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First European participation in University Innovation Fellows programme

Four University of Twente students were chosen to participate in the University Innovation Fellows programme by Stanford University.

Together, they make up the so-called Leadership Circle: a team of students working together to improve their fellow students’ opportunities in the area of entrepreneurship and innovation. The University of Twente is the first European university to participate in the prestigious programme. “We are proud to be the first European university within the programme, providing a stepping stone towards the European continent”, states Victor van der Chijs, President of the Executive Board of the University of Twente.

Opportunities for students

Students David Goedicke (Master Human Media Interaction), Jos van ‘t Hof (Master Electrical Engineering), Arian Hohmann (Bachelor Creative Technology) and Marjanne Luinstra (Master Industrial Engineering and Management) spent the last few months mapping the innovation ecosystem in Twente. They formulated opportunities and challenges to improve that system, and how they could play an active role in that process. The students will collaborate intensively with the team of the DesignLab, who will support them during their activities.

Marjanne Luinstra is looking forward to her role as ‘Agent of Change’: “University Innovation Fellows training aims to empower students to become agents of change at their own universities. Although the University of Twente has offered me numerous amazing opportunities, there is always a way to be even better. When I was asked to apply for this program, I did not need to hesitate long. Being a part of a journey that brings back creativity in higher education and pushes the university to become the best of the best is a very exciting experience. And for me personally; learning how to be an agent of change in such a complex institution as our university provides me the skillset and experience with change management I have always wanted but not yet obtained.”

For the next year, the students will be working on realizing their plans. Both Stanford and the University of Innovation Fellows network will support them with online training courses, meetings and exchange programmes. They will be coached by experts, but they will also help each other grow by sharing their experiences. On 21 November, the students will unveil their plans during the UIF Launch Event in the DesignLab.

European hub

The University of Twente is the first European university to participate in the UIF programme, effectively becoming a bridge to the continent. The first meetings took place in March, when Victor van der Chijs, president of the UT’s Executive Board, and Jet Bussemaker, the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, attended the UIF Silicon Valley Meetup at Stanford’s D.School, which is the annual meeting of all UIF participants.

Victor van der Chijs: “The University Innovation Fellows programme is an excellent way to allow students to provide a significant contribution to the quality of their own study environment. Not only can they develop their own skills, but they also help the university in creating better opportunities for all students. The UIF network offers an excellent opportunity to do so in collaboration with talented students and experts from all over the world.”

L.P.W. van der Velde (Laurens)
Spokesperson Executive Board (a.i.) / Press officer