Connacht Ulster Alliance at World Technology Universities Congress, India

Connacht Ulster Alliance (CUA) represented at World Technology Universities Congress, Chennai, India 28-30 November 2018

Two academics from the Connacht Ulster Alliance participated in the third World Technology Universities Congress, jointly hosted by the Indian Institute of Technology Madras and the Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science in the city of Chennai, bustling capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Over 100 delegates from across the world, from Canada to Indonesia to Nigeria, attended the three-day event that saw the membership of the WTU Network increase to 22 leading higher education institutions, including bodies such as Suranaree University of Technology (Thailand), Tampere University of Technology (Finland) and the newly established University of Africa (Nigeria).

Dr Perry Share (CUA Project Manager) and Dr Gerard McGranaghan (Assisant Lecturer in Engineering, IT Sligo) each presented at the Congress: Dr Share on entrepreneurship education across the CUA, and Dr McGranaghan on his recent research and teaching exchange visit to Tampere University of Technology – an institution that, like the CUA, is undergoing a merger process.

Delegates at the Congress engaged in lively discussion of a number of topics that will help the network to develop its relevance and impact. These included an identification of how technology universities can respond to issues such as water and sanitation, health and well-being and the development of cities – all of which are reflected in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Real and active collaboration of institutions in different parts of the globe was identified as a key to successfully addressing these challenging issues. Other important issues discussed included how to develop entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial thinking in technology universities, and how to address the under-representation of women in technological higher education across the globe.

Dr Share expressed the value of membership of global networks such as the WTUN for the emergent technology university of the West/North-West being developed by the CUA:

‘events like the Chennai congress show how similar challenges face higher education institutions across the world. The CUA can learn so much from others, especially from some of the many new universities that are being established. The CUA hopes to draw on the experiences of some of these institutions in the years ahead to inform and benchmark its own evolution. And, hopefully, they in turn will all be able to learn useful things from the CUA as it matures into a TU’

Launched at the University of Bradford (UK) in autumn 2017, the WTUN is a network of global technology universities committed to undertaking challenge-led, cutting-edge research to benefit people and society, and providing education to enable the next generation to tackle global challenges. WTUN members benefit from exchanges and collaborative research and facilitated links between institutions, industry, NGOs and SMEs. The CUA is a WTUN founder member.

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