In the context of globalization and the knowledge society, lifelong learning is being adopted in the EU as a key political, societal and educational organizing principle for the 21st century. The proposed project aims to develop new approaches to strengthen the education of prospective students and practicing academics through knowledge transfer supporting the promotion of high-quality teaching, training and learning. It also supports innovative ideas from teaching staffs and students to widen the knowledge and skills of project participants and target groups towards sustainability both in continuing education and in the development of the rehabilitation of the built environment.
Europe has valuable tradition and leading recognition in building industry and an heritage of irreplaceable monuments without price, which needs to be preserved and rehabilitated. In the current global building industry, where enterprises' sustainability and employability are uncertain, the need for making education, research and business to work through knowledge transfer becomes a necessity. Although the building companies have been affected by severe economical crisis all over the Europe in our days, a civil engineer is not only a designer, planner or constructor, but also a producer, a decision-maker and most probably a leader. Therefore, he needs an active and constant engagement in lifelong learning activities, not only for the benefit of his personal and/or career development, but also because his profession is aiming to serve the modern world in a straightforward and global way. The REBUILT project is an attempt to bring together in a concise way and from within a European perspective the basic issues that are relevant to the participation of a professional group to lifelong learning activities: the sustainable rehabilitation of the built environment implemented through knowledge transfer, efficiency and performance in the running post-graduate study programmes of the partner universities. The main goal of this enterprise is to continuing improve and extend the offer of high quality learning opportunities in the Civil and Environmental Engineering sectors.
One of the most challenging issues along the provision of lifelong learning to civil engineers is the design and implementation of teaching and learning methods. The change in technologies, tools, resources and methods rests above all due to the rapid development of building materials, technologies and concepts related to green environment and urbanism, interdisciplinary sciences between civil engineering and environment engineering. In this context, the Civil Engineering faculties need to make strategical changing by adding value to their study programmes, coming from knowledge transfer and innovative thinking in new attractive post-graduate study programmes implemented in the running graduate programmes of each faculty.
The post-graduate study programme that RE-BUILT project is proposing promotes the integration of sustainable rehabilitation of the built environment in civil engineering education as a vital implementation of knowledge transfer from academics to students as well as between different European faculties of Civil Engineering. In this context, 8 partner universities from different countries are involved in the RE-BUILT transnational project, which generates a network of high level competences in the Civil Engineering area. The partner universities have been selected in order to meet at least two of the following three criteria: 1) a long tradition in internationalization activities; 2) a high number of students that will primarily benefit from the project results in their studies; 3) specific competences in the area of sustainable rehabilitation in Civil Engineering. Moreover, these universities are located in different countries, covering different geographic and cultural areas of Europe. All partner universities have the internationalization as a strategic priority, and some of them already have Master courses taught in English, with a very high quality level of education. Furthermore, the partner universities have a long tradition in working together in different areas of Civil Engineering, as documented by the projects funded by the European Community where the partners are often involved. The sense that the RE-BUILT consortium gives to the long term objective of achieving a more sustainable and safer built environment is reached through the knowledge transfer implemented in a new post-graduate study programme.
The project promotes innovative methods and pedagogies, develop learning tools, proposes to increase the quality and relevance of students' knowledge and skills by promoting student-centered approaches strengthening the connection between universities and employers or social enterprises and through a better use of computer technology, promoting recognition as well as transparency and comparability of qualifications and learning outcomes.