TRAINING FUTURE IT LEADERS IN A COLLABORATIVE AND MULTICULTURAL SETTING

L. Brunie1, S. Ben Mokhtar1, D. Brac de la Perrière1, D. Fabrègue1, L. Tondu1, A. Cordier2, V. Delplanque2, A. Bertrand3, O. Coueffe3, H. Kosch3, E. Damiani4, S. Cimato4, I.A. Awada5, A. Olaru5, R. Wossidlo6, G. Fiorentino7, L. Lombardo7, F.S. Nucci7, O. Cramariuc8

1Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon, France (FRANCE)
2La French Tech One Lyon Saint-Etienne (FRANCE)
3Universitat Passau (GERMANY)
4Università degli studi di Milano (ITALY)
5Universitatea Politehnica din București (ROMANIA)
6Atos International Germany GmbH (GERMANY)
7Engineering Ingegneria Informatica (ITALY)
8Centrul IT pentru Stiinta si Tehnologie (ROMANIA)
This paper reports on the ongoing activities performed within the “FIT-Europe” project, which stands for “Future IT leaders for a multicultural, digital Europe”. The project is run by a consortium composed of four leading universities and four corporate partners from France, Germany, Italy and Romania, and is part of the Strategic Partnerships for higher education action of the ERASMUS+ program.

The key activities are four seminars organized during different weeks on advanced topics, where highly motivated computer science Master students from the four participating countries meet and work together in a stimulating and multi-cultural context. The four international seminars will help students prepare for tomorrow's IT challenges and face the related ethical, business and societal issues raised in the four research fields, that are Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data, and Robotics.

The 3rd seminar has been held in Milan from 15 to 19 November 2021 and has been focused on “Preserving Privacy and Trust in the Internet of Things”. While during the morning, students attended scientific seminars on the topic, in the afternoon they were requested to split in groups and face real-world challenges, derived from effective ongoing research projects run by one of the corporate partners involved in the project.

In this paper, on the basis of the analysis of the results of the seminar, we discuss the competences acquired by the students considering two main methodologies, that are team-working and project based learning. As discussed in previous works, combining the ability to work together for a common purpose or goal, with the activities focusing on a specific and complex target in place of a traditional academic approach has a number of advantages that range from the strengthening of personal abilities such as mastering leadership, coordination and conflict management till the acquisition and the development of soft skills and the technological competences to support them.

We presents our findings and discuss how those competences represent key features for future high-level IT engineers that complement a strong scientific, methodological background and assume also an important perspective when they are combined with a multi-cultural and international environment