The monumental city of Pisa, and the two historical landmark buildings of Scuola Normale Superiore and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna , have been the setting for the second face-to-face meeting of the EELISA Governing Board (April 21-22, 2022).
During two days, Rectors, Directors and Presidents along with their teams from the nine universities of EELISA (Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Istanbul Technical University, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, École des Ponts Paristech, PSL Université Paris (Mines & Chimie Paristech), Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, and host insitutions Scuola Normale Superiore and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, have come together to delve into intensive work sessions, formalize new joint statements and deepen their commitment to the alliance. This is an event of great importance for EELISA that has been preceded and accompanied by the first meeting of the EELISA student council, as well as a strategic meeting of EELISA InnoCORE and a dynamic work session of the EELISA Executive Board.
“All these meetings take place at a decisive moment for EELISA – it is essential to consolidate what has been developed so far, and what is more important, to move on to the next phase of scaling up and penetrating the different layers of each institution”, said Sofia d’Aguiar, EELISA Executive director.
A two-hour session to overview accomplishments and outline the next steps.
At the opening of the first session of the Governing Board meeting, SNS Director, Luigi Ambrosio, welcomed the attendees and emphasized the importance of hosting the event for both Scuola Normale and Scuola Superiore Santa Anna. His speech was followed by the intervention of UPM Rector Guillermo Cisneros, who also thanked the commitment of all Governing Board members: “This Alliance wouldn´t be possible without the vision and valuable contributions of each of you”. EELISA president, Dale A. Martin, who was in charge of moderating the session, also remarked that “ a strong brand management is necessary and students must ‘see and feel’ why EELISA is a valuable opportunity for them”.
Alberto Garrido, Coordinator of EELISA, presented a heads-up of the EELISA progress report with an overview of deliverables, milestones, and critical risks. He also shared the achievements of the EELISA work packages such as the formation of the EELISA Office by EELISA Work Package 1, the launching of the EELISA course catalogue (WP2), the development of the first EELISA credential guidelines (WP3), the co-creation of 34 pioneer EELISA Communities (WP4), the launching of the EELISA Research-Based Learning Symposium (WP5), the joint framework for upcoming internship programs (WP6), the establishment of the EELISA and EELISA InnoCORE gender and diversity workgroup (WP7), the collaborative design of disciplinary broadening workshops (WP8) and the implementation of a visual identity and communication plan that are helping EELISA increase its visibility within the alliance and beyond (WP9).
After this presentation, board members were invited to share their perspectives, both on positive aspects and points that still need to be strengthened in a roundtable format. Harvard Scholar and external counselor Wendy Purcell shared her ideas: “the pioneering nature of EELISA must be emphasized (…) and capturing students’ attention is key”. Deciding concrete steps for the design of appealing joint programs the creation of protocols based on the best practices of each member, and a plan to boost mobility in a post-pandemic scenario, and the formation of student-led EELISA Communities were among the proposals shared by other attendees.
Following this roundtable, Francesco Serra, representative of the EELISA student council, briefly presented the results of the EELISA Speak-out consultation campaign and explained the importance of gathering the EELISA student representatives in parallel with the Governing Board to motivate students. He also shared some of the conclusions reached by the EELIS student council meeting that took place the previous day: “Our mission is to help grow the number of students involved in EELISA and we are committed to making this happen”. Sharing responsibilities, the election of co-chairs, and the establishment of a fixed calendar of meetings will be among the actions they are planning to take.
At the final stretch of this first session, Eike Trost, leader of EELISA Work Package 4, presented an overview of the current status of the EELISA Communities and their future needs. She also gave a virtual tour through the upcoming state-of-the-art network platform created for these communities. Asunción Gómez, leader of the EELISA joint Research and Innovation Strategy, EELISA InnoCORE, was in charge of closing the presentations with a summary of the achievements of this project.
From information and data to strategic decisions, inspirational actions and statements.
Session 2 of the Governing Board, hosted by Arianna Menciassi, Vice-Rector of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, was focused on strategic debate and decisions to boost the transition into the next phase of EELISA As mobility and equality are building blocks of the EELISA experience, the Governing board members had the chance to agree on new steps towards a joint catalogue to promote mobility among their institutions and signed the EELISA Statement on Gender Equality. The latter was presented by the women involved in the EELISA and EELISA InnoCORE gender and diversity group in a video that was screened before the Governing Board members. After this, the session was wrapped up with the signature of Interinstitutional bilateral agreements for cultural, educational, and scientific cooperation between SSSA and all the partners
Both the EELISA Statement on Gender Equality and a video with inspirational notes made by some of the Board members, will be released soon.
* Check the complete photo album HERE.
EELISA has received funding from the European Union’s Erasmus+ programme under GA No. 101004081 / EELISA-InnoCORE has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 R & I programme under GA No. 101035811.