In the spring semester of 2021/2022, VILNIUS TECH, the first among the ATHENA European University Alliance partners, organised 3 ECTS “Smart Community” Erasmus+ Blended Intensive Programme (BIP) for the students of the Alliance. The programme initiated by the VILNIUS TECH International Relations Office was prepared and jointly implemented by Assoc. Prof. Dr Skirmantė Mozūriūnaitė.
The programme provides students with a basic understanding of the Smart Community and Smart city, the digital technologies, data and innovations they use to make life easier for citizens. Students during the programme develop the skills to identify and define the topic-related issue, formulate the objectives, goals and hypothesise, collect and analyse data, summarise the results, and interpret them in developing conclusions and design. Students may also approach the preferential target groups, their features, preferences, and hands-on work.
Intensive BIP combined one week of short-term physical mobility (lectures, group work, and social-cultural activities) to VILNIUS TECH with a one-week virtual component. This new form of Erasmus+ mobility is attractive to students as it allows them to cover the relevant topic in a short time, present their ideas, and gain new group work, networking and intercultural experience.
“Smart Community” BIP was attended by 23 (including five VILNIUS TECH) students of all study levels from the ATHENA Alliance and other universities worldwide. They discussed the smart community and defined its characteristics, values and vision (“We are smart alone, we are brilliant together”). In addition, students created an action plan defining smart planning, economics, energy, etc. During the course, a lot of practical tasks were carried out: filling in Miro boards, preparing presentations and participating in workshops.
The first experience of organising the “Smart Community” programme was very successful and received favourable feedback from students:
„The Blended intensive programme was an amazing experience. I think we could learn all about the topic of “Smart Communities” and the culture of the other participants. We heard lectures about every different kind of view about smart cities by professors all over the world“ – Nikolai Paul Reifenrath from Siegen University in Germany.
„It has been a pleasure to get to know people from different parts of the world who have the same goal as you: to make the world a better place. A special thanks to the guest lecturers. It was great to hear the thoughts of people who are working on implementing all those ideas of a smart city in reality!“ – Anna Prokhorenko from VILNIUS TECH in Lithuania.
VILNIUS TECH is planning to organise a follow-up course in the spring semester next year.
Lecture recordings are available on ATHENA European University YouTube channel: