“The sky is not the limit anymore.” Quite a bold statement, likely to provoke more than a few raised eyebrows or some smug laughter. It is, however, the proud motto and goal of the students that enroll annually in Thomas More’s ICE honours programme, tailored for those students who want to go the extra mile, push their boundaries, and give their studies a boost by tackling real-life challenges in a multidisciplinary and international group and create real impact.
PARTNERS IN EDUCATION –WE’RE IN THIS TOGETHER
For me this programme for gutsy students embodies what higher education, in particular at universities of applied sciences, should be all about: transcending disciplines, offering plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurship and fostering an international and innovative mindset. Talent for innovation, that is our core business.
And frankly, it is no longer possible – not even desirable – to achieve that on our own. What we need is a new ecosystem of schools, companies, and other organizations to join hands – and brains! – as ‘partners in education’ to train the professionals for the 21st century and create a culture of experiment and entrepreneurship in which every stakeholder is involved as part of an inspirational and innovative community.
Why don’t we, to name just one example, join hands to create learning environments in which students and professionals in the field not only work together, but also learn from each other with a clear ‘return on investment’ for both parties? That could be a credit towards a degree for students or a microcredential, edubadge or certificate for lifelong learning professionals.
Let’s “get (sh)it done!”, to quote the tagline of one of our other ICE Cube initiatives. Let’s build this network of/for talent. #wearemore… are you in?
Stijn Coenen is CEO of Thomas More, the largest university of applied sciences in Flanders, offering a wide range of profession-oriented degree programmes for over 19.000 students and cutting-edge practice-based research on 7 campuses throughout the province of Antwerp. Passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship, Stijn pioneered in setting up Thomas More’s Partners in Education network and laid the foundations for ICE Cube, the school’s entrepreneurial hub for students and alumni.