ATLAS has five core values; self-directed learning, integration, excellence, community and trailblazing. From the first day, students are encouraged to pursue all aspects, and most have these values intrinsically. Last year a group of students took their first-semester project to the next level by participating in the University of Twente’s Entrepreneurial Challenge and went onto win their category. This is an example of how students self-direct their learning since it was entirely on own initiative that they chose to participate, with a project that integrates social and technical aspects, embodying not only ATLAS values but the UT’s motto of High Tech Human Touch.

G-Lake started as the first-semester project of five students (Erik Bösert, Anne Rikhof, Katharina Kück, Leonie Grosse-Boes and Grace Wachter). We were really invested in our idea and had set up a workshop with a company working on IT and connectivity. Before the workshop, we asked our supervisor how far we could take the project, to which he responded as far as we wanted. A couple months later at the Expo, after we had won the Ideation category at the competition, he was delighted and admitted he had not expected we meant it so seriously. That is part of what makes ATLAS special. What started as a mandatory project, became an opportunity for future learning (the workshops offered by the UTChallenge were the main incentive for signing up) and evolved into a project that continues until today! The group decided to continue and direct where the project should go and is supported by staff and company connections to see how far we can develop it.

I (as the author of this article) am proud to be part of this group but wanted to give another persons perspective on the experience so here is what Katharina has to say about our project!  

The experience during my semester 1 project was great and really showed me what ATLAS is all about because we got the chance to work on an idea we came up with ourselves and were even able to meet with a company. Since then we also participated in the UTChallenge, which encouraged us that our idea has the potential to actually be realized one day. It was a great opportunity to work on the fine details of it and to improve our networking skills, as well as getting expert input and help regarding our product. We are grateful that the UT offers such opportunities to young entrepreneurs and proud that our study supports their students in pursuing their dreams. Currently, we are able to work on our project during our semester, thanks to the flexibility the ATLAS curriculum offers. ~ Katharina Kück

As Katharina so perfectly put, thanks to the UT offering this challenge and opportunity, and ATLAS’ flexible curriculum, we have been able to truly learn from experience, gaining skills through practice rather than a textbook, and made great memories in the process.

University College Twente offers a unique bachelor’s programme, Technology, Liberal, Arts and Sciences, to top students. Visit the University College Twente website for more information about the college and Technology, Liberal, Arts and Sciences website for more information about the bachelor program. Or visit us during the open day, a student-for-a-day or an insight-day.

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