This week at the 33rd EURASHE Annual Conference, the UNESCO Chairholder for Strategic Foresight and Higher Education, Dr. Ahmed Samy, launched an exciting new initiative to establish an excellence framework with and for Applied Higher Education worldwide called “Applied EdX”. A group of applied universities will co-create Applied EdX to be piloted in 2025. The UNESCO Chair is hosted by the Higher Colleges of Technology, the largest applied higher education institution in the United Arab Emirates.  

EURASHE is pleased to be a partner and some of its members will take part in the co-creation phase, which will be kicked off in the coming weeks. The EURASHE Board considers this UNESCO Chair Programme as a key step in the Association’s recent outreach to applied universities beyond Europe.  

Dr. Samy announced the initiative to more than 200 delegates at St. Pölten University of Applied Science in Austria and invited the EURASHE Community to contribute to a common purpose to boost excellence in applied universities, and thereby increasing their profile on a global scale. The launch was followed by a panel discussion on transnational cooperation outside the European Higher Education Area, in which Dr. Samy was joined by Dr. David Ross, CEO of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and Dr. Preeti Nair, Director of the Centre for International Relations at Parul University in India. Dr. Hilligje van t’Land, Secretary General of the International Association of Universities chaired the panel and commended the efforts of applied universities to work together internationally.  

Dr. Samy said “I am thrilled to be here among so many ambitious applied universities in Europe and beyond to launch the network for the UNESCO Chair Programme and thank EURASHE for joining this international coalition for excellence”. 

Prof. Hannes Raffaseder, President of EURASHE and CEO of St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences welcomed Dr. Samy and thanked him for choosing the EURASHE Annual Conference to launch the network. He said “EURASHE wants to take an active role in developing Applied EdX excellence framework and in the success of the UNESCO Chair programme overall. Despite our national differences we have remarkably similar profiles and objectives, so I would echo the slogan of this year’s Conference, which makes clear that we are Stronger Together”.