ECIU
Home/For learners/Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Application to the challenges

Applying to challenges is a 2-step process. First, you have to register through https://challenges.eciu.org/Login/register to create a profile. Then log in through https://challenges.eciu.org to apply for a challenge. Only then will your application be valid and active in our systems.

First, explore the ECIU University challenges. Then, register to create a profile in the ECIU University platform and to receive more information about participation and till out the application form to apply for the challenge that intrigues you and you may get paired up with other European learners  that also thrive for the idea (or challenge). When accepted, engage in and investigate the challenge and propose solutions.

If you are a student learner: Your CV, a letter of motivation, Transcript of Records and proof of English language (when applicable and as requested in the registration form). 

(Please contact the student administration services at your University to obtain a Transcript of Records.)

If you are a lifelong learner: Your CV, a letter of motivation and a proof of English language (when applicable and as requested in the registration form, optional).

Please register to the challenge platform to find out more:  https://challenges.eciu.org/Login/register

The ECIU platform contains all the ECIU offerings, including challenges and micro-modules. To be able to apply to an ECIU challenge, you are required to first log in via the ECIU platform to create a profile. Thereafter you can proceed with applying to the challenge(s) that interest you the most. 

You can apply to micro-modules via the ECIU platform. All offerings can be found in the micro-modules page. To apply for micro-modules a separate application process is in place different than the one used for challenges due to the fact that a different admissions process is followed. More information about the application and admission to micro-modules can be found in the respective micro-module pages. 

It is possible for learners to apply to a maximum of four ECIU challenges per semester. The admission to the challenges is subject to the decision of the Admissions Committee, however it is possible to participate in more than one challenge  provided that there are no conflicting schedules. Learners are advised to include their preference to a particular challenge in their motivation letter.

The application deadline varies depending on the start of the challenges. Please find out more in the challenge description. You can explore the challenges here: https://challenges.eciu.org/challenges/

ECIU University has a 2-step admission process, led by the Admissions Committee. Once the process has been completed, you will receive an official email from the Admissions Officer of the university hosting the challeng with an offer to participate to the challenge. You will be given 2 weeks to accept this offer and inform the Admissions Officer.  Thereafter, more information on the challenge and the next steps will be shared.

As soon as you have applied you will receive an automated confirmation response. 

Thereafter, the admission process starts. You can expect to receive additional information regarding your application within two working weeks. 

Given any holiday period, please allow for some additional time. Your main point of contact after you have applied will be the Admissions Officer from the university hosting the challenge you applied for. In case this contact has not been initiated within the given timeframe, please contact us via challenges@eciu.org

In case you are experiencing technical problems registering to an ECIU Challenge via our website, please contact us at challenges@eciu.org

Please write to us: challenges@eciu.org and we will help you directly of refer you to the right contact person depending on the topic of your question.

Admission

If you are a student learner, to enrol to an ECIU University challenge, you have to:

  1. be a student of one of the 12 ECIU University member institutions,
  2. be enrolled in a master’s degree programme or final year of a bachelor’s degree programme,
  3. have completed 120 ECTS of higher education studies at undergraduate level, 
  4. have B2 level of English language proficiency (Self-assessment, CEFR of languages).

Disclaimer: some challenges may have some special requirements, so make sure to look in the challenges page for any special extra criteria.

If you are a lifelong learner, to enrol to an ECIU University challenge, you have to:

  1. be a professional or newly graduated students that is eager to make a contribution to our European society,
  2. have acquired a Bachelor’s degree (minimum 120 ECTS) at minimum and not be enrolled in a master programme during the challenge,
  3. have good command of the English language (at least a B2 level),
  4. be a resident from one of the ECIU member’s countries,

Disclaimer: some challenges may have some special requirements, so make sure to look in the challenges page for any special extra criteria.

English language proficiency requirement for participation in the ECIU University challenges is: B2 (Self-assessment, CEFR of languages). You will be asked to provide a proof of English language proficiency as part of the registration form. This can be done either via submitting a certificate or other proof of the language proficiency if this is available or you will be asked to select an option in the registration form that confirms the status of your English language proficiency. Such options may include: “I am following an English-taught programme at my university”, “I am a native speaker”, etc. Please check the registration form for all the options. If you have any questions on this topic, please email us at challenges@eciu.org.

ECIU University has a 2-step admission process, led by the Admissions Committee. Once the process has been completed, you will receive an official email from the Admissions Officer of the university hosting the challenge with an offer to participate to the challenge. You will be given 2 weeks to accept this offer and inform the Admissions Officer. Thereafter, more information on the challenge and the next steps will be shared.

There is no participation fee for ECIU challenges and micro-modules.

Content and Schedule

ECIU, the European Consortium of Innovative Universities, is the international network of universities with collective emphasis on innovation, creativity and societal impact. The ECIU University is an EU-funded initiative that creates a ground-breaking and innovative educational model on a European scale. The ECIU University connects 12 universities from 12 different European countries. Learn more: www.eciu.org 

The ECIU University challenges are extracurricular (in some cases curricular) learning offerings that are organized by the ECIU University members and currently open to the students of ECIU member universities and lifelong learners. The ECIU University Challenges allow learners to engage with external stakeholders to work on real-life challenges and make an impact. Our challenges are tackled using a challenge-based learning approach, multidisciplinary setting and international environment.

Challenges are provided by business and societal partners across Europe. These challenges are the ones that communities and organisations face at this very moment. You can explore them here.

Our challenges evolve around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal no. 11 “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. By collaborating at local, national and international levels, you help to solve these complex challenges and make society futureproof.

Working on challenges will give you “first-hand” experience and possibilities to contribute to real societal change - to tackle local, national and global problems with a challenge-based approach.

In addition, you will gain unique experiences and develop professional and personal skills, like problem-solving and team-work competences, the opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary and international team and learn inter-cultural competences. 

In the challenge-based learning approach, you will work together with teachers, government, experts, business and societal organisations. In addition to this, you may choose from a variety of micro-modules that can support you to better solve the challenge.

ECIU University considers four types of challenges addressed by teams consisting of a Teamcher, registered learners and representatives of the challenge-owners. The categorisation of the challenge types is based on the duration, complexity and expected outcome. 

a.     A "Nano Challenge" is a very short challenge that will be addressed in just 1-2 days in a short event (like a creathon for example). 

b.     A "Mini Challenge" is a challenge that is addressed over a period of 1 to 4 weeks by a team that will work intensively together. 

c.      Addressing a "Standard Challenge" is a longer process, taking usually between 3 and 6 months, where a team works and learns together, and may even decide to register for short courses (called Micro Modules) in order to improve their readiness to tackle the challenge they are faced with. 

d.     A “Strategic Challenge" is a large-scale challenge involving several institutions and various teams. Participants in Strategic Challenges will often participate because it will be major part of their postgraduate course syllabus.

All these formats are subject to the challenge’s duration and intensity. It is possible for the teams formed to define the format of the challenge if this is possible. This means that if particular challenges offered by the ECIU University allow the teams to define the duration and depth of the challenge based on their availability, workload and desired learning objectives. In this case a more tailormade/flexible approach can be given to the challenge.

As soon as the admission process is completed and an offer has been accepted, a team of learners will be formed; the teacher and/or a team facilitator (so called teamcher) will start working with students and helping them to tackle the challenge through CBL process. The teams may consist of only student learners, only lifelog learners or a mix of student learners and lifelong learners.  Find out more about CBL: https://www.eciu.org/for-learners/about#why

At the ECIU University learners, teachers, researchers, representatives of businesses and public organisations join forces across a variety of disciplines to solve real-life problems. The challenge-based learning approach follows a specific structure consisting of three main steps: engage, investigate and act, letting students be active participants and co-creators in the process. Learn more: https://www.eciu.org/for-learners/about#challenges

The first challenges will start in September 2021 but some can start earlier or later. The start dates and duration of each challenge are announced in the individual challenge description available at http://challenges.eciu.org. You can explore the challenges here: https://challenges.eciu.org/challenges/

All ECIU University challenges are offered in English, as challenge teams generally include students from various ECIU partners universities, so the main language is English. English language proficiency requirement for participation in the ECIU University challenges is: B2 (Self-assessment, CEFR of languages). Please check the specific language requirements in the Admission section. 

The duration of a challenge depends on the kind of challenge that is being addressed and the decision of the team members regarding how they want to organise the work. Please refer to question 21 for a breakdown of the typical duration of different kinds of challenge.

Participation in ECIU University Challenges is highly rewarding for those who decide to be committed and flexible. The workload will be shared out and each team member is asked to contribute to the best of their ability and to organise their time accordingly. This means devoting some free time to working on the challenge, which for most learners means extra work on top of their normal work or study schedule. At the start of the challenge, the workload is negotiated and agreed upon by all.

If a learner is accepted to a challenge, they will be given a period of two weeks to accept the offer or reject it. After accepting an offer the learner is required to participate to a challenge since the team of learners is formed on the basis of accepted offers. There is no regulation prohibiting learners to drop out or stop attending a challenge, nevertheless this will have a significant effect on the work of the team and the course of the challenge. If a learner decides to stop being part of a challenge, they are required to inform the Teamcher and the Institutional Admission Officer as soon as possible.

The majority of the ECIU University Challenges will be offered fully online for this fall semester due to the pandemic outbreak and the various national regulations and restrictions concerning mobility. Nevertheless, some challenges may be offered in a blended format. Please consult the description of the challenge for additional information as well as contact us via challenges@eciu.org.

A blended format allows students to collaborate online in combination with physical mobility. This will be defined by each challenge.

Next to participating in the challenge, students will be able to choose from a variety of micro-modules which support them to better solve the challenge. Enrolment to micro-modules is not mandatory. ECIU University will provide recommendations for suitable micro-modules per challenge, however enrolment is not mandatory and  learners are free to make their own choices. The micro-modules enable students:

-        to learn more about regional and international societal issues related to different aspects of making cities and regions sustainable (UN Sustainable Development Goal 11),

-        to learn foreign languages,

-        to learn skills that are vital in solving challenges in international teams (e.g., intercultural communication).

Learn more: https://challenges.eciu.org/micro-modules/

The descriptions of the challenges can be found here: https://challenges.eciu.org/challenges/

The descriptions of the micro-modules can be found here: https://challenges.eciu.org/micro-modules/

Enrolment to micro-modules differs from the application process for challenges. Learners can search for micro-modules via our website and enrol by following the instructions provided in the respective micro-modules descriptions. Please note that enrolment and admission to micro-modules is handled on a local level by the offering partner, therefore specific admission criteria and/or additional enrolment steps might be required.

Credits and Certificate

Each challenge offers a different amount of credits depending on the duration, depth and learning objectives. Please check each challenge for more information on the credits offered.

Yes, all learners participating to an ECIU University challenge will receive a Certificate of Participation after successful completion of the challenge. In addition to the certificate, learners will also receive a Challenge Supplement mentioning more details for the work carried out (challenge description, learning outcomes and workload), which can be used for purposes of recognition (in the case of student learners). For earning ECTS credits (applicable to student learners), please contact your student administration services at your university.