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12. September 2022

Pushing the Boundaries of Higher Education through Third Mission, ACEEU is working on it!

ACEEU presents the value of Universities' Third Mission

ACEEU is honoured to have hosted a one-week training workshop for the projects U-SIA "University to Society Innomediaries in Albania: Co-Production of knowledge and research that matters” . ACEEU designed the event by combining discussions, workshops, and on-site visits.
Participants learnt about the third mission of universities from ACEEU’s practical experiences and discussed with several stakeholders how to cooperate with industries in order to build students’ entrepreneurial spirit.

The event was opened by Lina Landinez , CEO of ACEEU, who welcomed everyone and briefly introduced ACEEU’s mission and its accreditation experience in different countries in the world. Following, Hugo Buitrago , International Project and Accreditation Expert at ACEEU, presented ACEEU’s approach to promote, evaluate and celebrate excellence on the Third Mission of Universities through its institutional and divisional accreditations. Hugo’s speech triggered partners’ passion to discuss the engagement of entrepreneurship in universities and share their own experiences and challenges in terms of the involvement of entrepreneurship and the third mission. It was a unique chance for partners to discuss the key-elements to create an entrepreneurial atmosphere in their own universities and institutions.
The following workshop was presented by ACEEU’s Executive Manager Adisa Ejubovic, who challenged participants to find a solution to real-life issues usually faced by higher education institutions. The workshop highly valued participants’ interaction, everyone was highly engaged and contributed to the discussion. The workshop had a significant impact on leading each partner to think deeply about their struggles and solutions.

ACEEU combines theory and practice

On the second day of the training, participants were invited to an on-site tour at REACH -EUREGIO Start-up Center headquarter in Münster. ACEEU invited Rolf Laakmann, a Member of the management team at TAFH Münster GmbH (the Transfer Agency of the Münster University of Applied Sciences), as a guest speaker to share his experience in terms of entrepreneurship and high education. Prof. Dr. David Bendig, head of the institute for entrepreneurship at the University of Münster and executive board member at REACH-EUREGIO Startup Center, introduced how REACH supports students to convert their inspiration into a real career. It was definitely an added value to the one-week workshop as participants had the chance to meet young entrepreneurs and see how they transform their business ideas into career-paths with the help of REACH. Eventually, participants were able to visit the Reach Center and to have deep conversations about the entrepreneurial support structures Ecosystem in North Rheine-Westphalia.

ACEEU's Toolkit and AI: a winning combination

The last day of the workshop was intense but very practical. Olimpia Fumo  and Federica Casaccio, Accreditation experts and Project Officers at ACEEU, led the first workshop introducing ACEEU Toolkit and Framework for entrepreneurial universities. Participants used ACEEU tools to discuss their approaches and strategies to promote entrepreneurship in their universities. They had the opportunity to present their canvas and to learn from one another how to foster entrepreneurial partnerships with the stakeholders in their ecosystem. ACEEU’s framework offered a method foundation to develop applicable solutions to the challenges faced by the participants in their universities. The workshop offered an inspiring platform for partners to exchange ideas and share their opinions.
At the end of the workshop, all partners transferred to the Digital Hub start-up incubation, where Sebastian Köffer, CEO of Digital Hub münster LAND  (Digital Hub and FabLab) shared his experience of his business and challenges. Project partners were also encouraged to experiment with VR technology, 3D printer, and robot offered at the Hub.
All partners were amazed to learn how technology brings creative minds and benefits students in developing their entrepreneurial spirit.

Overall, the one-week workshop was a great success. All partners were highly engaged in every session of the workshop where they shared opinions and inputs on entrepreneurship and how universities can help students to build their entrepreneurial mindset.
As Thorsten Kliewe , ACEEU Chair, stated during the workshop: “what matters is not the number of patents or publications: It should be the great impact and the real usefulness of people’s work that matters.”

ACEEU believes that USIA’s workshop in Münster was illuminating. It will definitely leave a deep and positive impact on pushing the boundaries of higher education through the third mission.