TRAINING, RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT AND INNOVATION
Mondragon Goi Eskola Politeknikoa Jose Maria Arizmendiarrieta, S.Coop.(MGEP) is a co-operative integrated into both MONDRAGON Corporation and Mondragón Unibertsitatea (the University of Mondragón) and is the legal owner of Mondragón Unibertsitatea's Faculty Of Engineering.
Its main activities are training and research, development and innovation.
The Higher Polytechnic School of Mondragon started its teaching activities in 1943 on the initiative of Father José Maria Arizmendiarrieta, Founder of the Cooperative Experience of Mondragón. Since then it has never stopped growing, and has been the driving force behind the creation of numerous innovative business experiences.
An important landmark in 1956 in the School’s history was the creation by five of its technical engineers of Mondragon’s first industrial cooperative: ULGOR, S.Coop., which is now called FAGOR.
It is also worth pointing out the creation of ALECOP in 1966, an industrial cooperative company which allowed students to combine study and work, and which is a company in the same cooperative.
In 1972 the organisation became more international as the result of exchange programmes with foreign universities. Likewise, the School has also been an active participant since 1986 in numerous international training and research and development projects.
In 1974, the IKERLAN Research Centre was created, which currently has around 200 people involved in research and is one of Spain’s most avant-garde technology centers.
In 1983, the Gizabidea Private Teaching Foundation was recognised, posthumous work of Don José Maria Arizmendiarrieta, who became responsible for the guardianship of the School buildings.
The school’s active participation has led to other social and business initiatives such as DIARIA, a pioneering industrial design company, founded in 1985, and different education centres over three decades.
In 1995, the Higher Polytechnic School was awarded the ISO ER353/1/95 Quality Certificate, and was the first university in Spain and one of the first in Europe to obtain it.
More recently, in 1996, the company CEI-SAIOLAN was formed as a new business incubator in advances sectors, although this activity has been bearing fruit since 1984.
The constitution of Mondragón Univertsitatea in 1997 is also noteworthy, together with another two universities of the Alto Deba: ETEO S. Coop in Oñati and Irakasle Eskola S. Coop. in Eskoriatza, which are now ENPRESAGINTZA and HUHEZI respectively.
The 2003-2004 academic year was recognised with the silver Q for having obtained more than 4,000 points in an external evaluation carried out by EUSKALIT.
In 2008 it was the first Basque University to adapt its engineering studies to the New European Higher Education Space.
In June 2010, the Mondragón University Higher Polytechnic School (EPS-MU) received a positive score in the AUDIT programme for design and development of Internal Quality Assurance Systems for university education.
September 2010 saw the official opening of EPS-MU’s Centre for Technological Research and Innovation in Electronics and Embedded Systems, located at the Garaia Innovation Park and which combines research and training in the fields of electronics, computer science and telecommunications.
Composition of the Higher Polytechnic School
The legal name of the Higher Polytechnic School of Mondragon (Escuela Politécnica Superior de Mondragon Unibertsitatea (EPS-MU)) is Mondragon Goi Eskola Politeknikoa (MGEP). It is a mixed cooperative comprising three types of member/s in equal numbers:
- Working members
- User members (Pupils)
- Collaborator members (Companies and Administration).
Both the Assembly, its supreme decision-taking body, and the Governing Board, which has the power to establish the cooperative’s general guidelines, are composed in equal parts by the three types of members. This structure enables direct participation by students and companies in the management centre.
Taking into account that the main mission of EPS-MU is train profiles with a markedly professional nature in an industrial environment, the mixed legal cooperative formula, which has integrated to the business world and in our case primarily the cooperative world, has been essential for the constant evolution and adaptation to external demand.
Likewise, the real opportunities for our students to undergo dual training through the ALECOP (study-work) model is a key added value throughout our development. This is also true of final projects carried out in companies or in the EPS-MU in the form of research projects.
The social-employment status of EPS-MU teachers is equivalent to that of an employee of an industrial cooperative. Specifically, aspects such as the working calendar, timetable, compensation and staff promotion are equivalent.
These are the EPS-MU’s centres, which governs their style and commitment and they have been a driving force for educational innovation. The following are worth mentioning:
Rigor and academic standards, practices in companies through the dual system and the final project, the marked international nature and teamwork are the basis for professional success of EPS- MU engineers.
With an adequate theoretical base, practical learning developed in own workshops, modern machinery and instruments used by leading companies in an industrial setting, students are prepared to move straight into the world of work.
Research and Development
EPS-MU has carried out research activities primarily in projects under contract with companies. Generic investigation has received strong support in recent years and will continue to do so in future.
Our model of investigation allows us to achieve scientific levels of excellence, integrated with the mid- to long-term needs of our companies. We develop a collaborative model with companies, where mutual confidence and objectives multiply the efficiency of resources. In this sense, the technological transfer and innovation continue to be a differential factor of the Higher Polytechnic School of Mondragón.
This area has been active practically since the origin of the EPS-MU and is currently of special importance in the postgraduate programs.
In Mondragon Unibertsitatea we think that an international experience improves the quality of studies and research, increasing students’ perspectives.
MU participates fully in European programs related to mobility (Sócrates, Erasmus, Lengua, Comenius), to the recognition of studies in foreign universities (European Credit Transfer System, ECTS), collaboration with east countries (Tempus) and Latin America (Alfa). The university participates as well in research programs launched by the European Union.