France: Starting in March 2016, European university students will be able to access a unique set of opportunities to enrich their space science and engineering education: the ESA Academy. The ESA Academy will provide a new perspective on the learning of space disciplines. It will be run in close collaboration with European universities and is designed to complement academic education. It will enhance the students’ educational experience and allow them to benefit from an unprecedented transfer of ESA’s practical and theoretical know-how. This will range from space sciences to engineering, spacecraft operations, product and quality assurance, project management and much more.
It will help university students become acquainted with the standard professional practices applied nowadays across the whole space sector, and better prepare them for the labour market. The ESA Academy brings together existing and new elements of the ESA Education Programme for universities. It will now group these under two interconnected pillars of activity: Hands-on Space Projects, an existing programme that enables students to gain first-hand experience of real space-related projects; and Training and Learning Programme, a new initiative offering an entirely new set of courses and learning opportunities.
In addition to providing access to existing ESA establishments and partners’ infrastructures, the ESA Academy will make use of new dedicated facilities located at ESA’s Redu Centre in Belgium. The Training and Learning Centre, will start courses in March this year, and the CubeSat Education Centre will become operational in 2017. This set of exciting programmes grows and evolves over time to offer students access to more and more professional space facilities and opportunities. The ESA Academy Hands-on Space Projects is coordinated by the ESA Education Office at ESA’s ESTEC establishment in the Netherlands.
Newly established, the ESA Academy’s Training and Learning Programme offers a varied portfolio of courses given by space experts and professionals coming from all fields of ESA’s expertise, as well as from space industry and academia. The courses will be available to interested university students mainly engaged in space-related studies. In particular, they will be available to the student teams participating in the ESA Academy’s Hands-on Space Projects, to complement their learning experience and to support them in the different phases of their projects.