Nine master’s degree students from seven ECIU member universities met up on the campus of Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) on 28th and 29th March 2022. These students took up the ECIU University challenge “Climate Neutral Campus in Europe”.
The six-month format of the Strategic Challenge involves writing a master's thesis and thus, combines collaborative work on a collectively developed challenge with individual research and writing. The students have already been working together since February to develop ideas to reduce CO2 emissions, increase the behavioral awareness of students and staff at the university and develop proposals to avoid "greenwashing". Now, everyone is getting to know each other personally: students from the University of Trento (Italy), University of Aveiro (Portugal), Linköping University (Sweden), Kaunas University of Technology (Lithuania), University of Stavanger (Norway), Dublin City University (Ireland) and Hamburg University of Technology (Germany) have met for two days at TUHH. They have participated in presentations, team-building workshops and joint work activities.
TUHH has developed and promoted the ECIU Strategic Challenge of a climate-neutral campus. TUHH Vice President of Academic Affairs, Prof. Kerstin Kuchta, emphasizes the importance of students’ involvement: “Students act as the role models for the university, on how to deal with societal challenges. The big idea of the challenge is to prevent climate change and counteract the consequences that we face”.
"We are excited about the students' commitment and the contribution they are making to this visionary project. The exchange of ideas and experiences on a European level is inspiring for everyone involved," says Dr. Nadine Stahlberg, coordinator of the Strategic Challenge. "We are delighted to host the Strategic Challenge at TUHH. It offers students a novel opportunity for writing a master's thesis and a unique learning experience."
The aim is to work together based on the pedagogical approach of Challenge-Based Learning (CBL). CBL is an innovative teaching format promoted by ECIU University that aims to have students work on real problems and thereby provide scientific answers to societal needs.