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SEFI in 2018: a year of celebration and of new higher education milestones!

This year we shall celebrate the 45th anniversary of our Society: 45 years of passion, dedication and actions towards improving higher engineering education in Europe and, in recent years, worldwide. A series of commemoration activities and events are under preparation, many of them being organised in the context of our 2018 Annual Conference, to be held in DTU (Copenhagen/Lyngby) on 18-21 September.  We particularly note the new SEFI Francesco Maffioli AwardOther activities are also on our agenda for the coming weeks, such as the preparation of an updated paper on accreditation and quality assurance, and a new position paper on diversity in engineering education.  These papers have been developed by our relevant working groups.

This year for SEFI also means time for new projects, with partner meetings organised in the coming weeks, and of the reinforcement of concrete cooperation with some of our European partners (for example ENAEE, BEST, FEANI) and global partners (for example ASEE, IFEES, WFEO).  Preparation for our 2018 Engineering Deans’ Convention, in cooperation with CESAER and local host NTNU, is also ongoing as one of the activities of our SEFI Engineering Deans Council (EEDC). We hope to welcome many of the deans from our SEFI institutional members to Trondheim on 27-29 May 2018 for this important leadership event.

As of 1 January, the editorial team of our Journal (EJEE) published byt Taylor & Francis (UK)has changed. A new Chief Editor, Dr. Kristina Edström (KTH), was appointed last year. We would like to sincerely thank Prof. Erik de Graaff (University of Aalborg) who had brilliantly managed the EJEE for more than a decade. Thanks to his extraordinary and constant dedication, the EJEE became one of the most important engineering education scientific journals.

But the year 2018 will also be a very special one for Europe: it will be the last year before European elections and the year when negotiations will be finalised for Great Britain & Northern Ireland to leave the European Union.  The full effects of this major change are still unknown.  At the level of education and research, the First European Education Summit will be organised in Brussels on 25 January (Secretary General F. Côme will attend).  Discussions relating to the future Multiannual Financial framework will take place too, including the new Framework Programme for Research and Innovation and the new ERASMUS programme. Furthermore, the Education Union will be launched, with France promoting universities as a part of its vision for Europe (see also our December press reviews). In spring, the 2018 Bologna Ministerial Conference will take place in Paris (23-25 May) and should set the future agenda for the European Higher Education Area. SEFI members and officers will be encouraged to participate in these new crucial processes and to articulate as much as possible their activities and reflections in this context.

Follow all of our upcoming activities via our monthly newsletters and web site, and follow the European and worldwide developments via our monthly press reviews and social media.

SEFI is a member-based organisation: it is yours.  We encourage you to contribute to our reflections, to participate in our activities, and to support our Society by joining it as member if you are not one already.  SEFI is a unique European international organisation as it is the only one bringing together all the stakeholders of higher engineering.  Our goal is to support the interests of our members.

Mike Murphy                       Françoise Côme

SEFI President                        SEFI Secretary General