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Polytechnic Summit 2020 – Designing and Building a New Technological University

3rd – 5th June, 2020 at TU Dublin

Call for Abstracts

Each year the Polytechnic Summit assembles leaders, influencers and contributors who shape the future of polytechnic education. The Polytechnic Summit provides a forum for participants to focus on innovation in curriculum and pedagogy, to share best practices in active and applied learning, and practice-based research and to enable opportunities for collaboration and partnerships to enhance student learning.

The 2020 Polytechnic Summit will be held between June 3rd and 5th at Technological University Dublin – Ireland’s newest university and its first technological university. TU Dublin is the first of many previous firsts – beginning as Ireland’s first technical school in the 1870s, to becoming Ireland’s first college of technology in the early part of the twentieth century, to Ireland’s first institute of technology in 1980, and now Ireland’s first technological university.

PS2020 offers participants the unique opportunity to visit, to inform, and to learn from the development of TU Dublin. PS2020 will be held at TU Dublin’s City Centre campus, which is among the largest educational construction projects in Europe. The location will be the brand new East Quad building. This brings unique opportunities to explore and present topics that are core to polytechnic education in a new purpose-built technological university. Participants will get to explore our new state-of-the art facilities in the heart of Dublin city.

PS2020 Themes

The themes of PS2020 are:

Design (Programmes, Curriculum, Organisational)

Practice-Based Learning

Employability and Graduate Skills

Pedagogy and Learning Spaces, and


Design (Programmes, Curriculum, Organisational)

Under this theme, PS2020 will explore the concept of design – looking at how the university itself can be designed, how the curriculum can be designed, and the programmes within that curriculum. Speakers will address the challenges of getting a new university built in different parts of the world. They will also explore the no-less-challenging aspect of developing a connected curriculum that contains core elements that define the identity of the university, and which are distilled through every programme.

Practice-Based Learning

Together with Pedagogy and Learning Spaces, this theme, PS2020 will explore the environment in which students learn, in terms of both the physical learning environment, and how the learner best engages with their learning and their teachers. We will seek to explore how the defining philosophy and approaches of polytechnic education are implemented in today’s polytechnics.

Employability and Graduate Skills

A defining feature of the modern polytechnic is that it seeks to graduate learners with career-ready professional competences, while at the same time not losing sight of the intrinsic value of education. While the contexts of many of the PS2020 participants may be different, how to nurture employability and graduate skills within our students is a common challenge. This touches on what those skills should be, and how acquiring them can be built into the curriculum. There is also the natural tension between the needs of employers, and the needs of the individual with regards to these skills. This theme will be explored with input from industry leaders and university leaders from different countries.


The modern university is an international oasis, in which learners from many different countries and regions converge to acquire knowledge and skills. The act of being immersed within an international learning environment itself is a broadening experience, and universities actively seek to broaden their student base and that of their faculty. This theme will be explored from the perspective of the benefits of internationalising the university and the curriculum, but also from the perspective of the inherent advantages to the learner in doing this.

Abstract Submissions

Submissions on these broad themes can be refined and focused through the inclusion of keywords that describe your submission and allow us to organise our tracks to make them more inter-related, connected and interesting.

When you submit your abstract, you will be asked to indicate the area(s) of your abstract by selecting five (or more) topic areas. Keywords to consider include the following:

21st century student Experiential Learning Polytechnic Experience
Alliance Gender Polytechnic Learning
Applied Research Innovation Polytechnic Teaching
Apprenticeships Integrated Research Programmes
Collaboration Intercultural Competence Representation
Communications International Scientific
Craft Leadership Student-Centered
Creativity Learning Spaces Instructional Design
Curriculum Organisational Design Sustainability
Design Participation Teamwork
Diversity Pedagogy Technology
Earn-and-Learn Planet Trades
Engineering Polytechnic University
Environment Inclusion Equality


Details on abstract formats, presentation formats, deadlines and submission criteria are all available here:

Further information is available

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