The DIGITAL4Business European Masters Programme aims to design and implement a highly innovative, effective, and sustainable European Masters Programme in Advanced Digital Skills.
This contributes to the overall objectives of the DIGITAL Europe Programme by fast-tracking a high number of graduates through a dynamic pan-European stakeholder ecosystem.
In the latter, HEIs, Research Centres, Employment Services, and Industry work together to design, promote, deliver and improve an innovative Masters Programme. It will focus on the practical application of Advanced Digital Skills within European Business, an entirely market-led academic Programme driven and designed to meet the current and future (up)-skill needs of SMEs and Companies.
The Master’s Course(s) will focus on the practical application of advanced Digital Skills within Business, including topics such as AI, cybersecurity, and the cloud. The latter skills are pivotal to European businesses’ ongoing competitiveness and growth. Courses will blend academic and industry content to ensure that graduates are equipped with theoretical and employment-ready digital skills that will undoubtedly ensure career success for the candidates. Their degrees will be academically accredited by the hosting institutions and comprise industry certification through the key IT leading sector partners. DIGITAL4Business fosters the industry-recognized certifications as a critical element of the learning pathway. Online teaching and learning environments will be used, combining in-house tools of the participating universities and a new ‘Masters as a Service’ central online platform to enhance learning opportunities for part time students and professionals already in employment. In addition, mentoring Programmes with industry partners, hackathons, industry-focused project-based learning, and coaching on soft skills and job profiles will be offered during the Programme. The Programme will be provided in two different formats to appeal to different cohorts of students, (1) A 3-year part time Programme that will deliver 120 ECTS-CPs across 10 trimesters. (2) A 2-year full time Programme that will deliver 120 ECTS-CPs across 6 core trimesters. We will aim to launch 2 part time and 3 full time masters Programmes within the 4-year project duration, with 1 part time and 2 full time Programmes fully completed by Year 4 and a total of 1,100 students enrolled. International Academic partners are Tallinn University of Technology (Estonia), IE University (Spain), Data ScienceTech Institute (France), Bucharest University of Economic Studies (Romania), Paris 8 University / Institute of Technology (France), CINI University Network (Italy) and University of Bologna (Italy).
Read everything about the EU Project here: DIGITAL4Business | Research | National College of Ireland (ncirl.ie)
Our decade is characterized by the need to respond to the major challenges of the 21st century. Climate change, social inequality, education, and many other sustainable development goals are increasingly coming to the forefront of politics, business, and society.
Innovation will play a pivotal role in this process. After all, we only have a few years left to achieve our ambitious goals.
Fortunately, ambitious initiatives have already been launched in many places. In politics, new, mission-oriented approaches to innovation have been discussed during the last years. Corporations are prioritizing topics such as sustainability and climate protection. Academia is debating the definition and direction of innovation, growth, and progress in the 21st century. In the start-up ecosystem,
purpose-driven business issues around ethical and value-driven cultures, emotional and entrepreneurial leadership, flexibility, and independence are establishing themselves as important factors. Value- and impact-oriented investing around sustainability, ESG, or the circular economy keeps venture capitalists and institutional investors busy. Profitability and sustainability no longer seem to be mutually exclusive.
We are experiencing a comprehensive transformation, with far-reaching consequences for innovation, growth, and progress management. Nevertheless, many sustainability-oriented innovation approaches, impact-oriented business models, or progress-effective technologies still eke out a niche existence.
In this context, two important questions always come to the fore: How do we solve the world’s most important problems? And how do we inspire more people to believe that the most important problems can actually be solved?
Key areas of interest
Our goal is to provide suggestions for action. It is therefore planned to structure the project along with relevant application-oriented areas of innovation and progress research:
- Description of a new innovation paradigm_What is the nature of innovation, its causes, its values, and its meaning in the 21st century? How can we manage costs and risks, and accelerate societal progress as well as long-term economic growth through innovation, while ensuring that innovation benefits humanity?
- Fostering progress and growth_How can we structurally change funding and incentive systems in academia, policy, and business to encourage more academic as well as entrepreneurial progress-impacting innovation?
- Establishing a new culture of innovation_How can we establish a culture of innovation in which people decide to address the major challenges of the 21st century? What paradigms, methods, and structures help us align the essence of innovation so that the result enables a contribution to a better and more livable world and does not optimize for profit maximization for the few?
- Creating a new economic system_How can economic sustainability, ecological sustainability, and social sustainability be brought together in new business models? How can we reward companies that create ecological and social added value and penalize climate-damaging behavior, for example?
Digitization has reached all educational institutions. However, integration strategies and successful transformation processes can only succeed if the protagonists in the institutions have the necessary digital skills.
This requires new ways of thinking and, above all, the courage to strike out in new directions. Cloud-based work and collaborative networking are basically a matter of course for successfully navigating the digital environment.
However, there is often a lack of technical infrastructure or simply a lack of didactic concepts.
Up to now, far too little attention has been paid to those actually affected – the young people – and their view of the world. In the UDS concept, pupils are to be specifically included. They, in particular, usually have “fresh” and unusual perspectives and, above all, creative approaches. For the university, this means integrating the participation of young people into everyday student life and making use of the experience that is also gained academically through this process. In addition, the topics of the young people are more strongly integrated and can be specifically included in the scientific process. The creativity, imagination and special perspective of young people will thus also shape research funding within the university, but also with regard to possible research foci. Through the collaborative interaction between students and teachers at schools as well as students at UDS and the team of lecturers there, new synergies and development potentials are created.
Schools have always been a reflection of our society and will continue to be so in the future. At the same time, it is their task to prepare children and young people for their adult life and their participation in society and in the professional world.
The UDS stands for the view of today’s society and professional world combined with the focus on the development in the future. For schools, it is important to find out what from the digital world is relevant for the school in the present and the future and what concrete options for action arise for the implementation of possible changes.
A school must take care of spatial, temporal and organizational structures. All are interrelated. Appropriate learning materials are needed for individualized instruction in the acquisition of subject competencies. Furthermore, workplaces are needed where students can work alone or with others without being disturbed. Project- and activity-oriented learning requires common spaces for exchange, workshops and spaces for action and design for creative development. This can be a garden, an outdoor workspace, school grounds, or a wooded area.
The spatial arrangement should be diverse, inviting and lively. For students, a chair and bench are not always the ideal place to learn. Sometimes it’s the carpet on the floor, a sofa, or a tree hut. Secure retreats are also important. People live in a polarity between extraversion and introversion, between contact and connection with other people and being alone with oneself. Not only active and communicative students learn well, also quiet observers and good listeners can make just as good learning processes.
The different learning settings require coordination during the course of the week. In a community, there must be compromises about when to allow time and space for individual needs and projects, and when to allow activities to limit those times so that things can be done together. However, this also corresponds to the lifeworld of all people who live or work in a community.
Interactive technology in classrooms
Children and young people today are growing up as “digital natives”. Progressive digitization is part of everyday life for them, including at school: children learn in computer labs, are taught in tablet classes and continue to practice at home with online programs. But equipping them with notebooks, for example, is not enough if the children then sit individually and isolated in front of their screens.
The learning spaces of the future
The lab structure at UDS shows what such learning spaces look like and how they can be used by teachers and learners. “Staying analog is not an option, even if it means making an effort to become digital. A German saying is: “Getting up is hard, staying seated is a disaster.”