Just getting a degree does not cut it anymore: lifelong learning is already the norm for most professionals. “The Politecnico has been offering lifelong learning and postgraduate programmes for some time now, especially through its consortia and departments which offer professional training courses, masters and business training,” explained professor Federico Caniato, the Rector's Delegate for lifelong learning. “However, in recent years, the need for a new type of education has emerged; one that is online, self-led but reliable, available in odd moments of spare time with a personalised approach, which also links to the topic of free learning.
The university’s response is Polimi Open Knowledge, a platform which gathers modular video lessons which are created by professors at the Politecnico on an ad hoc basis and complemented with study materials and assessment tests. This type of training is known as MOOC, massive open online courses, and is becoming increasingly popular across the world. The Poli's platform contains dozens of MOOCs dedicated to professionals; particularly for alumni that are keen to explore or brush up on wide-ranging subjects like soft skills, artificial intelligence, sustainable technologies, but also basic knowledge of topics such as professional project management. “The courses can be completed online independently and free of charge, with a view to democratising knowledge.”
The Poli is also launching a new postgraduate teaching project in partnership with 4 other top technical universities: ETH, Aachen, Delft and Chalmers. “There has been an alliance with these European partners for many years called IDEA League, which is involved in many research, teaching and social responsibility initiatives. The Lifelong Learning project is also going in this direction. Alumni will be able to access the online training courses which will be structured with the support of a supervisor and technical content provided by each of the 5 universities.” The programme lasts approximately one year and costs €5,000. It will end with a week in person (the first edition will be held between Zurich and Milan) alongside professionals from various European countries who will meet the professors and develop a capstone project to conclude the course.
Long story short: if you thought you had closed your books for good, it is time to think again.