The Centre for Engineering and Design Education

Study abroad – UNITECH Programme

UNITECH Programme

  • Are you on-track for a first class degree?
  • Do you aspire to a senior position in a global engineering company?
  • Would you like to experience another culture and study for a semester at a prestigious European university?
  • Are you interested in a work placement with a top European engineering company?

If so, this exclusive programme could be for you.

UNITECH International is an international association based in Zurich, Switzerland. Its aim, together with leading European universities and companies, is to prepare qualified engineering students for their professional future, as it is formulated in the core values statement:

UNITECH is a community that connects corporate and academic talent to develop technical students across borders and cultures to jointly face tomorrow’s business challenges.

Further informationFAQs and contact details are found below. Please also see the UNITECH website,

Further Information

UNITECH Exchange

At the core of UNITECH’s activities is an exchange year for students at a university abroad with management-oriented courses as well as an internship with one of the Corporate Partners. This year is completed with the three UNITECH Joint Modules. This programme is focused on the acquisition of specific business know-how, social competence and the capacity for multicultural understanding. This combination of practical experience, the Joint Modules and study abroad is unique in Europe.

The Academic Partners

The academic excellence of the programme is ensured by the quality of its member universities: leading engineering institutions. They provide UNITECH students with a vast range of state-of-the-art courses in engineering and management. But there is more than outstanding academic reputation, which characterises UNITECH Academic Partners. They all share an international orientation, strong links with industry and, most of all, the vision to continuously innovate engineering education.

The Corporate Partners

UNITECH also unites multinational corporations which have a need for technical graduates. Besides their leading position in their industry, they share the commitment to take an active role in educating tomorrow’s management potential. They provide students with demanding internships giving insight into management and in the Joint Modules corporate lecturers pass on first-hand experiences. The Corporate Partners are not just sponsors, but are seen and see themselves as stakeholders and they take an active role in further programme development.

Selection of Participating Students

The UNITECH programme is targeted at the best students, both from an academic as well as from a soft skills point of view. To ensure the high quality of our participants we have a very strict and elaborate selection process. This process takes place at each university and involves both the Academic and the Corporate Partners.

Applications have now closed for the 2015/2016 academic year. If you are interested in applying for the 2016/2017 academic year, refer to this page in late October 2015. More information can be found here: 

The Academic Partners make a pre-selection based primarily on academic criteria and subsequently corporate assessors evaluate the candidates’ other skills at a one day Assessment Centre. This will be at Loughborough in early 2016.

Explanation of Programme

When selected for the programme, all students come together for a Start-Up Week course. During the Academic Exchange at a UNITECH university the students follow engineering and management courses. In the middle of the one-year programme, all students complete a second management module, the Mid-Term Week. The UNITECH internship with one of the Corporate Partners complements the theory with insights into management in a technical context. At the end of the UNITECH year, all students come together for a third joint course, the End-of-Year Event. After the completion of all the UNITECH requirements and the degree of their home university, the students graduate from UNITECH and will receive their UNITECH Degree. They are then entitled to call themselves a “UNITECH Fellow”. The former participants can then become members of the UNITECH Alumni Association.

Academic Exchange

During the Academic Exchange period a UNITECH student studies abroad at one of the Academic Partners of the network. They will stay at their host university usually, for at least one semester (6 months), but some for even a full academic year. They are required to follow courses which value at least 30 ECTS credits. These courses should be focused on management-related areas such as finance and economics or human resources. In addition many students choose technical and engineering courses which they use for the degree of their home university. During the Academic Exchange the UNITECH students meet regularly to exchange experiences.

The Academic Exchange provides the opportunity for an intensive exchange with a different academic and national culture. For many students, a first and valuable experience with living and working in another language and outside their home country.


The placement with one of the Corporate Partners is referred to as the ‘UNITECH internship’, and is a core element of the learning experience. During a period of at least three months and in a foreign language area, students get an insight into management in an international context. The commitment and leading position of the Corporate Partners ensures students undertake a challenging work experience in a new cultural environment. UNITECH interns will work on a project with everyday problems and challenges regarding issues such as: customer satisfaction, human interaction, leadership, human resources, innovation, finance, technology and research. This internship takes place in a foreign language area and is usually concluded with a presentation of the results to management.

The minimum duration of the UNITECH internship is three months, and has to be done with one of the UNITECH Corporate Partners. The topic for the internship can vary from a rather technical assignment to one dealing with new business development or strategic and organisational issues.

UNITECH Alumni Association

The UNITECH experience does not end after the UNITECH year. The UNITECH Alumni Association (UAA) is a network of young international engineering professionals who have taken part in the unique UNITECH International Programme. The Association aims to preserve the UNITECH spirit and is responsible for liaising between its members, the UNITECH International Society and its Academic and Corporate Partners.

Every year, UAA puts together a rich programme of educational and social events for its members. This includes the Symposium in springtime as well as the Annual General Assembly held every September in conjunction with the UNITECH International Society. The Association places a great deal of emphasis on the value of networking. Members have access through the Association’s website to a database of contacts including Alumni, Companies and Universities. Furthermore, several networking events are organised throughout the year by UAA’s local chapters in eight European countries. UAA produces regular informative newsletters and joins forces with UNITECH International to release the UNITECH Magazine. Providing a link between Alumni and potential employers (Corporate Partners) is one of the most important services of the Alumni Association. A process has been devised in order to ensure an active and easy career profile matching.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are places limited?

Yes, typically only 80 of the best students across Europe, with about 8 from Loughborough accepted each year. Loughborough is the only UK university member.

Is the travel funded?

You will receive a contribution of 1000 Euros to cover your travel costs for the Joint Modules.

Can I apply for Erasmus funding in addition to UNITECH?

Several of the academic partners will accept Loughborough students as both Erasmus and UNITECH students.

Is the placement funded?

A salary will be paid by the employing company and this will cover living expenses at a minimum.

How long is the placement?

The placement is a minimum of 12 weeks but could last for up to one year. This is negotiated with the company.

Do I have to speak another language for my study?

All students are required to have a proficient knowledge of spoken and written English.  Many modules at the academic partners are delivered in English.  If you plan to study modules in the native language, you will need a proficient level of the native language at a minimum of B1 level.

Do I have to speak another language for my placement?

For the placement, the required proficiency in the local language varies. However most Corporate Partners can offer placements where the working/corporate language is English, even though the local language is different.

Do I earn an additional qualification?

On successful completion you will receive a UNITECH Diploma, in addition to a Loughborough DIntS diploma, or your modules counted towards your degree depending on your school.

Will this make a difference after graduation?

You may then become a Fellow of the UNITECH International Society and join the Alumni Association which provides a lifelong international network of contacts in academia and industry.

How do I apply and find out more?

  • Attend the Question and Answer sessions in your school during semester 1. You will be emailed about this.
  • Contact the Loughborough UNITECH Programme Director Dr Ashraf El-Hamalawi, who would have emailed you.
  • Fill in an online application form when the application process opens:

Note that the Loughborough UNITECH Local Co-ordinator is Dr Adam Crawford.

The UNITECH Alumni Association Local Chapter Coordinators (UAA LCCs) for the UK are David Jenner and Sam Nunn They are current students and can answer questions on their experiences and connect you with other alumni who have studied within your Department/School.