Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN21 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Pages: 286-295
ISBN: 978-84-09-31267-2
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2021.0100
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
The social transformation that is currently taking place towards a more just, sustainable and supportive society, traces a new course for universities to follow. All economic sectors are being subjected to a very competitive environment of change towards a circular, innovative and disruptive economy, verifying a lack of specialized technicians to incorporate those sectors. As a consequence, universities have to respond to this demand in all areas of knowledge. Their programs have to be adapted, making them more resilient and generating a co-creation research network together with companies and other institutions. To do this, a series of strategies is proposed to support these relationships between higher education and the productive sector, in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals and the principles of the Circular Economy. In the analysis that has been carried out in this work, barriers have been found that prevent the transition of companies, for example, towards a circular economy. Universities have to be able to provide graduates who break down those barriers. The profile of these graduates must be balanced taking into account three curricular approaches: technical, research and management. It is necessary to analyze them because there are clear barriers in companies to address the transition to a circular economy.

Universities must know and minimize them. In this work, the following have been detected:
a) Existence of negative effects on the technical and financial capacity to promote change. In this case, higher education is articulated towards technical and management training, because some companies are still not aware of the value of the transition to more circular or innovative business models or are trapped in a linear system through their technology.
b) The transition to the circular economy should be a university agenda that integrates the focus on green jobs, dematerialization and decarbonization in the different grades. Efforts must be made to incorporate the circular economy into other complementary narratives on economic transition, including the debate beyond teaching techniques.

As a conclusion of the work, it is established that training, research, collaboration and entrepreneurship are the 4 basic pillars to consider between higher education and companies in the face of the 2030 horizon. Without a doubt, it is necessary to rely on traditional tools, such as the development of the self-taught capacity of students, scientific and technical training based on the generation of knowledge, educational cooperation and the principles of monitoring, evaluation and quality control. In the present work, three phases are established as a result of this methodology of adaptation to change: the first based on the relationship between the teaching staff and the company; the second relates the university departments and research groups with companies and the third the public-private relationship as an element of approach to the circular horizon 2030
Training, higher education, circular economy, innovation.