EuroTeQ governance and more

The EuroTeQ management is agile and lean. Its structure is based on equal rights and shared responsibilities. It engages presidents and students, stakeholders in the local eco-systems and from the European level. The governance structure includes the EuroTeQ Presidential Strategy Forum, ensuring long-term strategic alignment and development. The EuroTeQ Management Board is the core body and steers as well as implements the project, supported by the EuroTeQ Secretariat. The EuroTeQ Engineering University Advisory Board engages representatives from European and other transnational organizations. The EuroTeQ Engineering University Local Advisory Boards engage representatives of the local eco-systems. The EuroTeQ Student Council brings together the student representations at each university, they advise the Management Board. For each of the six Work Packages, Working Groups (WGs) are established with strong WP leads and representatives from all Partner Universities.

These three main governing bodies steer and implement the EuroTeQ Engineering University:

Presidential Strategy Forum

The Presidents of the Partner Universities will meet once a year to oversee the strategic alignment of activities and to decide on potential adjustments. They will decide on and endorse the further development of the EuroTeQ long-term Vision and Mission beyond the pilot phase, and ensure the alignment with the individual Partners’ strategies.

Management Board (MB)

The MB will consist of one delegated Dean or Vice-President for Study and Teaching per Partner. Its chair will rotate semi-annually between the members, so that during the three-year project implementation period, each Partner will chair the MB once. The MB will oversee the EuroTeQ Engineering University pilot’s implementation process, and thus be the ultimate decision-making and conflict resolution body. Every Partner University will have one vote and simple majority wins. In case of a tie, the chair will have the final decision. The MB will guarantee the embedment of the European Values into every subset of the project.

EuroTeQ Secretariat

The Secretariat is the project management office, consisting of a project manager at the coordinating university TUM, and one designated staff member at each Partner University that collaborate virtually. It will coordinate the overall implementation in close collaboration with the WP leads. The Secretariat will coordinate the WP leaders and report to the MB on a quarterly basis. It will be in charge of establishing and overseeing risk management, relying on a careful observation of risk indicators (see section 3.2.3).

Advisory Board (AB)

To bring the Knowledge Square alive, an AB will be created. It works as a corrective and supervisory body, ensuring that the external perspectives of stakeholders from industry and society including European students’ organisations are well reflected in the activities of EuroTeQ Engineering University. Twice a year, it receives progress reports and meets with the MB. It advises the MB, and serves as a measure of quality control.


Local Advisory Boards (LAB)

Each Partner University establishes a LAB, with representatives from the local associated partners and local student organisations. The LAB mirrors the respective eco-system and actively involves the perspectives from stakeholders and associated partners into the co-creation process.


Work Package Leaders

Each WP is led by one of the Partners of EuroTeQ Engineering University. The WP leaders are responsible for the implementation and reporting of progress. All WP leaders report to the Secretariat on a quarterly basis. They will be the key persons in identifying delays, problems, conflicts or other complexities while implementing activities that may cause delay or adjustments.


Working Groups (WGs)

For each of the WPs, a WG will be created to foster the cooperation and co-creation between the Partner Universities. The WGs are chaired by the WP leaders, who report to the MB on a quarterly basis.

Our alliance is very fortunate to have an engaged, knowledgeable and very active Management Board. The Vice Presidents for Education of all universities have a very good standing within their institution, engage directly with the presidential level, have a lot of knowledge on the learning and teaching practices at each university and have become very devoted to the project over time. Over the course of the first project phase (2020-2023), the group has stayed the same, which has a great benefit to their trusted work environment and conflict resolution.

The Secretariat similarly has had few personnel changes, and the group has greatly bonded over the project time span. At the beginning of working together, they joined an intercultural communication seminar, which has helped them to to become sensitive to different work ethics, define the ways they wanted to communicate with each other and give feedback. This workshop has tremendously helped kick-start the project and the group work among the Secretariat members in the beginning. The Secretariat meets once a week in a virtual setting, but at least once or twice a year in a physical meeting. The physical meeting is together with the Management Board, which also helps foster the connection between these two most relevant bodies in the governance.

The members of the Secretariat and the Management Board work very closely together, which is the best learning to share from the EuroTeQ governance. Additionally, EuroTeQ has decided against setting up the position of a Secretary General, but rather focuses on the equal buy-in of each partner.

This is also shown in the equal distribution of the budget. All work is divided upon all partners with different leads for Work Packages and tasks. TUM is the main project coordinator and thus sends two project managers into the Secretariat, one with an overall outlook for the project steering, and one additional person to represent TUM. The chairmanship dos not rotate, thus ensuring consistent project management at TUM, with equal contributions from each partner.

Something we have not done from the start, but are consistently improving, is to include the Student Council in all relevant matters, such as the development of the Course Catalogue or Collider. The student representations have established good connections with each other, yet they operate not as close to the EuroTeQ Management bodies as they could have. The almost annual change of student representatives has hindered good connections being built. Nevertheless, it is our aim to involve the students deeper into the EuroTeQ governance. A new Charta defining their involvement is currently being developed.

To all Partners, the EuroTeQ Engineering University is an initiative that has the clear intention and potential to forever change our universities. We came prepared to significantly adapt our respective structures and processes and our governance structure has helped us to do that. 

EuroTeQ Governance Structure

Setting-up an Alliance

When we started to think about and plan the cooperation in the EuroTeQ Engineering University, we first clearly defined the purpose of your consortium: Excellent, open and inclusive education that transcends frontiers and addresses the complexity of today’s challenges. A Vision and Mission Statement were produced and aligned with all partners on the highest level, signed by the University Presidents.

In a next step, we outlined specific goals to achieve together, such as building a joint European Campus, developing new formats for challenge-based learning, open our activities to non-traditional learners and promote cultural exchange and a sense of belonging in Europe.

Read our full Vision, Mission and Goals.

EuroTeQ is emerging from the EuroTech Universities Alliance, which already gave us the advantage to have a consortium of partners who had a long track-record of working together. TUM, DTU and TU/e had been partners since 2008 and established a very successful trilateral European Alliance. In 2018 l’X joined the partnership. 

To form a European University under the European Commission’s call in 2019, it was clear to us to build on the existing collaborations and add new partners to our group.  These were Tallinn University of Technology from Estonia and Czech Technical University in Prague from the Czech Republic. 

When selecting those new partners, we (this process was steered by TUM as the lead partner of the consortium) looked at the following parameters: 

Pre-existing connections: Each of our universities has strong ties to other European partner institutions and many connections throughout research projects or the Erasmus+ mobility programs. We looked for overlap in key strategic partners and/or followed recommendations from one partner about a strategic partner they had. Here, of course, it is important to research if these partners are already bound in another alliance. Since we established a consortium at the very beginning of the initiative (2020-2023), our partners were not yet committed in another alliance. In the second funding round (2023-2027), this was already much more difficult, since many universities are involved in alliances now. In addition, it is important to see if these partners are eligible for funding (legal entities in an EU-Member state or countries associated to the Erasmus+ Program.

Academic Excellence: EuroTech and EuroTeQ each is a strategic partnership of leading European universities of science and technology. While EuroTech commits itself in excellence in research, EuroTeQ focusses on excellent education for students and professionals. The idea is to match with partners that are also at the top of these fields and the best technical universities in their countries.  Thus, we looked for universities with strong academic reputations. While not the sole indicator, we considered global and subject-specific rankings from credible sources like QS World University Rankings, Times Higher Education, and Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) to gauge the university’s standing in comparison to other institutions in Europe and within their country.

Then we tried to assess the quality of education, e.g. in the student-to-faculty ratio, where a lower student-to-faculty ratio often indicates smaller class sizes and more personalized attention for students. We looked at teaching excellence through awards, recognition, or initiatives that highlight exceptional teaching practices and commitment to student learning. We wanted our partners to have an international outlook as we do. At the same time, universities that heavily engage in global partnerships and international collaborations often benefit from diverse perspectives and research opportunities. The same goes for a diverse student body, which enhances the overall learning experience and promotes a global perspective among students and staff. 

Our universities take pride in their Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers. It was important to engage partners with a similar focus that also have strong Innovation Hubs that encourage students and faculty to engage in entrepreneurial activities and innovation-driven research. The number of patents and Spin-offs is also a good indicator for culture of innovation. 

Student services for counselling or career opportunities are also to be considered to evaluate the university, as well as its reputation among students, staff and alumni. Reputation surveys help gauge the university’s standing in the academic community.

Geographical Diversity: It was important to us to consider universities from various European countries and regions, to promote diversity and reflect on the differences of (university) cultures in Europe. A wide geographical coverage and balance was also a selection criteria of the European Universities Initiative. Important to EuroTeQ was foremost that the new partner universities are part of a strong ecosystem and maintain an intensive exchange with its partners in industry and society.

The environment should be as interesting as possible for students who, for example, want to do an internship with companies or want to build a startup. Especially for our new teaching format, the EuroTeQ Collider, strong cooperation with representatives from industry, engineering associations or other social stakeholders should be a given. Thus, we assessed the university’s involvement in partnerships with local industry and organizations, as well as community service and outreach programs.

CTU in Prague and TalTech in Tallinn fit these criteria perfectly and brought in new impulses from interesting European capitals and new regions of Northern and Eastern Europe.

Compatibility: We needed to ensure that potential partners share a similar vision. Thus, we initiated calls with either their Presidents or Vice-presidents for Education, to see if they align with our ambitious mission and goals and were ready to invest. EuroTeQ is enabling a true transformation process of universities, opening learning paths to new stakeholders, and investing in digitalization and harmonization of campus management systems. Partners needed to be ready to take these steps and possibly overcome local hurdles.  

Complementary Strengths: While we wanted partners that are similar to us (see above), it was also important to have partners that complement our institutions’ strengths. In 2023, we will enlarge our group by two new partners, HEC Paris and IESE Business School in Barcelona. At this point, it was important to us to expand our alliance in such a way that we really have a new added value through the partners. Therefore, the choice fell on two prestigious business schools that will support us from November 2023 on. The management schools are significantly different as an institution than the technical universities that have defined the alliance to date. It will therefore definitely be a challenge to integrate them in the best possible way. However, they are also expected to contribute their expertise in a targeted manner and will not necessarily be involved in all areas. The experience of working with new partners will be presented here in the future, as the second project phase is still at its very beginning.

The European Universities Initiative has limited funding resources. The first funding period was three years (2020-2023) and the second one is four years (2023-2027). From the beginning it was clear to us that we wanted this cooperation to last much longer and truly reform our universities, which is not possible in a short time span, and not possible with only investing external project resources.

Thus, we developed a long-term vision for the consortium from the start, ensuring its sustainability beyond initial projects. All partner universities see the EuroTeQ project as close to their own university strategy. It is time to reform and transform ducational pathways for Europe’s future. We are prepared to considerably adapt our respective structures and processes, especially when further building the interuniversity EuroTeQ Campus.

We also mobilized resources by exploring new funding opportunities. The main source of financial support for the European Universities alliances comes through Erasmus+. In addition, alliances are asked to access national or regional funding schemes, funding for research and innovation as well as any other relevant EU funding resources. Additionally, we explored funding from the university annual budgets, as well as the private sectors, to sustain our collaborative initiatives.

The EuroTeQ Engineering University builds on the mature structures, substantial collaboration experiences and pooled resources. Four of the eight Partners have engaged in multilateral, in-depth and trustful cooperation for years, implementing projects, taking up EU funding and running a joint office in Brussels. CTU, TalTech and now also HEC and IESE bring in fresh perspectives and expertise that enrich the consortium. Furthermore, EPFL and IP Paris (both partner in EuroTech) will be fully associated to the EuroTeQ perspective. The EuroTeQ Engineering University builds and nurtures a sustainable, financially viable alliance for the long term.

In our experiences, building a consortium takes time, effort, and dedication from all involved parties. Be prepared for challenges and be adaptable in your approach to overcome them. Collaboration and a shared vision will be the cornerstone of your consortium’s success. To build trust, good communication and transparency are key.  Maintain regular, open communication channels and be transparent about the consortium’s progress, challenges, and decisions. Foster trust among member institutions by respecting their opinions and valuing their contributions.

In EuroTeQ, we have a lead university, TUM, where the project management is hosted. However, we treat each partners equally and share the responsibility and the workload equally across partners. The same principle is reflected in the budget, which is also distributed evenly across the partners. We work on a basis of discussion and compromises, always aiming to reach the same goal. We accept institutional differences (e.g. size, legal frameworks, academic calendars) and cultures (hierarchies, student involvement, autonomy of faculty, etc.). We encourage colleagues to travel, meet their counterparts in person and get to know the other university (e.g. through Erasmus+ staff exchanges), as personal contacts are essential to build a trust-based relationship.