New University Innovation Fellows introduce themselves

| Michaela Nesvarova

The UT has four new University Innovation Fellows (UIF). These active students, who are participating in the Stanford UIF program, held a Stakeholders Meeting yesterday to present their ideas on how to further improve the University of Twente.

Photo by: Gijs van Ouwerkerk

The University Innovation Fellows program is a global initiative that encourages students to shape the future of education. Each semester, four UT students are selected to participate in the program and to come up with plans on how to improve the university.

Wim Kamerman (Bussiness & IT), Sevim Aktas (Advanced Technology), Rianne Hagen (Industrial Design) and Titus Venverloo (ATLAS) are the four newest UT fellows. Yesterday they organized a Stakeholders Meeting in the DesignLab, where they introduced themselves and their first ideas to guests from all levels of the university. Unfortunately, one of the fellows Wim Kamerman could only be present in a digital form, as he is currently in Finland.

UT as the European hub for innovation

This semester the fellows intend to focus mainly on internationalization of the UT. ‘Our predecessors mostly paid attention to personal development and to better communication between staff and students. We aim to contribute to the topic of internationalization,’ Titus Venverloo opened the meeting. ‘We’d like to see how the UT could become the European hub for innovation and entrepreneurship and include all students in it.’

‘There are three perspectives of internationalization: internationalization for the university, for UT students and for international students – which is the theme we want to focus on,’ continued Sevim Aktas. ‘The issue is not only about getting international students here, but also about maintaining them and ensuring they have a good experience. We are here today to find out how we might become a pioneer in internationalization.’

Education, housing, student activism

To help answer that question, the students prepared a brainstorm session involving the various stakeholders, including rector Thom Palstra, faculty deans, the Student Union, previous UIF members and active international students. Divided into groups, the participants worked on cases related to internationalization, such as making education, housing or student activism more accessible to international students.

Based on the results of yesterday’s meeting and their previous work, the fellows will prepare clearer concepts on how to improve the international climate at the UT. Soon after, the students will travel to Stanford, where they will learn how to bring these concepts into practice.