The innovation program 'Impact at the Core' of Erasmus University Rotterdam has been awarded a City Deal Kennis Maken grant by NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research). With a total amount of 100,000 euros, 'Impact at the Core' will appoint a knowledge quartermaster who will work on an 'Impact Space' within the final year of the bachelor's degree programmes. In this 'Impact Space' students will work in interdisciplinary teams on practical issues around a wide range of themes.
EUR's ambition is to achieve a positive social impact. She does this by contributing in her teaching and research to a better understanding of societal challenges and the ability to solve them. This mission is carried by our students. It is the ambition of Erasmus University to teach students to work on societal challenges in the city during their studies. It is important that students learn to apply their knowledge to real, sometimes difficult problems that are not shared by everyone. This ambition is shared by the Municipality of Rotterdam.
The Impact at the Core program is a five-year innovation program in which (new) education is designed with teachers and students aimed at bonding with practice and making an impact. Students can work on realistic practical assignments with the help of Impact at the Core. The aim of the program is to realize an impact course in every study program after 5 years. So far, 2000 students have participated in impact assignments at five faculties. From this first project round, the idea arose to start working with an 'Impact Space' in the third bachelor year. In this 'Impact Space' students work in interdisciplinary teams on practical issues around a wide range of themes. With the creation of the 'Impact Space', a (potential) university-wide education form in which all students can participate as part of their education, the transition to impact-driven education will receive a strong impulse.
Daniel van Vliet (Project Lead ‘Impact at the Core’): “This grant is a unique opportunity to appoint a knowledge quartermaster and to accelerate the interaction between the metropolitan context and education in the city. Students have been asking for space in their education for some time where they can make more impact and in this way we can accelerate this and better connect it to the tasks of the city of Rotterdam and the region in an interdisciplinary way.”
City Deal Kennis Maken
The City Deal Kennis Maken (CDKM) was signed on 16 March 2017. This deal accelerates the search for solutions to societal challenges in cities by involving students, teachers and researchers on a large scale. The parties involved in the CDKM want to use knowledge and use the city as a (rich) learning environment for students. Talent development, entrepreneurship and stimulating student involvement in society are paramount. Since 2017, many CDKM pilots and initiatives have been taking place in the 20 participating cities. Lecturers, researchers, administrators, policy officers, local residents, students: everyone thinks and cooperates in the local and national context. In order to support this movement, Regieorgaan SIA – part of the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) – has developed various grants for the CDKM over the past four years. These schemes focused on strengthening the collaboration between colleges, universities, regional training centers and the city. After the successes of the past four years, it is time to scale up. The aim is to embed the collaborations in a sustainable way and to make large-scale involvement of students, lecturers and researchers a regular part of city government and of educational and research practice.
The aim of this City Deal Kennis Maken scheme is to make funding available to develop an implementation plan including a funding model at institutional level. This supports universities of applied sciences and universities in their search for an institution-wide approach for large-scale and sustainable connections with the social challenges of cities and for embedding this approach in the curriculum.