Universidad Europea hosted the 10th International Conference on University Innovation at the Villaviciosa de Odon Campus in Madrid, Spain. More than 230 participants were in attendance to share their expertise in educational innovation.
For two days, the university’s campus hosted these higher education experts to discuss and share success stories about student development, the relationship between technology and innovation in teaching methodologies, participatory learning, educational research, the process of adapting to university life and other innovative experiences in this field.
Dr. Águeda Benito, Rector of Universidad Europea, opened the conference. During her speech, she listed some of the formative experiences applied by Universidad Europea to provide educational programs aligned with the needs of employers and society. She also addressed the role of technology in the development of the education sector and the need for students to acquire a greater commitment and get involved in the learning process: "The important thing is that the student is able to learn, whether that is through class participation, independent work with cases or dynamic debates. The student needs to acquire technical knowledge but also values and international experience, to develop their entrepreneurial spirit, to get involved in social responsibility projects. Bologna works if students work, and only if it improves their employability," she said.
Participants in this conference included José Ginés Mora, professor at the Institute of Education, University of London and renowned specialist in employability of graduates. After a brief review of the 800 year history of higher education, he insisted that we are in a time of social and cultural change and universities have to adapt: "In recent years there has been a perversion and teachers have moved away from the student to give increasing importance to research. The student must be in the center, we have to evolve towards flexible plans and even individual ones". He noted, "The biggest deficit in higher education is in the leadership, management, innovation and foreign languages, which are a must for universal university and should be encouraged by our global society."
In closing the conference, UE announced the names of the winners of the 10th European University Award for Innovation and Teaching, an award that aims to stimulate innovation in the classroom and recognize the work of the teachers that are adapting their teaching to the new context of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). The three projects chosen included: 'To collaborate or not to collaborate: the student's dilemma', with the first prize, 'Global Professions as the backbone of integrated learning', the second prize, and 'Project-Based Engineering School: Building a project-based polytechnic integrators', in third place.
This article has been translated into English to be shared on the Laureate International Universities website.