THE EVOLUTION OF ONLINE LEARNING IN HIGHER EDUCATION DURING COVID-19 PANDEMIC: ERASMUS MUNDUS JOINT MASTER’S DEGREE PROGRAMME SUPPORTED BY EUROPEAN UNION PIXNET PARTNERS WITH OPENFIBER

At this time of global uncertainty, with the health emergency extending to an economic crisis, Sant’Anna School has moved all classes online and minimized the impact of disruptions on students.

Since the Coronavirus outbreak, Sant’Anna School has been facilitating the academic progress through e-learning initiatives. Among them is the Master Program in Photonic Integrated Circuits, Sensors and Networks (PIXNet), which recently started a partnership with wholesale-only network specialist Open Fiber for the deployment of FTTH Fiber To The Home infrastructure across Italy.

In collaboration with Open Fiber as a new Associate Partner, the PIXNet program will train students to develop innovative integrated devices for broadband wireless networks based on AI and augmented reality applications in smart cities. This new learning opportunity is scheduled on May 19, adding to the existing course  Design of Access, Metro, and Core Networks led by Professor  Luca Valcarenghi.

Additional sessions to the program PIXNet illustrate the institutional response to the challenges posed by the pandemic.  Students will benefit from research partnership with industry and complete their course requirements thanks to the continued faculty-level support by the Aston UniversityOsaka University, and the Technische Universitait Eindhoven under the supervision of Professor Piero Castoldi from the Institute of Communication,  Information and Perception Technologies (Tecip)  at Sant’Anna School.

The PIXNet program, jointly delivered by an international consortium of higher education institutions under Key action 1 in Erasmus+ scheme, prioritizes the expertise of the Consortium partners through six mobility paths. 26 students can benefit from the EU-funded scholarship scheme for a total amount of 700,000 euros. With a budget of 3 million euros, PIXNet is aimed at training young telecommunication and electrical engineers to investigate the adoption of Photonic Integrated Circuits and communication devices.