Higher education has a crucial role to play in educating the generations who will be the leaders of the future. The European Commission is able to contribute to the effort to overcome such challenges through its funding of tailored Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees.
These programmes are offered by a consortium of universities and other stakeholders from different countries. Each year the European Commission selects new Joint Master’s programmes for Erasmus Mundus status, and funds scholarships for the best students applying.
All the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degrees attach great importance to the employability of their graduates. The consortia - with partners from inside and outside the world of academia - therefore assemble the right mix of academic, technical and practical expertise and experience to prepare the students for the world of work.
Of the 100 Master’s Degrees currently receiving funding from the Erasmus+ programme, five focus specifically on the topic of sustainability. They include better agricultural management in the Plant Health in Sustainable Cropping Systems; the Extended Sustainable Territorial Development degree that involves partners from a range of countries including Italy, Belgium, Brazil and Burkina Faso; and the Pervasive Computing & Communications for Sustainable Development Master that focuses on the use of new technologies in monitoring the environment and reducing pollution and waste.
The Master’s programmes have a long-term perspective, not only teaching students the skills they will need to be successful graduates today, but equipping them with the tools they will need to ensure sustainable operations in the future.
‘The objective down the line is to establish a global network of EM3E4SW graduates with responsibilities and functions in universities and companies,’ explained Andre Ayral, Coordinator of the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Membrane Engineering for a Sustainable World. The course teaches students how to apply membrane technologies in areas such as reclaimed water, renewable energy and nanoscience.
University consortia work closely with industry to ensure they are up-to date with the latest methods ensuring their students will be internationally competitive with a wealth of useful practical experience.
‘We have a wide partnership including global companies in the energy and transportation sectors as associate members,’ said Lorenzo Sanchez, Project Officer for the Sustainable Transportation and Electrical Power Systems Master’s (STEPS). ‘Students take varying paths after the course, including working for well-respected brands such as Tesla and General Electric, or continuing to pursue academia by beginning a doctorate programme.’
STEPS has been designed to master new energy sources, to reduce CO2 emissions and to gradually incorporate electrical transportation as an alternative to vehicles using combustion engines.
More information on the Erasmus Mundus Joint Master Degree in Membrane Engineering for a Sustainable World and the STEPS project is available on Erasmus+ Project Results, the platform containing key information on all projects funded through Erasmus+.