On Friday, February 5th, the members of the International University Network in Technical Communication met online for the second time. A great attendance rate confirmed the need for further information exchange between universities across the globe: The network, which was only founded in November, already has 72 participants from 21 countries, most of them representing universities, others representing companies. Almost half of its current members attended the online meeting on February 5th.
After a short introduction, each participant had the choice to join the debate in either of the three breakout session: industry projects, curriculum developments, and the industry’s qualification requirements. After these one-hour discussions, the summaries of each breakout session were reported in the plenary session: We learned, for example, about an exciting cooperation between Germany and a university in Kenya to establish a program in technical communication, and about a terminology project at a Hungarian university. One of the important questions discussed in the session on curricula regarded what content needs to be taught in order to stay up-to-date and how to test competencies using modern methods. The session on training requirements in the industry resulted in the conclusion that in the future activities in technical communication will shift away from writing, towards the management of intelligent information, digitalization and automation.
In addition to the exchange in the network, participants are working towards implementing specific cooperations such as strategic partnership projects. Some international collaboration in teaching already exists, for example between German and Romanian institutes, and the network would like to see these expanded. As more and more university content becomes available online, this will enable better joint international programs. As an example, a series of lectures given by different European university teachers was considered.
The International University Network in Technical Communication is an initiative of the International Advisory Board for Professional Development and Training. We are pleased to have recruited Dr. Yvonne Cleary from the University of Limerick who is leading the project. Dr. Tiziana Sicillia, member of the Board of tekom Europe and president of Com&Tec, the Italian Association for Technical Communication, is also involved in the organization of the network meetings and actively supports the project.
The International University Network in Technical Communication is a spin-off from the Erasmus Plus funded project TecCOMFrame. In the project, an international consortium of universities offering programs in technical communication has developed a competence framework for academic teaching as well as prototype curricula for various programs and degrees.
In conclusion to the meeting, the international Advisory Board will now discuss what further platforms the International University Network in Technical Communication needs, for example to establish further projects. The date and agenda of the next online meeting will be scheduled soon. We, the Advisory Board and the Executive Board of tekom- Europe, are happy to welcome new participants to take part in this free initiative by tekom-Europe.
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