tekom - Europe

International University Network in Technical Communication

Organised by the tekom Europe Advisory Board for Professional Development and Training

An agenda for your benefit

The purpose of this International University Network in Technical Communication is to support university teachers and staff who already run, or are interested in developing programmes or modules in technical communication: through this network they will be able to exchange experience and ideas for launching or strengthening their programmes, or for research projects.

The network is also relevant for teachers and staff in related disciplines, such as engineering, language studies, computer science, marketing, and communication studies. 

A working group of the tekom Europe Advisory Board for Professional Development and Training is responsible for running the network and organizing meetings or events. The network was first established as an Advisory Board project in March 2020.

The network will facilitate online and face-to-face meetings, mentoring partnerships, and research projects and dissemination of university teachers and staff throughout Europe.

So far, the working group includes universities from Austria, Belgium, Czechia, Danmark, Finland, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Portugal and Romania. 

You are welcome to join any network meetings that interest you.

Our next network meeting will take place online. If your are interested to join, get in touch with us: d.straub@tekom.de

International University Network in Technical Communication extends collaboration

International University Network in Technical Communication met online for the second time

On Friday, February 5th, the members of the International University Network in Technical Communication met online for the second time.

A great attendance rate confirmed the need for further information exchange between universities across the globe: The network, which was only founded in November, already has 72 participants from 21 countries, most of them representing universities, others representing companies. Almost half of its current members attended the online meeting on February 5th. After a short introduction, each participant had the choice to join the debate in either of the three breakout session: industry projects, curriculum developments, and the industry’s qualification requirements.

After these one-hour discussions, the summaries of each breakout session were reported in the plenary session: We learned, for example, about an exciting cooperation between Germany and a university in Kenya to establish a program in technical communication, and about a terminology project at a Hungarian university. One of the important questions discussed in the session on curricula regarded what content needs to be taught in order to stay up-to-date and how to test competencies using modern methods. The session on training requirements in the industry resulted in the conclusion that in the future activities in technical communication will shift away from writing, towards the management of intelligent information, digitalization and automation. In addition to the exchange in the network, participants are looking to implement specific cooperations such as strategic partnership projects. Some international collaboration in teaching already exists, for example between German and Romanian institutes, and the network would like to see these expanded. As more and more university content becomes available online, this will enable better joint international programs. As an example, a series of lectures given by different European university teachers was considered.

The International University Network in Technical Communication is an initiative of the International Advisory Board for Professional Development and Training. We are pleased to have recruited Prof. Dr. Yvonne Cleary from the University of Limerick who is leading the project. Dr. Tiziana Sicillia, member of the Board of tekom Europe and president of Com&Tec, the Italian Association for Technical Communication, is also involved in the organization of the network meetings and actively supports the project.

The International University Network in Technical Communication is a spin-off from the Erasmus Plus funded project TecCOMFrame. In the project, an international consortium of universities offering programs in technical communication has developed a competence framework for academic teaching as well as prototype curricula for various programs and degrees. In conclusion to the meeting, the international Advisory Board will now discuss what further platforms the International University Network in Technical Communication needs, for example to establish further projects. The date and agenda of the next online meeting will be schedules soon.

We, the Advisory Board and the Executive Board of tekom- Europe, are happy to welcome new participants to take part in this free initiative by tekom-Europe.

International University Network for Technical Communication , IUNTC, meets again

The next online meeting will be on April 14th from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm. (CEST)

Join it for free!

Our agenda

To ensure the meeting matches needs and goals, we gathered ideas and input about the format and content from the network participants. To summarise the survey results, several of our participants offered to give presentations, and most are interested in how the network can help you to learn about research, curriculum development, and exchanges.

At the online meeting on April 14th will focus on curricular changes. We will have two presentations:

•    Curriculum development in technical communication by Marie Mccullagh, University of Portsmouth.

•    UX writing in technical communication by Gustav Verhulsdonck, Central Michigan University.

Each presentation will be about 15 minutes long, and will be followed by discussion for about 30 minutes. We will have a meeting in a couple of months that focuses on research and partnerships. We also hope to have news soon about a platform where we can share resources and information.

For those who are new to the network and want to join the meeting, please write an email to: Dr. Daniela Straub, d.straub@tekom.de.

In the meantime, the international tekom advisory board for professional development and training is looking forward to seeing many of you on April 14th!

Would you like to join?

Your participation in the International University Network inTechnical Communication is free of charge.

By completing this short survey, you can get in touch with us and you will also help us to make the network relevant to you, whatever stage you are at. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete.

Why is the network necessary?

Throughout the world, millions of people work in technical communication roles, but the profession is still not very well known. 

Technical communication education is at different stages of development in each European country. 

In many European countries, no academic programmes are offered in technical communication.

The TecCOMFrame project identified ways to increase the number of programmes offered, and developed resources for people who are interested in designing modules or full programmes. This network follows on from that project. 

Benefits for all

Benefits for universities:
Universities involved in this network will be able to create opportunities for students and will attract more visibility and higher participation in technical communication modules and programmes.

Benefits for students:
This network will help universities to develop and offer modules and programmes in technical communication. This is a growing field, with work opportunities for students with interdisciplinary skills, especially skills in languages, media, communication, and technology.

Benefits for industry:
This network will help to meet the recruitment needs of companies operating in the field of technical communication, by training graduates to meet the labour market shortage, and by helping young people seeking job opportunities in technological and innovative contexts.

What is technical communication?

According to the tekom Europe definition, “technical communication is the process of defining, creating and delivering information products for the safe, efficient and effective use of products (technical systems, software, services).”

This video shows a typical working day in the life of a technical writer at a large software company.