2023 ICA-Edu Network for Innovation in Life Sciences Higher Education Workshop

The Student Engagement Challenge

Was held online on Thursday 27 April 2023 from 9.00 - 13.00 CET

A   Workshop Focus:  the Student Engagement Challenge

As higher educational systems continue to develop in the post Covid era many Universities face the challenge of engaging a new generation of students in University learning and life. The nature of learning is changing with a greater emphasis on blended approaches and flexible learning paths. The students themselves have changing expectations about how, when and where they learn and the types of extra-curricular activities they are interested in and willing to engage with. This workshop will explore some of these new challenges facing the sector with the aim of exploring University perspectives, the student view on engagement and will provide a range of case study examples of practice from both staff and students.  The Workshop will focus on students at the Bachelor and Master levels only.

The key objectives are to:

  • explore student engagement challenges across a wide range of European Universities and the policies they have in place to encourage effective engagement
  • examine how universities can encourage active student engagement within the curriculum and how they can interact with students at program level

Two pre-Workshop Webinars on this theme of enhancing student engagement were held in 2023 - the details and recordings can be viewed here

B    Expected Outcomes

It is expected that participants:

  1. Will gain knowledge of the diversity of policies and mechanisms in place at different Universities to encourage student engagement
  2. Will have a better understanding of the challenges and barriers associated with enhancing engagement both within the curricular and in extra-curricular activities
  3. Will be exposed to a number of innovative approaches and mechanisms that they can use in their own positions to enhance engagement in both the assessed curricula and more widely in University life

C   Target Audience

At the Bachelor and Master level degree programme coordinators, lecturers, members of committees responsible for the (strategic) development of curricula. National education advisors are also invited to contribute to the discussion. Students are also invited to contribute their experience.

D   Workshop Format

The event will be online and will run on the morning Thursday 27th April. There will be two keynote presentations to set the scene followed a number of short presentations from students and staff before a discussion session on meeting the engagement challenge.

E   Programme

Thursday 27 April

9.00 Welcome and outline of day

What does an enhanced engagement experience for students mean?

9.05: Keynote 1: Driving engagement: learning from the experience of the university wide KULeuven Engage initiative. Nicolas Standaert, KU Leuven Engage, KU Leuven, BE

9.50: Keynote 2: What do we need to do now and in the future to ensure student engagement in the class and in the curriculum. Daniel Hurley, School of Agriculture and Food Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, IE

10.30: Coffee break

11.00: Perspectives from students and staff via case studies [ Four 15 min case studies, 2 staff and 2 students]

Student engagement challenge 2023
Isa Stucki,
soon to graduate Food Economics and Consumption Master student from the University of Helsinki, FI.

Benefits of enhanced studnet engagement at the Faculty of Agricutlure
Sara Kolar, benefits of enhanced student engagement at the Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb, HR.

How can a well-structured e-learning platform and Quick Wins during a lecture/practical contribute to student engagement in class?
Evelyne de Caluwé, Educational Developer, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, BE
(see also  more creations to inspire you)

12.00: Discussion Panel with presenters of the cases

12.45: Conclusions and close

F   Workshop organising committee – ICA-Edu Executive Committee

  • Julian Park, Chair ICA-Edu, Former Pro Vice Chancellor Education and Student Experience & Professor of Agricultural Systems, University of Reading
  • Teodor Ioan Trasca, Vice Chair ICA-Edu, Head of the Department of Food Technologies, Banat’s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine ‘’King Michael I of Romania’’ from Timisoara
  • Stefano Cesco, Former Dean and Professor, Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bolzano
  • Kristina Kljak Vice-Dean for international cooperation & Assistant Professor, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Zagreb
  • Marta Mendel, Vice Rector for International Co-operation, Warsaw University of Life Sciences
  • Janna Pietikäinen, Vice-Dean for Academic Affairs, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Helsinki
  • Mieke Uyttendaele, Faculty Director of Education & Internationalisation, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, University of Ghent
  • Lisa Ploum, Chair ICA-Edu SIG & Centre for Value Creation and Education and Learning Sciences, Wageningen University and Research

G   Questions?

Contact Simon Heath This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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