ITC celebrates launch of its own lifelong learning platform Geoversity

| Rense Kuipers

On Thursday afternoon, the ITC faculty celebrated the official launch of their lifelong learning environment 'Geoversity'. The ambitions are far-reaching: Geoversity is to become the leading online education platform within the geosciences.

Photo by: Eric Brinkhorst

Actually, it was a double party in Langezijds yesterday afternoon. Not only was the go-live of Geoversity celebrated. Earlier this week, the faculty was crowned 'Research, Science & Technology Institution of the Year' at the Geospatial World Forum in Rotterdam. It is for a reason that ITC dean Freek van der Meer called himself a 'happy dean' and told the dozens of attendees that he was 'proud as a peacock'.

He mentioned that the award at the Geospatial World Forum is the result of his faculty's ability to collectively set up something like Geoversity. And such a lifelong learning platform is needed, according to the dean. 'The world has changed, and so has the demand to study wherever and whenever someone wants. Online platforms can play an important role in this. Geoversity is an important strategic pillar for ITC and a contribution to the UT's lifelong learning ambitions.'

These were words that UT vice-president Machteld Roos confirmed shortly afterwards. She congratulated those involved. 'Geoversity can bring a lot to both our university and the world.' The UT wants lifelong learning to become the 'fourth leg under the table', alongside education, research and valorisation. While the faculties are developing activities in this area, the UT is trying to set up the administrative side this year.

Seven courses

The platform currently offers seven courses, such as on the use of drones in precision agriculture and the design of web applications for geospatial data. In addition, many ITC staff members contributed with articles, podcasts and videos on a wide range of topics, ranging from disaster risks and food security to land administration systems and mineral exploration.

Rock-solid confidence

According to dean Van der Meer, Geoversity should become the leading online learning platform within ITC's fields of expertise. The first signs on becoming that are positive, he mentioned. For example, he said that there is interest from Google, NASA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since the platform went live – last Monday – more than five hundred people have signed up. Moreover, the first course is already full, he reported.

What the long-term will hold for Geoversity, only time will tell. That there is a rock-solid confidence in the platform, that much became clear this Thursday afternoon.

Stay tuned

Sign up for our weekly newsletter.