MaKe a real
impact

Make real impact graphic eciu

MAKEA REAL IMPACT: ECIU UNIVERSITY CHALLENGES ARE BACK!

Join international teams to solve real-life and real-time challenges! 

Open call for ECIU University member learners: for the upcoming autumn semester, we invite students to join the ECIU University challenges and micro-modules. 

The core of the ECIU University is the challenge-based approach – a model where learners, teachers and researchers cooperate with business and society to solve real-life challenges. 

Challenges are learning offerings (short or semester-long courses) that enable teams to solve real-life challenges provided by University business companies, cities, regions or public organisations. 

Micro-modules support learners by building competence and skill, for example, widen their knowledge in United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDG) or foster inter-cultural and foreign language competence.
 Explore the ECIU University challenges here

WAYS TO PARTCIPATE:

The core of the ECIU University is the challenge-based approach – a model where learners, teachers and researchers cooperate with business and society to solve real-life challenges.
ENGAGE IN SOLVING CHALLENGES
  • Work in multidisciplinary and international teams.
  • Engage with business companies and societal partners across Europe.
  • Tackle local, national and global problems with a help of a novel, challenge-based learning model.
Any questions regarding participation in the challenges? Please write to us: challenges@eciu.org  Explore frequently asked questions here!
Explore and apply to the challenges
JOIN MICRO-MODULES
  • Fill in the skill and knowledge gap in a particular area, for example, energy and sustainability, circular economy.
  • Develop transversal skills, for example, intercultural communication.
  • Learn foreign languages.
Learners can take micro-modules together with challenges or separately.

Even those learners who do not participate in any particular challenge are invited to take a micro-module in the area they are interested in.
Explore and apply the micro-modules
Solve Challenges Typography

How it works:

Any questions? Please write to us: challenges@eciu.org
Explore frequently asked questions here!
1
The challenge is provided by a city, region or business or public stakeholder and is entered onto the ECIU University Challenge Platform. The majority of the challenge and micro-modules are held online and are offered in English.
2
Learner registers to the Challenge platform and then applies to any challenge she or he finds intriguing. Applicationcriteria are listed below. The application deadlinevaries depending on the start of the challenge.
3
After the approval of applications, international or/and multidisciplinary teams are formed and include other learners and a team facilitator, called a “teamcher”.
4
The team works with the challenge provider (and other participants), engages and investigates the challenge, and proposes solutions using the challenge-based learning methodology. Challenges can vary in length, from one or two-day challenge, for example, hackathon or the challenge stretching up to the semester-length.
5
During the process, the team or individual participants can select micro-modules from ECIU member universities that help them gain additional knowledge or skills that are needed to solve the challenge. Learners can also take any micro-module separately from the challenge.
6
After successful completion of the challenge, all learners will receive a Certificate of Participation and a Challenge Supplement mentioning more details for the work carried out, which can be used for purposes of recognition.
7
Finally, teams might deliver their proposed solutions further – which may include services, products, research questions, start-ups and spin-offs.
Join our ECIU Student Community on FacebookExplore the challengesExplore micro-modules

REQUIREMENTS for students

TO JOIN THE ECIU UNIVERSITY CHALLENGES

  • Be a student in one of the 12 ECIU University member institutions.
  • Enrolment in a master’s, or a final year of a bachelor’s degree programme.
  • Completed 120 ECTS of higher education studies at the undergraduate level.
  • English language proficiency: B2 (Self-assessment, CEFR of languages).
  • Some challenges may have some special requirements,
    so make sure to look in the challenge description for any special extra criteria.

TO JOIN MICRO-MODULES

  • Enrolment information is provided in the micro-module description. Enrolment and admission to micro-modules is handled on a local level by the offering University, therefore specific admission criteria and additional enrolment steps might be required.

Why participate?

Real Impact

Gain first-hand experience and a possibility to contribute to real societal change. The ECIU University challenges are the ones that communities and organisations face at this very moment. Participation in challenges gives a “first hand” experience and a possibility to contribute to real societal change: the community, city or region. ECIU University challenges evolve around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal no. 11 “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.

CONNECTIONS

Challenges are provided by ECIU University stakeholders: business companies and public partners. Grow your network of connections and work with other learners, teachers, government, experts, business companies, and societal organisations from different backgrounds.

NEW SKILLS AND COMPETENCE

Develop problem-solving and team-work skills, widen your knowledge and fill in gaps in various thematic areas.

INTER-CULTURAL AND MULTIDISCIPLINARY ENVIRONMENT

Work in multi-disciplinary and/or internationalteams, build up inter-cultural competence, exchange practices and ideas, andincrease your network of expertise.

RECOGNITION AND OPPORTUNITIES

Gain a Certificate of Participation after successful completion of the challenge. Proposed solutions to the challenges might be developed further, resulting in services, products, research questions, start-ups and spin-offs.

CO-CREATION

Grab an opportunity to experience and experiment with a new way of learning, and in doing so, help to co-create the ECIU University: the new way for education on the European scale.

WHAT PARTICIPANTS SAY 

“We worked on helping the city of Enschede to transition to the circular economy, our role was to advise the policy writers and the municipality. I had interviews with experts and met a lot of great people. I learned a lot about sustainability in general, and I also gained some practical knowledge. That is actually how I even got a current job offer – skills and knowledge acquired while solving the challenge were the positive triggers in my application”

Ivona Glisic
Ivona Glišić
Student University of Twente

“This challenge gave me a fantastic opportunity to work with students from a diverse range of backgrounds.  We had the opportunity to examine Stavanger’s architecture and spaces from a different perspective and experience it differently, so that we could understand specific local challenges. Following a city tour and CBL based planning sessions our team came up with an idea of a vertical community garden. Our idea was that this could be located in an empty grain silo and incorporate different services so the unused space becomes a real asset to the community of Stavanger”.

Portrait Tim
Tim Marshall
Student
University of Stavanger

“I consider challenge-based learning as an “out-of-box” thinking and the great way to develop the entrepreneurial mind-set that strongly deviates from traditional learning. I had an opportunity to connect with local businesses, to know their needs. Our team had weekly meetings with challenge providers and building owners to guide us towards the result”.

Potrait Armin
Armin Shahab
Student
University of Stavanger

“What I liked is that challenges are about real life, real issues, not something made-up. It gave me a unique experience to acquire both soft and hard skills, not only learn about the problems you are solving but also to practice public speaking, idea mapping, negotiation, project management and teamwork skills. We also had very interesting speakers, providing their experience and great ideas”.

Portrait Ruta Peliksiene
Rūta Pelikšienė
Student
Kaunas University of Technology

“I mastered new skills and I learned new things both through online classes and group-work exercises. What I got the most out of it? To learn to work in a group. We must divide tasks, present as a fully-fledged group to other individuals, meet the deadline on time, and try to find a collective solution to our challenge.”

Portrait Frederica
Federica Tagliavini
Student
University of Trento

“It was a good learning opportunity. You work hands-on and learn in practice. 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.”

Portrait Robin
Robin Ross
Student
University of Twente

CHALLENGE-BASED LEARNING

At ECIU University learners, teachers, researchers, representatives of businesses and public organisations - join forces across a variety of disciplines to solve real-life problems, using the challenge-based learning (CBL) education model.

The challenges are provided by a city, region or business stakeholder of the ECIU University. Then each member university selects several challenges provided by their region, city or community and invites learners and students to explore join the challenge-solving team.
Graphic explaining challenge based learning
CBL is a learner-driven method, where learners take ownership of their challenge, define the problems they want to work on, and acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to solve the challenge. Teachers guide and facilitate team culture, help students to manage the tasks and enable students to move towards innovative thinking.

The ECIU University’s challenge-based learning approach follows a specific structure consisting of three main steps: engage, investigate and act.

Engagement: The basis for motivation is to be working on a “Big Idea”. This might be anything within a social, economic, or environmental theme such as health or public transportation. All the participants, teachers, students and external partners make sure that they agree on the final challenge to work on.

Investigation: All the team needs to ensure that they all understand the challenge and can contribute towards solving it with their knowledge and skills. Teams can take micro-modules to fill in the knowledge gaps or gain new skills that might help them solve the challenge.

Action: partners can use their shared knowledge to design, evaluate and prototype new solutions. Teams might deliver their proposed solutions further – which may include services, products, research questions, start-ups and spin-offs.
Explore and join the challenges!

Micro Modules


Explore micro-modules

Micro-modules are short learning experience that supports learners to fill their knowledge gaps and boost their capabilities to successfully engage in ECIU University challenges.

How does it work?
While working on the challenge, the participants may find out that they lack certain knowledge or skills to solve the challenge. They will be given an opportunity to participate in micro-modules related to the challenge they are working on.

In addition to this, learners from ECIU member universities can take any micro-module, even if they are not participating in the challenge.

Micro-modules can be of different types: • Micro-modules that widen the knowledge related to a specific field, for example, for example, Communication and transport systems, Energy and sustainability, Circular economy. • Micro-modules that help to develop transversal skills, for example, intercultural communication or project management. • Foreign language micro-modules.

Exchange and Mobility

MOBILITY MINOR

The ECIU Minor programme allow groups or individual learners to spend a semester at a likeminded ECIU partner university. Learners can choose their host university themselves, as each of the partners offers different courses and specialisations completely in English. The ECIU Minor programme is a fixed set of preapproved courses of 30 ECTS. They fit into the curriculum set of courses at the home institution. Credits will be fully recognised.
Learn more

SUMMER SCHOOLS

Are you looking for an inspiring way to spend your summer? The ECIU Summer Schools offer you a number of high-quality courses to choose from.
Learn more

Featured News & Events

See all news