Eight new multidisciplinary centres were set up in 2013 under the auspices of the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus strategic alliance. These centres focus on key and complex social issues. The researchers not only work together but also cooperate with a wide spectrum of social and scientific partners. Here we highlight some of their activities.
Centre for Metropolis and Mainport:
cooperation between academia and mainport
On 9 April 2015, TU Delft, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Port of Rotterdam, Deltalinqs and the City of Rotterdam signed an agreement to work together in SmartPort. ‘The best researchers working together with the most innovative companies in the port – only that will allow the Port of Rotterdam to meet the challenges of the future’, declared Michiel Jak, director of SmartPort. SmartPort will have an annual sum of more than €1.5 million at its disposal for the next five years. Rob Zuidwijk, EUR professor of Ports in Global Networks and the driving force behind the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Metropolis & Mainport, says: ‘SmartPort enables universities and the Port of Rotterdam to take on new knowledge challenges together. The Centre for Metropolis & Mainport is focused on the joint development of research and education at the three universities. The two initiatives reinforce each other, sometimes because researchers directly connect with SmartPort roadmaps, and sometimes because they see opportunities in new or connecting themes.'
read more (in Dutch)
Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa:
MVI subsidy for inclusive business models in Africa
The Centre for Frugal Innovation in Africa will be seeking to develop new, so-called inclusive business models for successful innovation in Africa. In order to accomplish this, they were granted a NWO subsidy under the Responsible Innovation (MVI) programme in February 2015. An inclusive business model not only focuses on making a profit, but also on making a positive contribution to sustainable social and economic development in keeping with local circumstances and values. The scientists will collaborate with Philips, the OASEN water company and Hatenboer-Water in the areas of water and healthcare.
On June 11, 2015 Medical Delta organised the fifth MedTechWest event at the Aula Conference Centre in Delft. The theme of the day was ‘Making connections’ and this was achieved on many different levels. More than 250 scientists, entrepreneurs, students, policy makers, financers and healthcare professionals were present.
Centre for Education and Learning:
The role of the teacher in online education
Every year, they are nominated, selected, and lauded – the teachers of the year, of each faculty, each university, and the Netherlands. These are the teachers whose lessons captivate you and inspire you. But how does that work when it comes to online teaching, in MOOCs, for example? What can a teacher do to help students online learn successfully and stay motivated?
Universities are heavily committed to online education, but this particular question has hardly been touched upon. Tim van der Zee, who has been a taking a PhD at the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Education and Learning (CEL) since May, is tackling this pioneering work. It is part of a broader-based research project, which aims to identify the success factors behind online higher education. He is being supervised by Wilfried Admiraal of Leiden University and Fred Paas of EUR, who together with Geert-Jan Houben of TU Delft are in charge of the CEL research programme.
Tim did a Master’s in Psychology of Human Learning and Performance at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and was looking for a PhD position where you “can do good research into fundamental questions with practical relevance, and preferably can work with others in a multidisciplinary environment”. This post was exactly what he was looking for. “With online education you can reach a large number of people, even those in remote areas. So it is certainly relevant. And what is more fundamental that human learning?” It will also be multidisciplinary. He will be working alongside education experts, psychologists, IT specialists, engineers, and policymakers in three universities. And with the online teachers themselves, of course.
“Classical teaching is often simply replicated to online teaching. There is too little focus on structural differences,” says Tim. He has already identified a possible approach: “A teacher at the front of the classroom is there in person, but at the same time is his own instrument. In online teaching, this connection is sometimes lost. A teacher makes an online platform, which takes over many of his functions. The website itself becomes a kind of teacher for the students. That is something we have to carefully think about.” The second PhD candidate at CEL, Daniel Davis, will start in the summer. He will be researching the role of the learning environment.
Read the interview with Tim van der Zee on the website of the Centre for Education and Learning.
Annual Meeting ‘Cutting-Edge Advances in Education and Learning’
The Centre for Education and Learning would like to invite university teachers and educational innovators to attend its second Annual Meeting, which is to be held on 2 October at Delft University of Technology. The theme is ‘Cutting-Edge Advances in Education and Learning’. You can attend a workshop on gamification or learn about immersive learning by way of virtual reality glasses. More on the website of the Centre for Education and Learning.