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Transdisciplinary Master-Insert ‘Shaping Responsible Futures’

Sustainable Cities and Communities; Good Health and Well-being
In progress


ECIU University offers a set of three challenges on sustainability and health, carried out with multiple stakeholders from government, NGOs, industry and citizen groups in the eastern part of the Netherlands. These are integrated is a full-time, six-month program, called the Transdisciplinary Master-Insert, taking place on campus of the University of Twente in the vibrant environment of the DesignLab ( In this advanced and intensive challenge-based program, students from different disciplinary backgrounds engage with stakeholders on defining, investigating and tackling wicked problems. Moreover, they participate in micro-modules on transdisciplinary working, creative intelligence, societal leadership, systems thinking, futurism and change making, offering a broad range of activating workshops and seminars with enthusiastic academics and expert practitioners, in which students acquire new models, critical and creative skills and a change-maker’s attitude. Keywords of the program are transdisciplinary collaboration, responsible design, leadership, and personal development. 

Our challenges

The program includes three different challenges. The main challenge takes 6 months. It is a complex, open-ended challenge related to ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’, in particular to the energy transition. Scenarios and prototypes of a responsible future will be created for and with involved stakeholders. The two shorter challenges take 8-10 weeks and are related to either sustainability, or health and wellbeing. The challenges cover the full ECIU challenge-based learning cycle and receive input and guidance from ‘teamchers’ with a design, engineering and social science background. Core elements are design thinking, the integration of technology and society, and stakeholder engagement, in particular citizens and societal organizations. The program offers you the opportunity to pursue your own interests and become a multi-skilled and open-minded transdisciplinary team-worker, capable of taking up a variety of challenges. 

More information on the programme and challenges can be found on:

Expected impact

In previous years, students of the program showed capable of inspiring societal stakeholders, bringing ideas and people together, and making visions of responsible futures practical and tangible. Moreover, students became part of a unique learning community of curious and committed peers and engaged academics, in which they developed into accomplished boundary-crossers and confident future change-makers. What impact will you realize?

Target groups

The program is open for master students from all academic disciplines. We aim for a mix of technical and social science backgrounds and include students of the University of Twente and other ECIU universities. It is an advanced programs and we target students who already have some experience with project work or challenge-based education. 

Expectations from students

The programme is 30 EC and requires full-time commitment. Weekdays normally consist of workshops and meetings with staff in the morning and team-work and individual assignments in the afternoon. On campus attendance is required. Exchange of students from ECIU universities will be supported by the International Office of the University of Twente.

Practical information and admission:

  • Programme duration: November 2021/April 2022
  • Format of challenge: strategic
  • The application deadline is on October 23, 2021 at 23:59
  • Admission process
    • The program can accommodate max. 30 students. Admission is based on intrinsic motivation and commitment. 
    • To apply, submit a 'personal motivation letter' (max. 1000 words), elaborating on your interests, your experience inside and outside university and the relevance of this programme for your personal and professional development.
  • Upon completion of this program you will receive a certificate of ECIU University. On top, you will receive a certificate of the Transdisciplinary Master-Insert ‘Shaping Responsible Futures’, issued by the University of Twente.