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Vice Rector Màrius Martínez highlights the role of challenge-based learning at the ECIU University

El vicerector Màrius Martínez

Over 300 students have signed up for one of the 35 challenges the ECUI University offers during this second semester with the aim of taking on local, national and global problems through a challenge-based approach. In this new edition, the UAB organises four challenges.


Vice Rector for International Relations Màrius Martínez was in charge of inaugurating an international meeting to mark the start of the ECIU University's spring challenges. The vice rector pointed out that these challenges represent a “new methodological concept” given that “we are permanently asking questions”, occupying a “key role when facing these challenges and contributing with valuable solutions”. Vice Rector Martínez ended his speech with an advice for participating students: “try to learn, contribute, work in groups and do lots of networking”.

Following, Andrea Brose and Dorothea Ellinger, members of Universität Hamburg in Germany, defined challenge-based learning as  “a paedagogical approximation in which students form part of real situations that are relevant and related to their surroundings”. In addition, they referred to the change in role that this methodology has brought about, in which students are in control and responsible for their challenge, while lecturers are there to guide them towards innovative thinking methods.  

Then it was the turn of Trym N. Holbek from the University of Stavanger  in Norway, who referred to students as “pioneers” and talked about the more practical aspects such as recognition of their participation by the universities and went on to affirm that “students will receive a certificate which will be an official ECIU document”.

The meeting ended with the experiences of Robin Ross and Ivona Glišić, students from Twente University in the Netherlands, who participated in the first semester challenges. Both Ross and Glišić affirmed that the challenge-based learning methodolgoy had been “a great experience” in which they were able to help policy-makers in Enschede work on a strategy to foster the circular entrepreneurship of the city.

UAB Challenges

Of the 35 challenges offered in this first semester, the UAB organises four: Transform the free food distribution program guaranteeing alimentary security for vulnerable groupsSuperBlock of CovadongaProviding affordable, decent and energy-efficient housing to guarantee a basic right and strengthen community life i Seizing the opportunities of the digital economy to create better jobs, foster gender equality and build community wealth.

This information is related to the following SDG

  • Good health and well-being
  • Reduced inequalities
  • Affordable and clean energy
  • Quality education
  • Sustainable cities and communities