UT summer school like science festival

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The summer school organized by the UT in the coming summer will have the feel of a science festival with the name 'Curious U'. The students can personally choose which lectures and workshops to attend by means of a block schedule. All this will be surrounded by a music and cultural programme.

Photo by: Harm Jan Bronsvoord

'Curious U will be very different from traditional summer schools,' explains policy officer Erik van Dijk. 'You arrive, are given a block schedule similar to one on a festival and can pick your own route through what's offered.'

You can decide to choose blocks within a field of study, such as physics, but you can also go 'shopping' at different disciplines. In addition, there will be a lot of music and cultural activities. Van Dijk wants to kick off every day with an inspiring speaker.

All faculties are supplying input for the lectures and workshops on offer. Speakers are attracted from both in and outside the UT to speak on themes that fit with the high tech human touch motto of the University. Van Dijk: 'It would be great if you could set up something on nanotechnology in one tent while on tent over there's a lecture on ethics and technology.'

International bachelor's students

The summer school will last about a week and will probably take place mid-August, prior to the Kick-In. The UT is hoping to welcome a 100 participants in 2015, growing to about 400 in subsequent years. 'We are mainly focusing our efforts on international bachelor's students, but all students are, of course, welcome. We eventually hope to raise the student intake of the master's programmes.'

The idea to make the summer school feel like a festival originated at the Create the UT of Tomorrow think tank, where the idea Festivalize UT won the public's choice award. According to Van Dijk, the concept is unique. 'Other science festivals exists, but those usually only last a day or are not geared towards students. There's nothing like this in the world.'

Van Dijk calls on UT students and staff to send him ideas for lectures or workshops. He wants to have a rough draft of the list of speakers and subjects ready by next month. The campaign to bring in participants will start in November.

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