A game-changing university

ECIU University 2030, Connects U for Life


In 2030, ECIU University of which the University of Twente is a member, will solve multi-disciplinary societal challenges in entrepreneurial, innovative ways. Last week, the Board adopted the vision for ECIU University 2030, confirming a long term strategy that the university will bring together learners, teachers, researchers, companies, public sector, NGOs and regional ecosystems throughout Europe. UT-president Victor van der Chijs is also the president of this Board.

The adopted vision describes how ECIU University will be a game-changing university and will pioneer  as a challenge-based university at the European level. The university is based on the needs of society. It solves challenges and reskills the workforce to ensure significant societal impact.  

Sander Lotze, Director ECIU University:  “The vision underlines that the ambitions stretch much further than only the project. We commited ourselves on a joint process towards impactful innovative education and research at the European level.”

Upskilling and Reskilling the workforce

ECIU University is a European university without degrees. Research-based micro-credentials, offered throughout Europe, are the core of personalised skills and competence development of its learners. ECIU University flexibly upskills and reskills the European workforce, developing creative and resilient European citizens with an entrepreneurial mindset.

Blended reality

Digital transformation is key for ECIU University, operating in multiple realities and exploiting data-driven opportunities widely. Immersive virtual environments combined with gamification provide new standards for instant natural interaction within its community. 

You can download the ECIU University Vision 2030 here:

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challenges and how it works within ut 

  • COMPLEX ISSUES REQUIRE A MULTI-DISCIPLINAIRY APPROACH

    Smart ideas for current and future complex, social and industrial issues around the themes of digitisation, mobility or circulare economy re not up for grabs. They call for a creative, broad-based and often interdisciplinary approach in which the human dimension is just as important as the technological possibilities. The challenge-based learning approach of UT provides for this.

    Students from various programmes at the University of Twente have been working on such issues, often from paper, for some time now. Challenge-based learning makes it easier for student teams to co-operate actively with public and private parties which are referred to as challenge partners or challenge providers. Better and well-considered concepts emerge. Marike Boertien from Novel-T is involved in this. ‘I think it is cool to see the chemistry between the challenge partners and the students develop. For example, they spend one hour each week sparring about the concepts. A a result, a special bond develops between both parties.’

    We do more than education and research

    As a UT lecturer, Raymond Loohuis is enthusiastic about CBL and is closely involved with ECIU University, a new alliance of European universities of which UT is a partner and where challenge-based learning is at the educational heart. ‘We see challenges as an opportunity to build a long-term relationship with parties outside UT.’ Boertien adds: 'We would like to show that we are developing new ways of working together, in addition to regular research and education. If you have an issue, we will look at it and see what opportunities are there for collaboration with students. In this way, UT is easily accessible and we would definitely like to get in touch with challenge partners.’

    Actively getting to work

    Boertien: ‘If you have an issue, we will discuss it together first. Then we will match it with the right place in education and describe the issue in a challenge. We therefore ask the challenge partner to adopt an active attitude. Students need a lot of background information, because the issues on which they work are complex, often on a conceptual level. Collaboration involves regular sparring. We often see students 'swim around' first. After that, they have a lot of questions. And these questions are directed at the challenge partners: how would they solve this? Students and challenge partner acquire all kinds of knowledge and a firm collaboration between the parties develops.’

    In short 

    What are we going to do?

    As of February 2021, selected student teams consisting of 3 to 5 students will work on issues and ideas brought in by companies or institutions. Then the challenge will be defined precisely. During 4 to 15 weeks, the teams will work on the challenge in close collaboration with the participating parties ,in order to come up with ideas. Specially trained teachers and a facilitator will support them in this process, coming from different, relevant disciplines. 

    What do we need?

    To get off to a flying start, we are looking for regional (SME) companies or institutions that want to contribute actively to the students' learning process and are looking for fresh ideas for complex issues.

    Why should you participate?

    As a participating external party, there are numerous advantages to get involved in this challenge-based learning project. Some of them are:

    - having immediate access to and benefit from unique knowledge that is developed during the learning process;

    - gaining direct and early contact with our students;

    - getting to know the University of Twente and the twelve European partner universities of ECIU University in an accessible way;

    - being part of UT's international partner network, as well as other national and international operating companies and European knowledge institutions;

    - employees of companies or institutions developing important skills and gaining knowledge through their efforts during the learning process with student teams and UT staff.

    What do we ask?

    The most important things are: an open mind, some time for interaction and an occasional financial contribution comparable to an internship fee. In addition, you will be involved in a current challenge, which will consume on average half a day a week during the course of 4 to 15 weeks by means of active sparring with the student teams. Active involvement will consist of, for example, providing information and feedback on proposed interim solutions and a final evaluation. 

    More information: Marike Boertien (m.boertien@utwente.nl) or Raymond Loohuis (r.p.a.loohuis@utwente.nl)

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How it works? Watch here:

Latest news 

  • Skills Lab about stakeholder management

    ‘People are the key to connecting’

    As an ECIU University student, you will work on challenges. And you don't do that alone. Together with so-called societal stakeholders, who work in a specific field, you get to work. But, who are you going to meet and work with? This week, UT lecturer Tim Jongman takes the participants of the Autumn Challenge into his skills lab on stakeholder management.

    Why this workshop...?

    ‘I want to make students aware of the force field in which they work. Just mentioning 'the municipality' as a relevant stakeholder is not enough. Whose door are you knocking on? Who are you dealing with? Think in terms of people. In addition, I am going to tell the students something about citizens' collectives active in wellbeing, housing and care. .’

    Tell a bit more about that….

    ‘Citizens' collectives are initiatives that originated bottom-up, by citizens. They operate alongside and with the government and the market and form a third, important player in the field. They focus on the local and regional environment and act on the basis of strong norms and values. Think of trust, equality and reciprocity. If you look at the Netherlands, there are more than twelve hundred citizens' collectives in the field of healthcare. And this number is growing. They are formed around all kinds of themes such as energy and housing, and they are influential. The playing field for solving challenges has changed and we have to acknowledge that'.

    And what about reciprocity?

    ‘I think it is important that students think about establishing a partnership on the basis of reciprocity. Not just take it away and pick it up, but also do something in return.’

    What do you want the students to take home?

    ‘Good stakeholder management. The ability to build a good network to solve their challenges. They must know which party needs to be involved and how to achieve this, for example through reciprocity. Often, a pitfall is to think at an organisational level and not on a human level, whereas people are the key to connecting.’

    About Tim Jongman

    Tim Jongman is a Social Engineer. He owns T-Projects and is involved in project and process management, transition management, research and social business case development. He also works at Novel-T as a research consultant and is a lecturer at NIKOS. He is the treasurer of Nederland Zorgt Voor Elkaar and a member of the board of the regional coöperation Twentse Noabers.

    Autumn challenge

    The ''smart, resilient and happy communities Autumn Challenge Experience Programme is a unique, alternative international experience organised by the University of Twente and powered by ECIU University. It is a flexible, international short-term program. Students get the opportunity to come together in an international, collaborative and digital environment to work on a real-life challenge and to co-develop solutions, while at the same time they have access to various lectures, workshops, master classes and other fun activities.

  • Autumn Challenge has begun

    ‘Come and join our team’

    Initiator Elena Tsigki looks back with satisfaction on the kick-off meeting of the Autumn Challenge, powered by ECIU University, last Thursday. For twelve weeks, the forty participants work on challenges based on social issues. There will also be room for fun activities. It is all about the experience,' says Tsigki.

    The online session started with a riddle activity for the students, which lasted for about 15-20 minutes. ‘They could immediately get to work with a mini challenge,' says Tsigki. The riddle was based on Einstein's five-houses riddle. By answering questions about people, you can find out who lives where. Of course we had questions about the tutors for this edition. The tutor who drinks tea has Marie Curie as a favourite scientist, the tutor who likes blackcurrant fizz likes football as well, and so on. It was a lot of fun. Students had to work under pressure and time limits and already experienced their first challenge.’

    After the break-out session, UT President Victor van der Chijs welcomed all participants with a video message. ‘This course that you are about to enter is an extracurricular, challenge-based program that is hosted by the University of Twente and powered by ECIU, the European consortium of innovative Universities. It is the first time that this program is on offer and it gives students and unique virtual experience to work in an international environment working on real life challenges. You will be working with students from Trento, Tampere, Linköping and Toulouse. That is quite a large group. I hope you will have a good course and a lot of fun.’

    After that, the seven challenge providers were on. In five minutes’ time, they pitched their social issues. ‘It was nice to see that all parties involved were recruiting and really asked participants to “come and join our team”. The challenges came from, among others, the municipality of Enschede, the welfare organisation Impuls, and the platform Lucrum for the creation of a care hotel. ‘But there is also an individual issue provided by Mark Scholten. He wonders how can we improve the availability of spatial information for the vision impaired.’

    The program continued last weekend. The teams were formed. The students could indicate their preference through a ranking from 1 to 7, and on Saturday and Sunday the first lecture and workshop were held. ‘From now on, it is a matter of monitoring, seeing how things are going and supporting the students to have a good experience.’

    --

    The ''smart resilient and happy communities'' Autumn Challenge Experience Programme is a unique, alternative international experience organised by the University of Twente and powered by ECIU University. The Autumn Challenge is a flexible, international short term programme aimed at engaged learners with a vision to make a change in their communities and regions. This programme can be followed aside from your regular curriculum and will fully take place online. It offers the opportunity to learners to come together in an international, collaborative and digital environment to work on a real-life challenge and co-develop solutions, while at the same time access various lectures, workshops, masterclasses and other fun activities.

  • Autumn Challenge: a meaningful online experience

    A new project called the ‘Autumn Challenge’ aims to give UT students an international, interactive and meaningful online experience over the course of 12 weeks. Initiator Elena Tsigki explains here what the project is all about. (Source: U-Today)

    The first ECIU University study modules based on micro-modules conception are ready to be launched in the autumn semester. In the upcoming school year, students from the ECIU member universities are welcomed to have studies in the international groups for open and flexible education. This will be online or face to face by students’ exchange visits to the selected country. For enrolling to the micro-modules, the students should have at least 90 ECTS or a completed bachelor’s degree.

    Check here the list of micro-modules for 2020 autumn and winter.

  • 2 million euros for research initiative

    ECIU University receives 2 million euros from the Horizon 2020 programme. The financial support is intended for strengthen research and innovation, and for establishing the SMART-ER, a research institute for SMART European Regions.

    The research center implement a new model of doing research and innovation without barriers. Its scientists will overcome the limitations of disciplines, sectors and countries. The research is mainly based on a virtual collaborative environment and will promote the dialogue with society.

    Jointly, the members will pilot capacity building programmes (Seed Programme and SMART-ER Academy). Citizen science initiatives will be used as a testbed to put into practice all the mechanism and structures built.

    The funding allows ECIU University partners to address complex societal challenges together under the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal  (SDG) 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

  • Agreement for mobility signed

    The 12 partner institutions of ECIU University recently signed the Erasmus Inter-Institutional Agreement. This is a multi-lateral, inter-institutional agreement for mobility.

    The signing of agreement might seem a bureaucratic step, says Artur Silva, Vice-Rector at the University of Aveiro and involved in the initiative. ‘But it is really a milestone. It opens many doors and sets an example for the deepening collaboration at the European education area. Instead of bilateral agreements between individual institutions we have a multi-lateral, inter-institutional agreement that involves all partners at the ECIU University alliance. It changes the mindset. Mobility can include any faculty, any course of the ECIU University member institution. That significantly expands the traditional Erasmus agreements.’

    Silva adds: ‘The agreement is signed by all members. This means that students and teachers can already take action. They just need to contact their international office. Of course, the COVID situation in autumn is still unclear and that might imply some of restrictions to physical mobility. Still, the window of opportunity is now opened for the community of the alliance.’

    Erasmus Inter-Institutional Agreement will support new types of mobility: virtual mobility, blended mobility and the mobility through challenges and micro-credentials. This means that teachers, students and learners will be able to work on challenges and take up micro-courses with other learners and teachers from other countries and do it flexibly.

  • EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel:

    ‘ECIU University is testbed for future’

    The ECIU Presidium had a meeting with Mariya Gabriel, EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, on the future of higher education in Europe, Friday June 5th.

    The participants discussed the role of the European Universities initiative in the future of European higher education and the urgent need for innovation to counter the economic impact in post COVID-19 period.

    ‍The consortium shared their vision about the future of European Universities. Discussion topics included the challenge-based learning, blended mobility, micro-credentials and lifelong learning: the opportunities that the ECIU University is now is piloting.

    ‍Gabriel was very positive about the ECIU University’s front runner role, especially in micro-credentialing process and asked the ECIU to stay actively involved in discussions around European Research Area, European higher education area and Europe’s digital agendas. 

    The education and research innovations now being implemented at the ECIU University can act as a testbed and pave the way for further development in all European higher education erea, as well as become a catalyst for social innovations in Europe. She encouraged the ECIU University to stay in a close dialogue with the European Commission on the future of universities in Europe.

    ‍The ECIU university has a very ambitious and deep vision to remodel the European higher education and to establish a true European University where learners, researchers, business, public organizations and citizens create relevant innovative solutions for real life challenges with real societal impact.

    Around the table: 

    The President of European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU), Victor Van Der Chijs, the Vice-President, Per Michael Johansen, Treasurer, Màrius Martínez and ECIU University Project Director Sander Lotze participated in the meeting with the EU Commissioner.

  • ‘Visual identity gives colour to ECIU University’

    In order to build a cohesive brand, an accurate, strong, value-based visual identity for the ECIU University was created. Here is a look on the new identity and its creative process.

    The new ECIU University visual brand identity is based on core values of innovation, connection, rationality and timelessness. The task to create new visual identity for the ECIU University was taken up by Critical, a Lithuanian strategic design agency, and Kaunas University of Technology which was working alongside communications and marketing teams in other ECIU University partner institutions.

    ‘A visual identity helps people to notice, recognise and interpret a brand faster’, says Jonas Liugaila, Design Strategist at Critical. ‘This is very true at a time of change in the ECIU when the university is becoming the core activity of the alliance. The uniqueness, unconventionality and courage must be revealed from the very first impression, which undoubtedly influences further acquaintance with the content.’

    ‘To set up a long-lasting new organisation needs a recognised brand, look and feel; it has to be robust and accepted by all. It marks the beginning of the new endeavour. The new visual identity will give colour to the ECIU University activities,’ says Sander Lotze, Project Director at the ECIU University.

    Blue and yellow

    The ECIU University logotype is in dark blue and yellow. Yellow stands for the energy and entrepreneurial spirit while dark blue adds balance and sophistication, giving the impression of timelessness. Contrasting shape, colours and typography designs a rational logotype while also communicating a determination to grow, cooperation and innovation.

    The same diagonal shape is used in the visual identity in order to maintain brand recognition while further emphasising growth and connection. A simple structure allows this graphic element to be used in many ways and adapt to situations for the brand to be dynamic.

     

    Benjaminas Alimas, designer at the agency Critical, one of the authors of the ECIU University visual identity: ‘The main and the most memorable feature is the rising symbol, which semantically contributes the most to the brand recognition. It is a symbol that can be interpreted differently in the visual identity structure that helps to create a dynamic brand image. The contrasting and bold colour gamut helps to recognise the ECIU University brand as innovative and expressive.’

    Lotze adds that the new identity has a clear connection to the previous visuality of the ECIU, so people who know the old logo can still relate to it. ‘But at the same time, it is a very clear new brand. And even more important is that the visual identity sends out a fresh, modern message. It embodies our core values of who we are and how we want to present ourselves. Moreover, it shows that we want to build something new; it gives space to use it next to the own local university brand and, last but not least, it is appealing to different target groups’, he says.

  • Challenge-based learning in practice

    ‘EVERYONE HAD DIFFERENT TAKES ON APPROACHING THE PROBLEM’

     How does challenge-based learning works in practice? The InGenious event, last Friday at DesignLab, gives the answer. Three UT students presented their ideas how to redesign a bus from HAVI Travel BV that was rented out to by FC Twente for their away football games.

    The team that worked on the challenge was Bas Voogt (22, BSc Industrial Design), Laurens van Breda (22, BSc Applied Physics) and Trang Nguyen (IBA, Saxion). Their solution incorporated a hydrogen fuel cell as a battery for the bus. They  also added  screens on the exterior for flexible advertising. On top of the bus, solar panels made the verhicle a very sustainable initiative. ‘This project was my territory’, says Bas Voogt. ‘It was interesting to see my project mates struggle, but it was also very interesting to see how everyone had different takes on approaching a problem.’

     Interactive tables

    The interior of the bus has interactive tables where the match could be discussed straight after the game and it has two bicycles so that players could exercise on long journeys. Laurens van Breda: ‘The hardest thing was the amount of freedom that we had at the start. That left us paralysed looking for what to do. But we soon learned that freedom also means responsibility and you need to make rules yourself to keep everything structured. After that, it was quite fun.’

    Rik Platvoet, Ex Professional Football Player of FC Twente, on behalf of the bus company: ‘I really like the idea of the table. Feedback straight after a match is proven far more effective than two days later. Mostly also since we’re on the bus forty minutes after the game has ended, the game is still fresh in our minds.’ Voogt: ‘We just had a call with FC Twente the other day and they were really enthusiastic about our idea, so we’re excited to see where this leads.’

    Real-life challenges

    It is the second year that Raymond Loohuis (BMS and HTHT Module Coordinator) together with Wilbert Pontenagel (Program Manager at Novel-T) are bringing InGenious challenges to the UT. These are real-life social technical challenges that are brought forward by companies that promote challenge based learning for universities that are part of ECIU.

    Out of the 50 students that were part the minor New Technology and Business Development, 15 students were selected based on their motivation letters to participate with three InGenious projects stretching over a period of three months. As HTHT minors consist of students from multiple disciplines, so did the three InGenious project teams.

    The Challenge Based Learning (CBL) approach is very different to traditional educational models. Students learn by doing whilst experimenting with ideas and solutions in a collaborative manner, sometimes together with stakeholders and challenge providers. In this sense, CBL is a new way of learning where the outcome is just as important as the learning process.

  • 'An excellent oportunity to futher build its international reach'

    A crowd of internal and external stakeholders of Tampere University came together at Café Toivo in the city centre campus to celebrate the launch of ECIU University on 5 February. Sander Lotze, project director and UT-employee, gave a talk about the development of higher education.

    ‘Universities must keep up with the times and prepare students for the changing world of work’, said Sander Lotze. ‘It is important that students are able to flexibly pick and choose courses and develop the skills they will need in the future job market and our changing world.’  Continues: ‘We at the ECIU University believe that students build lifelong connections with their university. The ties remain strong and continue to evolve as alumni go through different stages of life.’

    Director, Continuous Learning Heli Harrikari, who heads the ECIU project at Tampere University, echoes similar sentiments. ‘The future of higher education is not ours to shape alone. The development of higher education is an undertaking that goes beyond the walls of academia. The ECIU University is not a project that has a beginning and an end; it is here to stay.’

    Key of this university is its cocreation with society. Among those present were the project partners, namely the Council of Tampere Region, the City of Tampere and Ponsse Ltd. A speech was also given by a representative of the National Union of University Students in Finland.

    Anna-Kaisa Heinämäki, the City of Tampere’s deputy mayor for growth, innovation and competitiveness, highlighted the ECIU’s University’s important role at the city level.  ‘In the past six months I have come across the ECIU University in my work almost on a weekly basis. The ECIU concept offers the city an excellent opportunity to further build its international reach’, she said.  Photo Jonne Renvall  Text Minna Puntila

  • Workshop Challenge-Based Learning

    Challenge-Based Learning is ‘hot’ in university education across the globe. On January 8, the University of Twente hosted a CBL meeting for an unexpectedly large and diverse group of participants in DesignLab.

    Challenge-Based Learning (CBL) potentially has two key benefits. First, because of the use of authentic and motivating challenges, students may benefit from increased motivation; also, CBL is based on Student-Centred Learning. And, second, societal stakeholders can play an active role in shaping challenges.

    Last week, fifty participants attended the lunchtime presentation by Charlotte Norrman from Linköping University of Sweden and Cia Lundvall from InGenious East Sweden. In their presentation, Charlotte and Cia discussed the role of the InGenious organisation as a go-between for companies, students and teachers of Linköping University. Also, presenters provided insights into the CBL course provided.


    After this presentation, two more introductions were delivered to thirty participants. One was from Raymond Loohuis of the University of Twente on his experiences with CBL, in two different educational units. In the other, Hans van den Berg, also UT, presented an overview of the CBL literature, to which additional topics – teacher development, Transdisciplinarity – were added.

    Next, Hans invited the participants to engage in a CBL-like workshop in small teams to discuss and score a survey containing various design considerations for CBL.

    Overall, participants were very engaged during this meeting. Video coverage will be available. The survey outcomes look promising.

  • Challenge-based ECIU University is born

    Yesterday saw the launch of ECIU University, the first European university where learners and researchers cooperate with cities, regions and businesses to solve real-life challenges.

    The official kick-off was hosted by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, ECIU’s Spanish member. Using its facilities at the Bellaterra campus and the UAB Casa Convalescència in Barcelona, the ECIU University Board met for the first time. Typical new for this university is the participation of representatives of the industry and government in the Board. Onno van Veldhuizen, mayor of Enschede, will be one of them.


    The objective of the new international university is to establish a new concept of international university, going beyond regular European collaboration. Education will be based on solving challenges, embedded international mobility and collaborations among universities. Learners will get micro-credentials for short, very specialised training courses, and a competence “passport” which will provide an individualised account of what each student has learned and the skills acquired.

    With regard to research and knowledge transfer, a series of living labs will be created in both physical and online spaces where university researchers will work directly with businesses and institutions in the definition and monitoring of projects. Moreover, three Challenge Innovation Hubs will be set up in northern, central and southern Europe. They will be coordinated each by Linköping University (Sweden), Hamburg University of Technology (Germany) and Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain).

    In this pilot phase the ECIU University focuses on challenges related to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 to “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. 


About ECIU University 

The world is changing and universities should be changing with it. That is the basic idea behind the ECIU's ambitious project, the 'ECIU University'. It’s a joint university involving all ECIU members and offering a completely new type of education.

  • Not a 'one size fits all university'

    The ECIU University’s type of education is open to everyone, including lifelong learners, and that is not focused on getting a diploma, but on solving real life challenges. 'I dream of a "NETFLIX" styled university, where you pay a fee and choose from all the courses available,' says Sander Lotze, Manager of International Affairs at the University of Twente and the 'ECIU University' project leader.

    Where and why did the idea for the ECIU University originate?

    Lotze: 'It originated in a board meeting held about a year ago in Kaunas. We were discussing the added value of enhanced collaboration and the future of education. We can see that there is an increased need for flexibility among students and an increased need for lifelong learning. Moreover, industry is asking for different skill sets than universities are currently delivering in their graduates. Society in general is dealing with larger and larger challenges. The generation of now is worrying about the problems of tomorrow. All in all, the world is changing. We asked ourselves: How can we react to it? And the typical ECIU answer is based on innovation and a close collaboration with regions and industry. We organized workshops with our stakeholders at every member university. Together we co-created the idea for the future of education and ended up with the plan for a challenge based ECIU University.'

    What is a 'challenge-based' university?

    'It is focused on getting solutions to big societal challenges. We are talking about challenge based learning, research and innovation. We'd like to create an arena where people can set up challenges, a sort of a database where anyone - students, members of industry, government or citizens - can sign up and form teams. These teams would therefore include a diverse group of people with different expertise and background, all working on one challenge. Because of this diversity, the participants would naturally have different learning needs. Our goal is to deliver modular education. We don't want a "one size fits all" university, but an educational system based on building blocks that you put together yourself.' 

    Should this new type of education replace the current universities?

    'The vision is not to replace the traditional universities. This should be an "add on" that can move to spaces which traditional universities have troubles accessing. Such as lifelong learning, which is something that we still struggle to accommodate. We want to provide an environment where you go to help the world or a company to solve a real problem. That is a very different starting point from what we offer now. Now you know how your degree will look like. There is little freedom; in the ECIU  are creating flexible learning pathways, learning that is mission driven. We also believe that this type of education could keep people bound to their home universities.'

    When do you think this could become a reality?

    'This is still a pilot phase. However, we are working on a challenge based Master programme that could start in the next three years. Within this programme, you would still get a degree but not in a specific field. It would allow you to move freely from one ECIU university to another during your studies. In the long run, we would also love to have one European challenge based Master programme in a certain UN Sustainable Development Goal. If it comes to lifelong learners, the idea is to provide them with a competence passport, which - just like a regular passport - needs to be renewed after a certain amount of time. We believe this could already start in the next year. For the more distant future, you pick and choose you challenge. I dream of a university, where you are a life-long member of an educational environment, you contribute to solving relevant challenges and gain knowledge, skills and competences rather than a degree.'

Challenged-based learning explained 

  • The concept of challenge-based learning explained

    Learners all around Europe are asking to obtain relevant and state-of-the-art knowledge and skills in order to solve global challenges. Learners, researchers, industry and society can pose challenges on the ECIU University platform where challenges are listed according to the sustainable development goals of the United Nations.

    The challenges will be worked out by teams in which learners and employees from industry and society will work together, supported by training teams of teamchers.

    During the project, the team members notice that they lack certain skills to continue the project. Therefore, they take micro-credentials which are offered by all 13 ECIU universities. They can range from online courses to study packages at a university to summer schools to research projects.

    After the successful completion, all learning will be documented in a European competence passport. Micro-credentials, as well as all skills obtained through the project are listed in the passport and can be renewed and complemented at any time. Every challenge ends with a specific outcome, which can be spin-offs, new research questions, new challenges and most importantly a better and more sustainable world.