CuriousU: Exploring new ways of learning

| Michaela Nesvarova

260 participants from nearly 40 countries in a big circus tent. That is CuriousU, a summer school festival currently taking place at the University of Twente campus. 'We organize this festival to explore new ways of learning and teaching,' said Ed Brinksma as he started the very first day of the second edition of CuriousU.

Photo by: Gijs van Ouwerkerk

The idea behind CuriousU is to provide a new, fun way of education by organizing a festival of science and learning. The last year´s, first-ever CuriousU summer school was a great success, and so it is no surprise that it is happening again this year. Besides extensive courses of their choosing, the participating students can look forward to inspirational lectures over breakfast or parties and various performances in the evenings.

'We are preparing students for jobs that don´t yet exist'

To welcome the students and to kick in the festival, Ed Brinksma took the stage this morning with his talk on the future of universities: 'People say that universities are an amazing example of stability, that they basically haven´t changed since the Middle Ages. I don´t think that is true and I believe that we will look back on today as a day of a big change for universities.'

'Universities can´t be isolated from society and they need to respond to changes within it. We are preparing students for jobs that don´t yet exist. At your work, you will need to use technologies that don´t exist today and face problems that we can´t predict,' Ed Brinksma described the challenges. 'The way we deliver knowledge is developing: we move towards learning by doing or gamification. Here, we are very interested in innovative ways of teaching. Lecturing is about the worst way to transfer knowledge, so basically we are wasting time right now, but that is ok - it is just the first morning,' joked the Rector Magnificus.

University 3.O

'Thirty years ago, universities had a monopoly on knowledge. Nowadays, everything is publicly available thanks to internet. In the future, we can use internet for online learning and maybe by 2035 we will get to a University 3.O: a Star-Trek-like holodeck where you can meet other people and collaborate,' predicted Brinksma. 'Perhaps the university of the future will just be a network of holodecks.'