Within ECIU University, students work on real, existing challenges. They contribute to solving urgent social problems. Since this spring, they have been working in international teams and with fellow students from various educational backgrounds. Four students and a teacher preceded them and talk about their experiences.
‘I mastered new skills and I learned new things both through online classes and group-work exercises’, says Federica Tagliavini, Master student European and International Studies at the University of Trento. ‘What I got the most out of it? To learn to work in a group. We must divide tasks, present as a fully-fledge group to other individuals, meet the deadline on time, and try to find a collective solution to our challenge.’
Agnė Paulauskaitė-Tarasevičinė, associate professor at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU), and coordinator of ECIU challenge-based learning (CBL) module: ‘It was a new experience to engage the students into the decision making through CBL. Initially, the methodology itself was not very comfortable for the students, but later students were actively involved in the discussions, suggested a lot of possible solutions to the challenge and after all we have approved five ideas. Three of these had the potential to be developed as real solutions in Kaunas city. So, I am really satisfied with results bearing in mind that the duration was 3 months only.’
‘I cannot speak highly enough about this way of working with society’
- Elisabeth Stene – University of Stavanger
This is also true for Elisabeth Stene (Economics at University of Stavanger). She took part in the ECIU Creathon at Twente University in 2018. ‘That experience inspired me to challenge my mind-set. So when a new challenge project came up, I naturally wanted to be part of it. I cannot speak highly enough about this way of working with society’, she says. Her fellow student, Arne Kragseth, also values having had the opportunity to work on a real case. ‘Academic studies can be quite far removed from the practical world, so this was very valuable,’ he says.
Working in an international and multidisciplinary team was a valuable addition to his studies, says Robin Ross. The student of University of Twente participated in the Autumn challenge. ‘It was a good learning opportunity. You work hands-on and learn in practice.’ That all the activities contributed to the solution of a real, existing issue was a big plus for Ross. ‘It was not made up. We have worked in an existing environment with experts. That is a big difference compared with fictitious cases. This was much more awesome. In these few weeks, I have got to know many people, worldwide, developed new skills, and met the real work field.’
Please read the whole story in the new edition of the ECIU University magazine here.
Would you like to work on challenges and meet and work with students from all over Europe? You can! Currently, a few early-bird autumn challenges are open for application. After the summer break, ECIU University will offer the rest of new challenges. Keep an eye on the website.