurship
This University-Business Forum, organised by the European Commission in partnership with the German Rectors' Conference (HRK) and the Confederation of German Employers' Associations (BDA), provided a unique opportunity to present and discuss common issues, to share examples of good practice and to explore the advantages and the value of sustained cooperation. This is an ideal opportunity to learn from each other, to develop understanding and the capabilities for future cooperation.

The European Commission established the EU Forum for University-Business Dialogue to advance and facilitate interactions between the academic and business world. The University-Business Forum provides face-to-face opportunities for discussion, networking, mutual learning and the illustration of good examples for cooperation between business and higher education.

The 6th European University- Business Forum will take place in Brussels on the 5th and 6th of March 2015. The event website is now open at: http://ubforum2015.teamwork.fr (password: NPEC). Once logged in you can register for the conference, access the draft programme.

This year's Forum will address topics related to entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial university; change and impact; people and innovation as well as taking a closer look at some of the main current trends in University-Business Cooperation.


NÄHERE INFORMATIONEN
PROGRAMME
Thursday, 20 November 2014

09:30 Registration of the participants

Opening Session
University-Business Cooperation: Partnerships for Competitiveness, Employability and Prosperity

10:30 Richard Kühnel, Head of Representation of the European Commission in Germany
Working together for Social and Economic Impact

10:50 Mr Ingo Kramer, President, Confederation of German Employers’ Associations
Skilled Workforce for Today and Tomorrow - Fostering Innovation and Competitiveness

11:10 Professor Horst Hippler, President, German Rectors’ Conference
The Role of Higher Education in the Knowledge Triangle

11:30 Panel Discussion:
University-Business Cooperation: Making it Happen

Moderator: Mr Jan-Martin Wiarda, Journalist
  • Dr Gerhard F. Braun, Vice-President, Confederation of German Employers’ Associations and Member of the Advisory Board Karl Otto Braun Gruppe
  • Professor Wolfgang A. Herrmann, President, Technical University Munich
  • Professor Maria Helena Nazaré, President, European University Association
  • Professor Eva Quante-Brandt, Vice-President, The Standing Conference of the Ministers for Education and Cultural Affairs of the German Länder, Senator of Education and Science in the State of Bremen
  • Mr Mário Tarouca, Director of Public Affairs JADE European Confederation of Junior Enterprises

12.40 Professor Johanna Wanka, Federal Minister of Education and Research, Germany
From Idea to Innovation - The Benefits of Cooperation between Science and Industry"

13:00 Standing Lunch

14:30 – 18:00 Four Parallel STREAMS

Stream A Dual Study Programmes – Combining Academic and Professional Learning

In the last decade, more and more Member States have developed study programmes which look to better match graduates' competences with the challenges of professional life. Germany has a long tradition of vocational education and training that combine theory and practice. This approach has been applied progressively to academic disciplines. The dual study programme combines two places of learning: higher education institutions and the business/workplace. At the moment, dual study programmes are only implemented in a few Member States. However, they are gaining in popularity those countries and other Member States are now looking with interest at this model.

14:30 Workshop A.1
Spotlight on Bachelor Level Education

Moderator: Dr Barbara Dorn, Confederation of German Employers’ Associations
  • Ms Filiz Albrecht, MANN+HUMMEL GmbH
    Dual Education Concept at MANN+HUMMEL
  • Dr Sabine Behrenbeck, The German Council of Science and Humanities
    Quality Assurance - Perspectives and Trends
  • Dr Vittorio Franzellin, Free University of Bolzano
    Pay-off Effects of Joint Efforts

16:00 Coffee break

16:30 Workshop A.2
Spotlight on Education beyond Undergraduate Studies

Moderator: Prof. Helmut Hoyer, FernUniversität in Hagen
  • Ms Friederike Leisener, Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University
    Expanding a Successful Approach
  • Ms Anne Steydli/ Ms Nathalie Hillenweck, Strasbourg University
    (Re-)Valorisation of Professional Learning
  • Ebrahim Mohamed, Imperial College London
    Climate-KIC perspective on the future of graduate education in Europe

Stream B Adapting Higher Education to Lifelong Learning

The European workforce today faces unprecedented challenges: increasingly competitive globalisation, demographic imbalances, economic uncertainty and the rise of new technologies. It is therefore vital that Europe encourages its citizens to develop new skills and to acquire new knowledge on a continuous basis. Higher education institutions have a key role to play in this process in preparing their graduates for a professional and social context in which Lifelong Learning will be crucial to their success and their contribution to the knowledge society. This requires an integrated approach and a willingness to change on the part of these institutions.

14:30 Workshop B.1
Embedding Lifelong Learning in Higher Education Institutions

Moderator: Professor Alfredo Soeiro, European University Continuing Education Network
  • Mr Christof Beutgen, Deutsche Bahn AG
    Qualification Planning – Practical Experiences
  • Dr Walburga Freitag, German Centre for Research on Higher Education and Science Studies
    Lifelong Learning as a Mission for Higher Education Institutions in Germany? Developments and Challenges
  • Professor Kirsti Miettinen, Aalto University Executive Education Ltd, Aalto University
    University Lifelong Learning - Strategies to Manage Change

16:00 Coffee Break

16:30 Workshop B.2
The Need for Strategy and Commitment

Moderator: Dr Sigrun Nickel, Centre for Higher Education
  • Professor Salah Maouche, Université de Lille 1
    Learner-centered Approach to Lifelong Learning
  • Michael Mesterharm, Volkswagen AG
    Exchanging Know-how between Academia and Industry - the AutoUni
  • Professor Uwe Wilkesmann, Dortmund University
    Why is there so little Lifelong Learning at German universities?


Stream C The Impact of University-Business Cooperation

There are tangible and intangible effects, immediate and indirect returns on University-Business Cooperation which differ for students, academics and companies. Other parties - such as regional authorities - might expect primarily economic benefits, such as; an enhanced labour supply, increased levels of graduate employment, higher levels of new business start- ups or higher levels of innovation. Higher education institutions connect diverse stakeholders through different cooperation and innovation activities in their region. This makes them, key drivers of regional growth due to their role in knowledge creation and the development of human capital. It is, therefore, important to define relevant indicators for measuring impact and/or to use other methods like balanced scorecards.

14:30 Workshop C.1
Connecting Higher Education Institutions to Regional Development

Moderator: Dr Isabel Rohner, Confederation of German Employers’ Associations
  • Kevin Richardson, Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)
    Higher Education Institutions in Smart Specialisation
  • Ms Elianne Demollins-Schneiders, University Heerlen
    Knowledge Alliance EURL3A and its Regional Outreach
  • Dr Rolf Strittmatter Zukunftsagentur Brandenburg
    The Comprehensive Top-Down Approach of the Life Sciences Cluster

16:00 Coffee break

16:30 Workshop C.2
Capturing and Demonstrating the Benefits of University-Business Cooperation

Moderator: Dr Adrian Healy, Cardiff University
  • Dr. Cristobal Gonzalez, University of Valencia
    Responding to the Regional Business and Society Needs
  • Dr Pascal Hetze, Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft
    Economic Analysis of Higher Education Institutions' Impact
  • Mr Markus Lecke, Deutsche Telekom AG
    Telecom's HEI Cooperation Strategy and its Value to the Company

Stream D Higher Education and Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship has a potential impact at a number of levels: individual, institutional, economic and, more broadly, social. "Entrepreneurship and a sense of initiative" is one of eight competences for Lifelong Learning which citizens require for their personal fulfilment, social inclusion, active citizenship and employability in the knowledge–based economy. Higher education is the ideal environment in which to develop and foster entrepreneurial qualities and skills and to help develop potential entrepreneurs and enterprising individuals bring about significant changes. However, higher education institutions themselves must reconsider their role, governance and course offer in order to cope with recent changes, challenges and opportunities.

14:30 Workshop D.1
Stimulating Entrepreneurship in, and through, Higher Education

Moderator: Mr Christian Tauch, German Rectors’ Conference
  • Professor Margareta Norell Bergendahl, Royal Institute of Technology Stockholm
    Developing Entrepreneurial Skills by Engaging with Societal Challenges (Open-Lab)
  • Mr Lucas León, akvolution GmbH
    Higher Education; Supporting the Entrepreneurial Venture
  • Professor Christine Volkmann, University of Wuppertal
    Supporting the Entrepreneurial Potential of Higher Education
    16:00 Coffee break

    16:30 Workshop D.2
    Developing an Entrepreneurship-friendly Ecosystem for Higher Education

    Moderator: Mr Henning Dettleff, Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation
    • Professor Tim Bedford, Strathclyde University, Entrepreneurial University of the year 2013
      Building an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem around a University: Strathclyde’s Journey
    • Mr Gabor Bojar, Graphisoft SE and AIT Aquincum Institute of Technology
      Entrepreneurship for non-entrepreneurs
    • Professor Frank Gielen, iMinds Ghent University
      Supporting Higher Education Institutions and Students in their Entrepreneurial Journey
    18:00 Get Together

    Friday, 21 November 21 2014

    Conclusion of the Workshops
    Facets and Core Features of University-Business Cooperation

    9:00 Workshop debriefing

    Moderator: Mr Jan-Martin Wiarda, Journalist

    Rapporteurs:
    • Workshops A.1 and A.2 Dr Irene Seling, Confederation of German Employers’ Associations
    • Workshops B.1 and B.2 Dr Peter Zervakis, German Rectors’ Conference
    • Workshops C.1 and C.2 Mr Stefan Zotti, Austrian Agency for International Mobility and Cooperation in Education, Science and Research
    • Workshops D.1 and D.2 Dr Keith Herrmann, Director of Employability at the University of Surrey

    Keynote Speech

    10.00 Professor Birgitta Wolff, Otto-von Guericke University Magdeburg and former
    Minister for Science and Economy of the Land Saxony-Anhalt

    Promotion of Science and Higher Education - Collaborative Responsibility of Politics and Economy

    10:30 Coffee Break

    Closing Session

    11:00 Round Table: Challenges and Opportunities – Looking ahead

    Moderator: Mr Jan-Martin Wiarda, Journalist

    Panel Discussion:
    • Elisabeth Gehrke, Chairperson of the European Students’ Union
    • Professor Stefano Paleari, Rector, University of Bergamo; President; Conference of Italian University Rectors
    • Dr Matthias Gottwald, Head of R&D Policy and Networking at Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals
    • Mr Xavier Prats Monné, Director-General Education and Culture, European Commission
    • Professor Micha Teuscher, Rector, Neubrandenburg University of Applied Sciences; Vice-President, German Rectors' Conference

    12:30 Standing Lunch
    Opportunity for interviews

    14:00 Optional for participants from Higher Education Institutions:
        HEInnovate – Framework for Entrepreneurial Higher Education Institutions

        This hands-on session addresses higher education institutions interested in self-assessing their performance as entrepreneurial institutions across a range of key areas such as; governance, internationalisation and pathways for entrepreneurs, to mention a few. It will provide guidance and inspiration for those institutions wishing to improve their performance or get new ideas. Materials, case studies and action plans will be available. The online tool is open to the public at http://heinnovate.eu.

    17:00 End
    SPEAKERS
    • Ms Filiz Albrecht, MANN+HUMMEL GmbH (vita, presentation)
    • Professor Tim Bedford, Strathclyde University (vita)
    • Dr Sabine Behrenbeck, The German Council of Science and Quality Assurance (vita, presentation)
    • Professor Margareta Norell Bergendahl, Royal Institute of Technology (vita, presentation)
    • Mr Christof Beutgen, Deutsche Bahn AG (vita, presentation)
    • Mr Gábor Bojár, Graphisoft SE and AIT Aquincum Institute of Technology (vita, presentation)
    • Dr Gerhard F. Braun, Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (vita)
    • Ms Elianne Demollin-Schneiders, University Heerlen (vita, presentation)
    • Mr Henning Dettleff, Foundation for International Business Administration Accreditation (vita)
    • Dr Barbara Dorn, Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (vita)
    • Dr Vittorio Franzellin, Free University of Bolzano (vita, presentation)
    • Dr Walburga Freitag, German Centre for Research on Higher Education and Science Studies (vita, presentation)
    • Ms Elisabeth Gehrke, Chairperson of the European Students’ Union (vita)
    • Professor Frank Gielen, iMinds Ghent University (vita)
    • Dr Cristobal Gonzalez, University of Valencia (vita, presentation)
    • Dr Matthias Gottwald, Head of R&D Policy and Networking at Bayer Healthcare Pharmaceuticals (vita)
    • Dr Adrian Healy, Cardiff University (vita)
    • Dr Keith Herrmann, Director of Employability at the University of Surrey (vita)
    • Professor Wolfgang A. Herrmann, President, Technical University Munich (vita)
    • Dr Pascal Hetze, Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (vita, presentation)
    • Ms Nathalie Hillenweck, Strasbourg University (vita, presentation)
    • Professor Horst Hippler, German Rectors’ Conference (vita)
    • Professor Helmut Hoyer, FernUniversität in Hagen (vita)
    • Mr Richard Kühnel, Head of Representation of the European Commission in Germany (vita)
    • Mr Ingo Kramer, Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (vita)
    • Mr Markus Lecke, Deutsche Telekom AG (vita)
    • Ms Friederike Leisener, Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University (presentation)
    • Mr Lukas Léon, akvolution GmbH (vita, presentation)
    • Professor Salah Maouche, Université de Lille 1 (vita, presentation)
    • Dr Michael Mesterharm, Volkswagen AG (vita, presentation)
    • Professor Kirsti Miettinen, Aalto University Executive Education Ltd, Aalto University (vita, presentation)
    • Mr Ebrahim Mohamed, Imperial College London (vita)
    • Professor Maria Helena Nazaré, President, European University Association (vita)
    • Dr Sigrun Nickel, Centre for Higher Education (vita)
    • Professor Stefano Paleari, Conference of Italian University Rectors (vita)
    • Mr Xavier Prats Monné, European Commission (vita)
    • Professor Eva Quante-Brandt, The Standing Conference of the Ministers for Education and Cultural Affairs of the German Länder (vita)
    • Mr Kevin Richardson, Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) (vita, presentation)
    • Dr Isabel Rohner, Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (vita)
    • Dr Irene Seling, Confederation of German Employers’ Associations (vita, presentation)
    • Professor Alfredo Soeiro, European University Continuing Education Network (vita)
    • Ms Anne Steydli, Strasbourg University (vita, presentation)
    • Dr Rolf Strittmatter, Zukunftsagentur Brandenburg (vita, presentation)
    • Mr Mário Tarouca, JADE European Confederation of Junior Enterprises (vita)
    • Mr Christian Tauch, German Rectors’ Conference (vita)
    • Professor Micha Teuscher, German Rectors' Conference (vita)
    • Professor Christine Volkmann, University of Wuppertal (vita, presentation)
    • Professor Johanna Wanka, Federal Ministery of Education and Research (vita)
    • Mr Jan-Martin Wiarda, Journalist (vita)
    • Professor Uwe Wilkesmann, Dortmund University (vita, presentation)
    • Professor Birgitta Wolff, Otto-von Guericke University Magdeburg (vita, presentation)
    • Dr Peter A. Zervakis, German Rectors’ Conference (vita, presentation)
    • Mr Stefan Zotti, Austrian Agency for International Mobility and Cooperation in Education (vita, presentation)
    REPORT
    In spite of the many known benefits of University-Business Collaboration (UBC), there remain many socio-economic, infrastructural and technological challenges, further to the need for changing the mind-set and reinforcing positive behaviours to maximise the benefits UBC can deliver. From the discussions at the two days of the Thematic Forum the following themes emerged:

    • Successful collaboration and cooperation between higher education institutions and companies are characterised by systemic, long-term two-way partnerships. Recent years have seen a significant positive shift towards this gold standard moving from personal relationships to institutional. However, there remain challenges and if universities are to collaborate with employers more effectively in education in particular, HEIs need to improve on the adaptability of their curricula and speed up their reactions towards companies.
    • The student population is diversifying which creates new pressures on the higher education system. Therefore new and more flex­ible systems, support and educational offers need to be established to encourage student retention and improve employability. Students need guidance to understand the increasingly complex education offer with multiple entry and exit points. Students choices should be driven by personal ambitions and their learning requirements, benefiting from the differentiated learning offers available, not just seeking out elite institutions.
    • Dual study programmes are well established in Germany which help diversify the educational offer and increase graduate employ­ability, especially at the Bachelor level. There are however challenges to be overcome for successful implementation, for example, finding the right teaching and collaborative methods, matching students with the right partners or aligning the needs of the dual and traditional study programme participants.
    • Higher education institutions increasingly explore multidisciplinary teaching models and approaches as a way of exposing students to real life problems and providing companies with access to graduates with a wide range of skills and capabilities
    • Higher education institutions have many roles in an entrepreneurial ecosystem at local, regional and national levels. The roles it develops must be driven by the ultimate needs of the system rather than the institution. Professors and teachers are rising to the challenge of delivering entrepreneurial skills, through new concepts and approaches as this Forum showcased. There are good examples of entrepreneurship teaching offers and training for professors and teachers.
    • For the regions, universities are particularly important in their role of retaining talent, growing new companies and increasing the level of skills in the labour market. However measuring the outcomes and impacts in a more comprehensive manner is still a chal­lenge ahead.
    • There are many types of impacts in University-Business Cooperation including those related to curriculum relevance, employability, new ideas, long term strategic partnerships and networks. For companies as well as for higher education institutions, it is impor­tant to identify and understand the variety of benefits and impacts of collaborating.

    Click here to browse the Report of the Forum.
    HEInnovate
    The Thematic University-Business Forum in Berlin also provided the opportunity to explore the HEInnovate self-assessment tool (www.heinnovate.eu) through a workshop, which took place in the afternoon during the second day of the Forum.
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