UNITECH International Society

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UNITECH International is a non-profit organization based in Zurich, Switzerland. Its aim, together with leading European universities and companies, is to prepare qualified engineering students for their professional future. Or as it is formulated in the core values statement: “UNITECH is a community that connects corporate and academic talent to develop technical students across borders and cultures to jointly face tomorrow‘s business challenges”. At the core of UNITECH activities is an exchange period for students at a university abroad with management-oriented courses as well as an internship with one of the Corporate Partners. The year is completed with the three UNITECH Joint Modules and focuses on the acquisition of specific business know-how, social competence and the capacity for multicultural understanding. This combination of practical experience, the Joint Modules and study abroad is unique in Europe.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Difficulty in finding new staff with a high level of specialist knowledge as well as social competence prompted the Liechtenstein-based company Hilti to contact the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) in 1998. Joint discussions led to the idea of a selective international exchange program for engineering students. However, it quickly became clear that further partners would be needed for this undertaking. Through the involvement of senior-level personalities and the use of existing channels, the search resulted in the joining together of accredited European universities and companies. Full and open discussions about the nature and structure of the programme led to shared trust and agreements. By 2000, the way was paved for the foundation of an international association, which became a reality in Como on 1 September 2000. Its name: UNITECH International. On 6 September 2002, the first UNITECH graduation ceremony was held in the Coronation Hall of the Town Hall of Aachen, Germany. At this occasion, under the Patronage of Mr Romano Prodi Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission, the first UNITECH graduates received their diploma.

Philosophy[edit]

From the very beginning, the initiators of UNITECH International planned a selective program for qualified engineering students with a limited number of universities and companies involved. Compared with other programs, the UNITECH approach has clear advantages:

  • common aims and visions of the participating universities and companies
  • mutual trust in one another and a high level of co-operation of all parties involved
  • rigorous selection in the admission of participants (full-day Assessment Center)
  • unique combination of academic theory and practice abroad with a focus on management and business training
  • working experience with Corporate Partners through international internships
  • three joint-training modules for all students, each with a strong “networking” nature
  • upon completion of the program and the master’s degree at the home university, the student graduates and may carry the title of UNITECH fellow
  • a very active and vibrant UNITECH Alumni Association to carry the UNITECH experience beyond the first year.

The long-term goals[edit]

The aim of UNITECH over the next few years is healthy growth together with a focused extension of the programme’s content, elements and partners. The long-term goal in terms of involved parties is eight to ten universities, possibly including an Eastern-European university, 30 corporate partners and maximum 100 students a year. All the parties should continue to maintain a lively exchange of ideas. Lastly, a great deal of attention is paid to strengthening the UNITECH Alumni Association. Participants in the UNITECH program benefit from a powerful network which is useful throughout their career.

Facts & Figures[edit]

General[edit]

  • Type of organisation: Society
  • Date of foundation: 1 September 2000
  • President: Karin Markides, President of Chalmers University of Technology
  • Secretary General / Executive Director: Mr. David J. Ward
  • Programme Manager: Ms. Natalie Aeschbach-Jones
  • Students enrolled in the programme: 84 (2014/2015)
  • UNITECH Fellows(diploma recipients): 485
  • Members of the UNITECH Alumni Association: ± 400
  • Universities involved: 8
  • Companies involved: 20

Corporate Partners[edit]

For a list of the current Corporate Partners please go to:

Academic Partners[edit]

External links[edit]