The European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU), is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The 14 member institutions will reflect on this on Thursday 15 December with the ECIU Back to the Future exhibition and various festivities and meetings on UT campus, Enschede.
Rector Magnificus of the University of Twente, Tom Veldkamp, opened the festive ceremony. He looked back on 25 years of cooperation and recalled that the University of Twente is one of the founding fathers of ECIU. "In 1996, representatives from Aalborg, Dortmund, Hamburg-Harburg, Warwick, Twente and Barcelona participated in a two-day meeting in Twente, after which the ECIU network was practically established to find solutions to new challenges in higher education", he says.
According to Veldkamp, this objective is still the same. "But society and higher education changed a lot. The challenges we face are far-reaching and the demands on European higher education institutions are high and complex in nature."
In the early years, primal interests of the ECIU network were regional development, technology transfer, joint study programmes, research cooperation, and student and staff exchange. "In that sense not much has changed," Veldkamp says. "We still have the same interest, but we have organised ourselves stronger and with more commitment in the ECIU University. We are now in the transition phase from a network of universities to a European University."
To celebrate this next step and the 25th anniversary, an exhibition, virtual as well as physical, was created. It shows some past and present highlights and casts a glance at the future. Visitors will see how the consortium developed over the years and the items presented are interactive. For example, test your ECIU knowledge with a real quiz, check videos with student stories and teacher experiences, watch the animation on challenge-based learning or read about the latest educational developments such as micro-credentials and flexible learning pathways and what ECIU's future plans are.
"The exhibition makes tangible what the consortium has been doing in recent years," says project manager and Institutional Coordinator, Rianne Kaptijn.
"As ECIU partner universities, we find each other in areas such as regional development, joint study programmes, student and staff exchange and educational innovation. Topics that are quite difficult to capture in images. And that is precisely what makes this exhibition so special. With videos, animations, quizzes, photos, position papers and our magazines, we can show all the developments in an very attractive way."