CuriousU expands with summer school for professionals

| Rense Kuipers

UT summer school CuriousU is expanding its offering, with a summer school for professionals. In collaboration with the Professional Learning & Development Centre, CuriousU PRO – as it’s called – will offer five courses to a maximum of sixty participants this summer.

Photo by: Gijs van Ouwerkerk
Archive image of a keynote lecture at CuriousU.

Both parties found each other last year, around the time when the summer school was supposed to take place, but was cancelled because of the pandemic. ‘We were working on our vision and saw the need for diversifying our educational offerings,’ explains CuriousU project leader Elena Tsigki. ‘That coincided with the development of Shaping2030. Because the UT’s vision contains elements like life-long learning and challenge-based learning, it was a natural next step to team up with the Professional Learning & Development Centre (PLD, ed.).’

PLD team leader Dick Wijnveen agrees with Tsigki. ‘It turns out we’re very complementary to each other. Sometimes, we used to offer a summer course to professionals, but that was never really structurally. This summer school is an opportunity to create a foundation that we can build on. Hopefully this will be a big event after one or two years.’

Starting off small

First things first, CuriousU PRO will start off small, in the form of a pilot. The summer school for professionals will take place from the 23rd until the 31st of August at the UPark hotel. The joint organisation is aiming for a maximum of sixty participants, spread over five courses with topics related to entrepreneurship, risk leadership, digitalization, negotiating and sustainability. ‘All courses take two days, except for the course on designing green climate fund projects, for which we’re collaborating with the CSTM department’, says Tsigki. ‘This course is more project and research-based, so it’ll take five days and is more fit for an academic audience or professionals in this field.’

Whereas the regular CuriousU is very internationally oriented and festival-like, the version for professionals will be a bit different, says Wijnveen. ‘It’s more content-based and we don’t expect people from all over the world to come. We expect the majority of the participants to come from the Netherlands and neighbouring countries. Also because a few courses are taught in Dutch.’

Blended summer school

CuriousU is set to take place for the sixth time. This edition will take place in a blended fashion, explains Tsigki. ‘The first week will take place online to get a hang of the theoretical part, participants will come to campus in the second week for project-based work. This setup allows us to be flexible, in case we need to go fully online. We of course don’t know what the pandemic situation will look like by then.’

Still, Tsigki is hopeful physical activities can take place. ‘Meeting people, networking and having fun are at the heart of our summer school. It would be nice if we could get close to the old normal again, but we’re staying cautious and flexible.’

CuriousU PRO will take place from 23-31 August. CuriousU starts on the 2nd of August and takes until the 15th.

Stay tuned

Sign up for our weekly newsletter.