What the Oscar is to the film world and the Nobel Prize is to science, the Dutch Higher Education Award is to education in the Netherlands. The Ministry of Education has named the team working on the innovative learning environment TU/e innovation Space as one of the three finalists, thereby granting them half a million euros in prize money. This amount may rise to 1.2 million euros when the Ministry of Education announces the top-3 ranking, on 1 March.
TU/e innovation Space provides an open community in which students, student teams, student entrepreneurs and researchers work in interdisciplinary teams alongside companies and social organizations. The goal is to use a scientific approach to devise and realize innovative solutions to societal challenges.
Prof.dr.ir. Isabelle Reymen is one of the initiators and driving forces behind TU/e Innovation Space: “I’m enormously proud of this national recognition for the great educational innovation at TU/e. In a few years, we’ve developed a new means of education within innovation Space that is now being emulated throughout the entire TU/e. Through the educational concept of Challenge-Based Learning, our students are offered concrete challenges which are closely related to their passions. It’s very inspiring to witness their enthusiasm close up and to see which big steps they take in a short period of time.”
TU/e Rector Magnificus Prof.dr.ir. Frank Baaijens sees this appreciation for TU/e Innovation Space as important support for the educational innovations at the university. “The engineer of the future must not only be an expert in his or her field but also work very well with other disciplines in order to solve complex problems. Crucial skills research, design, entrepreneurship, teamwork and creative thinking are indispensable to this process. With the innovative educational concept of Challenge-Based Learning – on which TU/e leads the way internationally – our students can optimally prepare themselves for that future.”
The Dutch Higher Education Award was created this year by the Ministry of Education in order to acknowledge the high quality of education at universities and colleges, to give appreciation to teaching teams that deliver top performance and to encourage teachers in educational innovation and knowledge sharing. A total of 5 million euros is to be distributed annually: 2.5 million euros for college teams and the same amount for university teams. The three finalists receive respectively 1.2 million euros, 800,000 euros or 500,000 euros.