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Board of European Students of Technology Educational Involvement Booklet Celebrating 25 years of BEST

All of the activities that are mentioned throughout this publication are coordinated by the Educational Committee of BEST.

This is a body in BEST of around 40 motivated students helping to give their colleagues the chance to contribute to higher education in Europe.

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Foreword About BEST What our partners say about us BEST Courses BEST Engineering Competitions European Educational Involvement Topics of interest in European Engineering Education List of Events on Education Conferences End note Credits

Foreword from the President Dear reader, Welcome to the marvelous world of European engineering education! Eighteen years ago, Board of European Students of Technology (BEST) had the aim “to represent European students of technology in the matters concerning students”. Therefore, the first initiative was joining the Higher engineering education in Europe (H3E) thematic network which was started together with SEFI and CESEAR. Ever since, our organisation has been ambitious, actively taking part in facilitating discussions about educational matters and disseminating its’ results to other interested stakeholders. In the light of the efforts to make students heard in the educational platforms, the Educational Committee of BEST was created and since then, it has managed to foster good relations between students, teachers and companies resulting in having relevant outcomes which have had an impact on engineering education.Through the years, we have participated in various conferences and have written papers on european engineering education topics, and thus made the students’ voice heard.

Mihai Tociu President XXVI International Board of BEST


I would like to take this time to thank our partners and BEST members who believe in making a change and supported our organisation and our initiatives in any way possible. This publication will give you an overview of the current and previous work done by BEST regarding educational matters, the cooperations we had with various higher educational institutions, events we organised and much more. I hope you have an enlightening read and that this publication will trigger you on the importance of students’ contribution towards European Engineering Education.

Board of European Students of Techology

Board of European Students of Technology (BEST) is a non-profit, non-representative and non-political student organisation aiming to provide communication, cooperation and exchange possibilities for students of technology since 1989. BEST grows out of the free will of its members to move forward, representing only the voice of its members: European students of technology. BEST reaches over 1 million students in more than 33 countries with the help of LBGs (Local BEST Groups). We strive to help students learn in new and more non-formal ways and to become more internationally-minded by introducing them to cultures around Europe. We do this by organising academical courses, engineering competitions, educational symposia and leisure events. We believe in our services because they offer a new way of understanding the world around us and provide us with the opportunity to learn and develop in ways that would not be possible in an average auditorium. Students are given the chance to set aside cultural, national and language borders and interact with other like-minded students of

About BEST


We believe in our services because they offer a new way of understanding the world around us...

technology, exchange valuable information and have fun while learning. As members of BEST, we value the ongoing interaction between our members on a daily basis and truly believe in complementary education as a necessity in higher education. The students learn continuously, are able to put their ideas into practice and receive feedback from professors, industry and fellow students.


More specifically, at Events on Education it has been proven several times in the past that students of technology have a voice and want to be heard. BEST is more than fun and learning; it is life-changing. Educational Involvement Booklet


What our Partners say about us “Well-organised, very knowledgeable, ready to engage, making clear points, but also prepared to make compromises... just a few characteristics how I got to know BEST, as an organisation, and especially the students, the human capital of BEST.” “SEFI and BEST are two neutral twins, and I hope we can share our lives together to the benefit of both our organisations. Although people are coming and going - it was and still is my pleasure working with the young ‘potentials’ of BEST. Looking forward to continue along those lines!”


Board of European Students of Techology

Prof. dr. ir. Wim Van Petegem SEFI President

Gabriele Eschig Secretary General of the Austrian Commission for UNESCO

“Board of European Students of Technology: Enthusiastic students, taking action to improving the education and thriving for a more liveable world for future generations. The BEST Event on Education “Education for Sustainable Development: Fostering the Revolution of Society” was a marvellous initiative to encourage young people to deal with Education for Sustainable Development in their own university environment. The views, ideas and suggestions articulated in various discussions led to a set of ambitious recommendations giving responsibilities to students, universities and policy makers alike. It was impressive to see the professionalism of the organisation team and the creativity of the participants which made the cooperation with BEST Vienna a joyful and memorable experience for everybody involved. I am sure that young people throughout Europe could be encouraged to get involved in shaping education.”

Mariet Vriens PROVIP Project Coordinator Staff member at Academic Development in Teaching and Learning Department, KU Leuven

“For the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, BEST has been a highly appreciated partner in European Commission funded projects for many years. Currently BEST is partner in the project PROVIP (Promoting Virtual Placements) led by KU Leuven. The PROVIP project is aimed at disseminating the results of the earlier EU-VIP project (EnterpriseUniversity Virtual Placements), in which BEST also participated, to business and companies. EU-VIP looked into the integration of virtual mobility in international internships. PROVIP wants to create structural international cooperation regarding virtually supported international work placements between higher education institutions and the business world. Concretely this will be realised by developing a collaboration platform. BEST is taken aboard to represent the students’ perspective and to offer its valuable expertise in establishing a sustainable collaboration with companies. In the course of the project two BEST symposia will be organised to gather students’ input and to test out preliminary project results. Based on our earlier experiences, we are sure to receive very useful input from the BEST students to help make this project the next successful collaboration.” Educational Involvement Booklet


BEST Courses


BEST strives to offer courses with a high academic standard.


Courses are the main activity of BEST since 1991. Through courses, BEST provides each year to around 2000 students from 96 BEST Universities in Europe complementary education and international experience.

BEST strives to offer courses with a high academic standard. University professors and experts from every technological industry give lectures that often involve case studies, practical work and visits to companies and institutions. The topics cover most of the technology fields, most importantly being those concerning the modern application of technology and the latest research achievement, economics, marketing


Board of European Students of Techology

and management. In order to demonstrate the knowledge that the students have gained during a course, they take part in an examination and also receive a certificate. Every year there is an increase in the number of BEST Courses that are recognised by universities and students can validate, at their home universities, the ECTS credits received by attending these courses.

BEST Engineering Competitions BEST Engineering Competitions are one of the BEST ways of developing the competences of future engineers. Using creativity, knowledge, social and communication skills, teams of students have to solve a given problem in a limited amount of time. We have different categories for competitions: >> Team Design, where students must apply knowledge in a practical way; >> Case Study, focusing on a more theoretical approach to solve a certain problem; >> Negotiation and Debates, which is aiming to develop the student’s soft skills. Students are offered different types of Engineering Competitions: >> Local EBEC Round: teams must first compete on a local level within their university. >> National or Regional EBEC Round: winners from previous round gather together with other winners of the country or region and compete

for a place in last stage. >> EBEC Final Round: is the most important event, where only the best teams from previous level compete in order to win the title. Together they form a competition pyramid, named as European BEST Engineering Competitions (EBEC). The BEST Courses on Applied Engineering are also a way to achieve the same goals of BEST Competitions. Although not connected with the competition pyramid, these courses are organised as seasonal events, gathering a diverse group of european students over the period of one and two weeks. Students work together as an international team and not as a national or university team during these competitions.

Educational Involvement Booklet



Board of European Students of Techology

European Educational Involvement In BEST we strive to offer students the highest amount of possibilities to express their opinion and talk about their education. As a students’ organisation, we find educational matters very important for us. BEST collaborated with Thematic Networks such as ERABEE, EUGENE and StartPro and currently with educational organisations like SEFI, FEANI, IFEES and UNESCO. BEST members attend conferences organised by our partners in order to be in touch with new methods in engineering education and its improvements as well as to present work done in BEST. Every year BEST organises one or more Events on Education. These 5-6 days long events involve 20-25 students, BEST members and representatives from European educational projects, universities and in some cases representatives from industry. During an Event on Education students take part in discussions

where they have the opportunity to express their ideas on educational matters. The topics vary on different educational issues. They are prepared among the different stakeholders of higher education: students, local and visiting professors, experts, Thematic Networks and companies, with the aim to gather their input about educational issues. After each Event on Education, BEST prepares a report with the outcomes and shares it with our partners and the professors that have participated. Apart from Events on Education, we gather students’ input through surveys. In this way, we reach many students from European universities and get valuable input.

Educational Involvement Booklet


Topics of interest in European Engineering Education and Educational Partners Education is in a continuous process of development. In order to identify and implement the needed changes that will influence future students, the necessary actors have to gather and discuss. BEST is in the first line debating the biggest topics of interest in European Engineering Education, by gathering input from students and communicating it to the right multipliers and the concerned institutions. Study experiences abroad, exchange programmes or virtual placements broaden the horizon and offer different opportunities and perspectives. BEST’s more than 20 years of experience in organising Courses puts us in a great position of providing useful ideas on the topic of mobility and virtual placements. This is why we are now contributing to the PRO-VIP Thematic Network. Efficiency is the key word nowadays and in order to be


Board of European Students of Techology

competitive, everyone and everything has to constantly improve. That’s why we have cooperated with EUGENE Thematic network and to make European Engineering Education more competitive. Moreover, by bringing students, academics and industry together we have discussed student’s employment and contributed to the StartPro Thematic Network The globalised world market nowadays requires more interdisciplinary prepared engineers. BEST members have well-developed soft skills due to their work inside the organisation; an aspect our Corporate Partners highly appreciate. However, are soft skills really that important for engineers? Questions such as these are tackled in a relatively new project: the BEST Educational Platform. The aim is to gather input from students, companies and university representatives on many of these modern day issues.

Is engineering more attractive for males or females? Traditionally engineering has been a male-dominated profession, however BEST is an organisation in the engineering field who aims to change this paradigm. We will therefore fight to prove that women are as suited as men in the engineering field. Many other topics of interest are tackled by BEST: quality, attractiveness, sustainability, alternative teaching methods and industrial involvement in Engineering Education, global engineering recognition and much more. Continuously striving to improve Engineering Education in Europe, BEST is involving students in various events and is gathering their input in order to make their voice heard in European Forums and Conferences. There are several ways in which BEST can gather the students’ impressions and ideas: >> BEST Educational Symposia >> BEST Academics and Companies Forum >> Workshop in BEST General Meetings >> Local Events on Education >> Surveys

Educational Involvement Booklet


BEST Educational Symposia BEST Educational Symposia are one-week events that gather 22-25 students from all over Europe and where the participants discuss and share opinions about topics of high interest in the field of Engineering Education. During these kind of events, university representatives and BEST Educational Partners, are invited to take part in the sessions, together with the students, both as experts and fellow contributors. In order to gather concrete and fruitful outcomes, BEST selects a team responsible for keeping the contact active with partners to create a schedule and also to work on preparations before the event, during it and also for its follow-up to partners. Preparing participants for the Symposia is essential for the success of the event. Therefore, the team responsible for facilitating the sessions during the event prepares and sends a document with topic introductions to guarantee participants are all on the same page regarding the theme to be discussed.


Board of European Students of Techology

Since our members are experienced in holding sessions, various facilitation tools (brainstorming, SWOT Analyses and quadrant diagrams) and techniques such as learning cafÊ, panel discussions with experts on the topic and open space technology are implemented during the event to collect students’ input, according to the purpose of each session. What makes BEST Symposia unique when compared to alternative methods for obtaining students’ opinions on educational matters is the informal environment created by the BEST facilitators and participants of the event, which leads students to feel more open when stating their perspectives.

BEST Academics and Companies Forum

Local Events on Education

BEST Academics and Companies Forum (BACo) are events very similar to the above mentioned Educational symposia. The difference is in the fact that during BACo sessions, industrial representatives are also invited to share their view regarding the educational topics being discussed and this way bringing students, universities and companies closer can be achieved.

Local Events on Education are events organised locally by BEST groups. They vary a lot in their length, number of participants and topics. Usually, these events address issues that are important for the specific university where the organising BEST Group exists and can involve all kinds of stakeholders. Some examples of previous topics discussed are “Innovative Teaching Methods” and “Students Soft-skills development in University”.

Workshop in BEST General Meetings Educational Workshops are events that are usually organised during BEST General Meetings and these workshops involve 15-20 students with the purpose of gaining a deeper knowledge via solving case studies related to Engineering Education. Past examples include topics such as “Education for Sustainable Development” and “Student involvement in Higher Education Institutions”.

Surveys BEST also gathers quantitative data regarding Engineering Education issues through surveys. These can be highly customised and can target different student groups from the BEST network.

Educational Involvement Booklet


List of Events on Education Time & Place


Involved External Bodies


May 2009 Lviv, Ukraine

Take the future in your hand!... Student career guidance, Transition We will live in futureland! (1) between university and business world

Lviv Polytechnic National University

June 2009 Zagreb, Croatia

Time for innovation in Education! Are we superengineers? (1)

Bologna process, Teaching methods, Innovation and creativity, Entrepreneurship Research and development

Bologna Process, University of Zagreb

September 2009, Brno, Czech Republic

Improving Engineering Education? Europe and Canada let’s do it together! (1)

Transatlantic mobility, Research and CFES, SEFI Innovation

July 2010, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Work virtually! Boost your career at student speed! (1)

Creativity and Innovation, Preservation of Knowledge, Knowledge management


August 2010, Sofia, Bulgaria

University is not enough? Cross the bridge to the new world! (2)

Transition period between studies and work, First employment, Women in Engineering

StartPro, Siemens

(1) BEST Symposium on Education (2) BEST Academics and Companies


Board of European Students of Techology

Time & Place


Involved External Bodies


September 2012, Vienna, Austria

Education for Sustainable Development: Fostering the Revolution of Society (1)

Sustainable Urbanization, Sustainable Lifestyles, Cultural Diversity, Poverty Reduction Biodiversity, Disaster Risk Reduction, Climate Change and Energy, Importance of Water

Austrian Commission for UNESCO, Vienna University of Technology, SEFI, OJAB

July 2013, Timisoara, Romania

Bringing Education and Entrepreneurship under Students’ Scope (2)

Virtual Mobility in Internships, Entrepreneurship

PROVIP, Timisoara Startup Hub

July 2013, Madrid, Spain

Next Station, Sustainable Education (1)

Sustainable Lifestyles, Cultural Diversity, Environmental and Educational Coop. Promotion of Sustainability by Scientists, Ecosystem Services and Green Infrastructure, Online Education Resources, Urban Planning

SEFI, UNESCO, Polytechnic University of Madrid, AECID-Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation

September 2013, Aveiro, Portugal

EdYOUcation - Raise you Hand, Make a Change (1)

Accreditation of soft skills in curriculum, Attractiveness of engineering education

University of Aveiro, ATTRACT, PAEE, Ordem dos Engenheiros, SEFI

(1) BEST Symposium on Education (2) BEST Academics and Companies

Educational Involvement Booklet



Board of European Students of Techology

Conferences, Articles and Partner Meetings BEST has been present at several conferences around Europe and, in some occasions, around the world to reach its goals concerning Engineering Education. In some cases, the conferences were attended to represent BEST in a Thematic Network, in others to present articles based on hot-topics in Engineering Education. Other goals have been to network or to present survey results or BEST Events on Education outcomes. Additionally, BEST regularly meets with its educational partners to update the development of its work for a given project. We present below a list of conferences where we were present and how our attendance fulfilled our role in the dissemination of educational matters from a student’s perspective to a more international platform. Educational Involvement Booklet


Time & Place May 2009, St. Petersburg, Russia



IFEES Global Education Summit

July 2009, Rotterdam, Netherlands SEFI Annual Conference

Attraction of young people to engineering and Student Career Guidance

September 2009, Brussels, Belgium

StartPro: “Entrapreneurship - Young professionals starting innovation”

June 2010, Tallinn, Estonia

ESTIA-Earth Conference

Survey on gender issues conducted among women enrolled in engineering education programs

September 2010, Trnava, Slovakia

SEFI IGIP Conference

Transatlantic Mobility: Europe & Canada

September 2010, Singapore, Singapore

WEEF 2010

Co-presenting the results of a Dassault Systèmes survey (cooperation with BEST and SPEED) on “Grand Challenges for Engineering in the eyes of 21st Century Students”: Gender Related Perceptions of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Education & European BEST Engineering Competition

October 2010, Brussels, Belgium

EUR-ACE Spread Final Conference

September 2011, Lisbon, Portugal

WEE 2011 Conference, (Flash Week)

Gender Related Perceptions of Science

September 2011, Lisbon, Portugal

PAEE 2011 Conference, (Flash Week)

EBEC paper

September 2011, Antwerp, Belgium TechnoTN Forum 2012 September 2012, Firenze, Italy

EUGENE Final Conference

September 2012, Ljubljana, Slovenia

World Engineering Forum


Board of European Students of Techology

Time & Place


September 2012, Thessaloniki, Greece

SEFI Annual Conference: Engineering Education 2020 Meet the Future

October 2012, Stockholm, Sweden

ATTRACT Final Event

October 2012, Berlin, Germany

International Engineering Conference

October 2012, Istanbul, Turkey

10th Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing

November 2012, Porto, Portugal

ENAEE Annual Conference

Paper/Article Virtual Internships

Seminar on Virtual December 2012, Miskolc, Hungary I2AGORA: Incubation and Internship January 2013, Brussels, Belgium

Youth, The Key to Europe’s Future

July 2013, Eindhoven, Netherlands

PAEE 2013: Closing the Gap between University and Industry

Influence of participation in Engineering Competitions on students’ attractiveness for future employer

SEFI Annual Conference: September 2013, Leuven, Belgium Engineering Education Fast Forward 1973 > 2013 >>

Importance of interdisciplinarity in education for sustainable development

September 2013, Cartagena, Colombia

World Engineering Education Forum 2013

Students’ Empowerment in Proving Extracurricular Activities for Students of Technology in Europe - an example of Board of European Student of Technology

October 2013, Porto, Portugal

1st International Conference of the Portuguese Society for Engineering Education Educational Involvement Booklet


End Note This publication gave you an overview on what BEST is doing in the context of European Engineering Education. BEST is a powerful network which reaches a specific group of students eager to develop themselves and striving to make a difference. We would like to enhance the benefits for professionals who cooperate with BEST in our Events on Education. By networking with the host university of the event, with visiting academics, with thematic network representatives and with BEST, professionals learn about their methods and projects and maybe find a way to collaborate in the future. Moreover, by participating in interactive sharing sessions with students from all over Europe, professionals can find someone for a PhD or a collaboration in a research programme. Last, but far from not least, professionals have the chance to receive students’ feedback about their work, which we consider an essential factor to take into consideration when dealing with educational matters. All details of these events are compiled in a report and sent to our partners who collaborate with us. For more information, please visit our website or write us to


Board of European Students of Techology

Credentials BEST Anniversaries Project Coordinator Ana Rita Gonçalves Autors Wieke Villerius Erna Begović Bogdan Bocur Krisztina Orosz Roswitha Moti João Pacheco Mihai Tociu Designer Gabriel-Andrei Simion

Educational Involvement Booklet


President Mihai Tociu

e-mail: phone: +40 74 566 8097

Ambassador Mathieu Vandenberghe e-mail: phone: +32 498 69 53 74

BEST Educational Involvement  
BEST Educational Involvement