There are work meetings that go beyond what is anticipated to become encounters with the unexpected, such as the history of a city, the future of life sciences, or the discovery of new friendships.
This happened on the 25th and 26th of May when the members of the EELISA Executive Board met for the first time at the ZHAW, Zurich University of Applied Sciences’ facilities in Winterthur. This was a meeting hosted by the ZHAW School of Engineering and set to consolidate ties with the new member as well as to debate the most critical outcomes for the continuation of EELISA in Phase 2.
Among the representatives of all EELISA institutions, this face-to-face event was attended by the President of EELISA Dale Martin, the Executive Director of EELISA Sofia d’Aguiar, the EELISA Coordinator, Alberto Garrido as well as three student representatives from ZHAW and UPB.
On the first day, the members of the Board were received by the welcome speeches of Jean-Marc Piveteau, President of ZHAW, and Dr. Silvia Steiner, Government Counselor (Zurich Department of Education). These two inspiring interventions were followed by a round of presentations by EELISA representatives with information about each institution.
From left to right: UPB student representative Catalin Burtea, EELISA Executive Director Sofia d’Aguiar, EELISA President Dale Martin, EELISA Dean of Studies Sophie Griveau, SSSA student representative Edoardo Bonura, Dean ZHAW School of Engineering Dirk Wilhelm, ZHAW student representatives Karen Klöti and Damien Igloi, Zurich Department of Education representative Silvia Steiner, ZHAW President Jean-March Piveteau, and EELISA Coordinator Alberto Garrido.
This series of presentations paved the way for the workshop on EELISA 2.0. This session was conceived to build a deeper and shared understanding of the goals set for the work packages in the new phase. With the aim to create a map with the members’ expectations and major contributions, the participants split into two groups. They brainstormed and discussed topics such as the long-term strategy as a “University Alliance of the Future”, the EELISA Digital Campus, the future EELISA Joint Education Offer, and recognition frameworks as well as the upcoming Innovative Teaching and Learning Hubs.
Day 2 was launched with a tour de table in which the members shared key news, achievements, and internal initiatives to engage students and boost the visibility of EELISA. Soon after that, they dived into the follow-up of important actions developed during the last months such as the launching of the EELISA Evaluation Committee, the issuance of the first EELISA Supplements, and the Development of the EELISA Joint degree as one of the major outcomes of EELISA phase 1.
An intense work session that has brought a part of the EELISA spirit to the new member institution for the first time. In the words of Dr. Dirk Wilhelm, Dean and Managing Director of ZHAW School of Engineering: “We are proud to be part of this excellent European University Alliance, as EELISA enables us to strengthen our position as a European School in education and research.”
The agenda for this meeting also included a guided visit to the old industrial area of Winterthur, currently converted into a residential area and university campus. A walk that gave participants the opportunity to learn about the history of the city and the most recent works of urban planning but overall, it was a chance to be amazed by the innovative transformation of factories into colleges such as the ZHAW School of Architecture, Design and Civil Engineering. On the other hand, the visit to the Institute of Mechanical Systems and the Centre for Aviation as well as the laboratories of the Life Science and Facilities Management in Wädenswil felt like a trip to the future.
And we now can say that the future looks amazingly green for EELISA!