Resolution of the Romanian Alliance of Technical Universities (ARUT)
The Technical University of Cluj-Napoca (UTCN) was the host of the meeting of the representatives of higher education institutions that are members of the Romanian Alliance of Technical Universities (ARUT), an alliance made up of the five traditional universities of technical education, namely the Politehnica University of Bucharest, the Technical University “Gheorghe Asachi” from Iași, the “Politehnica” University from Timișoara, the Technical University from Cluj-Napoca and the Technical University of Constructions Bucharest. Through the profile of the partner universities, ARUT represents today, at the national level, the interests of over 80,000 students from the branch of engineering sciences, being the largest trainer and supplier of highly qualified human resources in priority fields of the Romanian economy. A wide and diverse range of topical and strategic specializations are covered, such as computer science, industrial automation, robotics, microelectronics, electric vehicles, renewable energies, flexible manufacturing systems, smart buildings, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, blockchain and many others new technologies that preface this century of high-tech.
The conclusions and proposals agreed by the ARUT representatives following the meeting in Cluj-Napoca are summarized as follows:
- Taking into account the major importance of engineering sciences in strategic development sectors of the national economy, ARUT considers it necessary for all decision-makers to adopt a set of measures to support and encourage the orientation of young people towards higher technical education, as well as to increase the number of budgeted places allocated to universities with these fields. The need for engineers on the labor market is supported by the constant, ever-increasing requests from all employers, the employability rate in this field being over 85%.
- The development of competitiveness and attractiveness in the field of engineering sciences is only possible by ensuring adequate funding for all levels of university studies: bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate. In this regard, we ask the decision-makers to increase the funding per student for all specializations in the field of engineering, taking into account the increased specific costs associated with professional training: the implementation of applications with small groups of students, the need for specific infrastructure (equipment, installations and laboratory instrumentation correlated with the accelerated process of technological development, the very varied range of electronic, electrical, mechanical components, various materials, consumables, substances), electricity consumption, as well as the need for specialized auxiliary teaching staff (laboratorians, technicians, system engineers, etc.).
- In order to offer and ensure Romania a sustainable development in accordance with new trends and technologies, ARUT requests all decision-makers to urgently adopt a set of measures to stimulate and support education in the fields of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). This approach is unanimously shared at the European level through the policies and programs launched. In this sense, ARUT requests the Ministry of Education to support universities that contribute to the development of the STEM field through an additional financial allocation of at least 50%, which ensures their alignment with new technologies.
- In order to stimulate and encourage teaching staff and young researchers from partner universities, ARUT launches a set of scientific research programs, addressed to them, with full funding from its own revenues. This measure was decided in the context where young people’s access to national research and development competitions, characterized by an extremely small number of dedicated calls and with a low success rate is drastically limited and amputates any perspective of personal development in this sense.
- ARUT member universities are strongly oriented towards strengthening the international dimension, being actively involved in the development of the European Higher Education and Research Area. Thus, ARUT is the only consortium of universities in Romania in which all members are part of European university-type alliances: EU_CONEXUS Plus, INGENIUM, EUT+, E3UDRES2 and EELISA, which proves the international recognition as elite universities and the good correlation of the system of Romanian and European higher technical education. ARUT requests the Ministry of Education to continue supporting these transnational European university-type alliances, for the development and implementation in good conditions of all planned actions, in order to increase the level of quality, performance, attractiveness and international competitiveness.
- ARUT supports the principles of gender equality, diversity and inclusion as an academic community, in accordance with the demands of the economic and social environment, through innovative, inter and transdisciplinary approaches, subsumed into the knowledge process. Joining the “Women in Tech” project, supported by the European Commission, assumes the involvement of women in improving the technological and industrial ecosystem, in the academic environment, in the public and private sectors, to build networks that allow women to find the best place for their technological skills.
- ARUT encourages the development of entrepreneurial spirit among students in order to develop important skills such as innovation, problem solving and risk taking. The establishment of Startups and Spinoffs by students within universities promotes innovation and stimulates economic development in the community, the growth and success of local businesses and industries In order to align with European policies in the field of research and innovation, ARUT decided to change the name of the consortium from “Romanian Alliance of Technical Universities – ARUT” to “Romanian Alliance of Universities of Science and Technology – ARUST”. It will become operational after updating the articles of incorporation.