About the Project

Fast technological developments and the rapid uptake of digital technologies is changing the structure of traditional industries in the EU, pushing towards the so-called Advanced Manufacturing and the 4th Industrial Revolution (or Industry 4.0). Several common gaps at EU level have been identified in the engineering related qualifications at EQF5 level which include Engineering studies at University Level and Technical Engineering studies at Higher Vocational Level. These gaps relate to engineering processes, product design and general design for the manufacturing automotive industry.


The project will develop professional and specialization skills, thus ensuring a transition from a general academic model to the application of knowledge for the development of key processes in a reference sector. A bridge is built for the transition from high scientific and technological knowledges to necessary and important specialized industrial skills.

In this context, the project UPenAUTO aims at building a strategic cooperation at EU level between industry, education and research actors engaged in the review of competences and skills offered in Higher Education proposing modular and flexible training itineraries for engineering related graduates, based on specific profiles needed by the EU automotive industry, and promoting the uptake of Dual/alternate international training schemes in the automotive sector for boosting employability and securing talent within the EU.

This will be achieved through the following specific objectives:

  • To respond to skills mismatches in the automotive sector by covering an existing training gap in the field of automotive  engineering and design.

  • Set up of a new EU Framework for new sectoral qualifications for the automotive industry that will contribute to themodernisation of the European HE.

  • Develop new EQF level 5 curricula for the smart specialisation of engineering graduates.

  • Boosting employability in the automotive sector through the uptake of Dual/alternate education systems alternating theoretical courses with work-based learning, “strengthening the relevance of graduates´opportunities to start their professional life based on their education” as stated in the Bologna process.

  • Allow the connection between HE and research in terms of contribution of HE to the education and training of future workers devoted to innovation activities.

  • Make STEM education relevant and attractive.

  • Influence EU-level education and training policies and tools to ensure recognition, validation and increase international labour mobility.

  • Encourage the use of skills and growth projections in course design, delivery and evaluation, as set in the recommendation Modernisation of Europe´s Higher Education Institutions.

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This webpage and the publications it contains reflect the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.