News

Four students named University Innovation Fellows

229 students from 62 higher education institutions in 10 countries have been named University Innovation Fellows. Amongst them, four students of the University of Twente: Rianne Hagen (Bachelor Industrial Design), Titus Venverloo (Bachelor ATLAS), Sevim Aktas (Bachelor Advanced Technology) and Wim Kamerman (Bachelor Businnes & IT) have been selected. 

Agents of change

The University Innovation Fellows program empowers students to become agents of change at their schools. Fellows work to ensure that their peers gain the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to compete in the economy of the future and make a positive impact on the world. To accomplish this, Fellows advocate for lasting institutional change and create opportunities for students to engage with innovation, entrepreneurship, design thinking and creativity at their schools.

Fellows design innovation spaces, start entrepreneurship organizations, host experiential learning events, and work with faculty to develop new courses. The program is run by Stanford University’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (d.school). With the addition of the new Fellows, the program has trained more than 1,200 students since its creation.

Skills, mindset and knowledge

Fellows are sponsored by faculty and administrators as individuals or teams of students, and selected through an application process twice annually. Following acceptance into the program, schools fund the students to go through six weeks of online training and travel to the University Innovation Fellows Silicon Valley Meetup. Throughout the year, they take part in events and conferences and have opportunities to learn from one another, Stanford mentors, and leaders in academia and industry.

“During training, Fellows gain skills, mindsets and knowledge to face ever-more complex challenges at their schools and in the world,” said Humera Fasihuddin, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “They learn frameworks like design thinking and lean startup, which help them analyze their campus ecosystems, understand the needs of others, and uncover opportunities for change. As a result, Fellows design learning experiences that better prepare peers for their careers.”

Make a difference

“In traditional education systems, students have to wait until they graduate to make a difference. We don’t believe that,” said Leticia Britos Cavagnaro, co-director of the University Innovation Fellows program. “Students are uniquely equipped to make a difference while they’re in school; they know best what other students want and need. Our Fellows are working with their peers, faculty and administrators to co-design a different educational experience and bring about change where it’s needed most.” 

The four UT students will be joining the Sillicon Valley meet-up from 16 to 20 November. This is the fifth year anniversary, where the last two days of the meet-up will not only be with the newest fellows, but all 1200 fellows are invited to join. Read an outline of the plan of the students below.