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Inserting Consciousness: Cornerstone of the Ultimate People-first Tech University (ICCUPTU)

ICCUPTU: Inserting Consciousness: Cornerstone of the Ultimate People-first Tech University


The ultimate ICCUPTU ambition is to empower students in excelling as the professional they are and will be after graduation. Within ICCUPTU, this empowerment builds on the person the student is.

In facilitating the individual development of mentoring and coaching skills, ICCUPTU enables UT teaching staff to guide students in personal growth and personal leadership skills more effectively. ICCUPTU is rooted in leadership development theories that fundamentally build on awareness and consciousness: about oneself and others. Through investing in consciousness development, the ICCUPTU program helps furthering our collective UT mission to fuse technology, science, and engineering with social sciences to impact the world around us.

ICCUPTU Shaping 2030

As UT we embrace more experimental, inclusive, and co-creative ways of learning. This approach in education requires as well as leads to more personal ‘connectivity’. More than most traditional teaching methods. Subsequently, adequate mentoring and coaching skills are required of our teaching staff, who all play an essential role in guiding our students, individually as well as collectively, on their paths towards becoming effective professionals.

To test ICCUPTU for feasibility within the UT-setting, the program is funded by the WSV innovation project (2021). The WSV scheme accelerates the continuous development of educational quality by educational innovation in combination with teacher professionalisation. ICCUPTU will be evaluated at the end of 2021.

Program roadmap

The ICCUPTU program builds on an intertwining, two-phased approach:

1. Teacher preparation and

2. Execution with students.

Phase 1: Teacher preparation

The first phase in ICCUPTU is focused on acquiring higher levels of self-consciousness at the individual teacher’s level.

To effectively connect with others, participating teaching staff members first need to be adequately connected with ‘the person they are’. Such self-awareness development is closely related to common ‘leadership’ training. In this aspect, ICCUPTU can be considered as a modern equivalent of the extant leadership competency programs, in this case tailored to academic (teaching) professionals. Hence, ICCUPTU offers individual teaching staff members a process of profound personal development, also using a validated assessment instrument. This assessment (the LifeStyle Inventory, or ‘LSI’) is commonly used by various other types of professionals, e.g., managers; executives; medical specialists; and those in leading positions. A certified coach provides participating teachers with feedback based on their individual LSI report. Then, through intervision sessions (guided ‘reflective practice’ gatherings) with small groups of peers (max. 4 teachers / group), teachers learn from and with each other’s experiences. The case-based discussions fuel a peer-to-peer coaching, as well a deepening of individual self-refection through the modes of various feedback that are practised during the intervisions. Through an iterative process of reflective practice combined with training on specific topics, the ICCUPTU participants (i.e., UT teaching staff) enhance their relevant skills in feedback as well as in mentoring and coaching.

These peer-group sessions are also essential for preparing for and reflecting on the teachers’ individual activities with small group of students they guide during the second phase. In particular, focus will be on creating -and maintaining- an environment of psychological safety within a group. Such atmosphere is an essential fundament for personal (leadership) development: students and staff alike.

Phase 2:  Execution with students

In the second phase of ICCUPTU teachers transfer their knowledge and experiences learned in the first phase into action. Here teaching staff individually apply self-consciousness development approaches at the student-level, through individually guiding a small group of students themselves. Guided by their teachers, who reflect the process and progress during recurring intervision sessions with other teachers, students go through a similar process of self-awareness development.

In the second phase, ICCUPTU provides teachers various forms of expert-training or -coaching session (with external experts) as well as specific awareness training (e.g., mindfulness; yoga; etc.). Teachers can use these for their meetings with their student group. Incrementally, the student group will also engage in more study-specific challenged based learning, based on the requirements of their future work settings. 

Academic Advisory Council

An ICCUPTU Academic Advisory Council (AAC) composed of individual topic-experts from within as well as outside of the UT, provides input in the beginning stage, midterm and during the end-evaluation of the 2021 ICCUPTU program.

It is explicitly the aim of the ICCUPTU program to maintain aligned with the needs and demands of UT staff and students. Moreover, ICCUPTU will align and integrate with existing ideas and initiatives for enhancing professionalization and learning excellence.

Contact information

Are you interested in additional information about ICCUPTU? Do you have suggestions? Would like to explore alignment with existing or with new related activities? We look forward hearing from you!

Please contact us at:

L.M. Foss (Lisanne)
dr. W.A. Keijser MD (Wouter)
Assistant Professor

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