Loughborough University, UK

Co-ordinating Academic Partner

Loughborough University is a research intensive university with an international track record as a leading provider of doctoral education for PhD and the Professional Doctorate. PhD routes include the conventional thesis plus pioneering approaches to the award of PhDs through Practice-based, Creative Writing and by Publication.

The University has developed a community of approximately 1300 doctoral students across its Campuses in Loughborough and London who are attached to over 100 research centres, groups and institutes. All research students at Loughborough belong to the Loughborough Doctoral College in addition to their own School or Department. The Doctoral College is a stand-alone department with a highly dedicated team who support doctoral researchers across both the Loughborough and London campuses. The Doctoral College supports academic schools in the administration of doctoral activities and provides additional learning opportunities in areas such as research governance/organisation, project management, communication and the development of interpersonal skills such as networking and relationship building.

In the UKs first audit of higher education using the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Loughborough, along with five other top ten UK universities, was awarded Gold, which ‘recognises institutions that deliver consistently outstanding teaching, learning and outcomes for its students.

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Aalto University, Finland

Academic Partner

Aalto University, located in Espoo, Finland, was founded by merging three leading Finnish universities in the fields of technology and engineering, business, and art and design in 2010. By bringing science, business, and art together, the university intends to build a multidisciplinary and collaborative culture for education and research. Sustainability and socially aware initiatives are central values to the university's ambitions and identity.

The School of Arts, Design and Architecture has become part of Aalto University in 2012 (formerly known as University of Art and Design Helsinki). Aalto School of Arts, Design and Architecture has become an important institution in higher education for design, fashion, games, media, architecture, film, art education and art. The students are educated to become environmentally, culturally, and socially aware professionals. The areas of research include art education, design and design thinking, practice-led research, research for sustainability, digital media and visual culture, urban planning, and architecture. Aalto was ranked as the #6 university in Art and Design by QS in 2021 and the school celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2021.

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Sapienza Design Research, Sapienza Università di Roma, Italy

Academic Partner

Sapienza Design Research is the first Interdepartmental Center in Italy focused on Design-Driven Innovation, connecting many different scientific fields, from computer science to mechanical engineering, to fashion studies, to marketing, to user experience, and more. With a rich portfolio of research at the national, European and international level, the mission of SDR Interdepartmental Center is to develop interdisciplinary design research and experimentation projects to foster technological and social innovation, while collaborating with industry, governmental institutions and the third sector, for the development of products, services and systems.

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Middle East Technical University, Turkey

Academic Partner

The Department of Industrial Design, located in the Faculty of Architecture at Middle East Technical University, is one of the most significant and influential providers of industrial design education and research in Turkey. The very first industrial design course in Turkey was offered at METU over fifty years ago. Over the intervening years, the Department has educated approximately 1500 undergraduates, the largest cohort of industrial design students in Turkey, and currently has around 350 undergraduates enrolled across four years of study. Its Master of Science thesis-based programme commenced in fall 1997 (over 200 alumni), whilst its PhD program commenced in spring 2004 (over 40 alumni). The Department is a long-standing member of the World Design Organisation (WDO, formerly ICSID) and is recognised internationally as the “7th Best Design School in Americas and Europe” by Red Dot Design Rankings (2019). Graduates have received many Red Dot, iF, Design Turkey and other design awards.

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ATiT, Belgium

Company Partner

ATiT is an audio-visual and information technologies company specialising in the integration of ICT in the educational and cultural sectors. Based in Belgium where it is registered as a company (bvba) since 1999, ATiT operates with a small full-time staff and a network of associates in different parts of Europe and the world. The main focus of ATiT's work lies in the effective integration of ICT tools and services including social media in the education and training sectors and ATiT staff offer project management, technology integration and consultancy services to a variety of clients, partners, companies, and agencies in Belgium as well as around the world including the European Commission, DFID, ESA, the Open University of the Netherlands, the World Bank, and governments in all parts of the world. The ATiT team provide training programmes whereby potential users of technology for pedagogical purposes have successfully made the transition to a technology-supported environment with a specific focus on video, multimedia, and social media. ATiT staff also provide a range of dissemination services from dissemination planning through to delivery of online and offline dissemination support including website design, video production, production of print and other PR materials and event management. ATiT staff have been involved in cross-border collaborative projects in the field of education innovation for over 20 years. They have a particular experience in the design and delivery of goal-driven high-quality evaluation schemes which include both formative and summative assessment.

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