6 - 17 July 2020 | Münster

Every year, since 2016 the MSB has taken huge pride in offering students a unique learning opportunity through the International Summer School, led by PhD (c) Claudia Umanzor who like in its past two editions, made sure to deliver a non-precedent summer school.

"When lockdown shook us and tore our plans into bits, the immediate decision to go for a 100% online course was taken due to the commitment to our local and international students. We felt we owed it to them, especially to those who had already expressed their interest in taking part," says Claudia, who decided to take a risky approach by offering the same experience, via online streaming.

Surprisingly, after the re-route plan had been coordinated along with the Summer School Team, a total of 97 applications came in and a selection process needed to come into action. A sum of 45 participants with 11 different nationalities (Guinea Equatorial, Nigeria, South Africa, Ethiopia Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Spain, Sweden, France and Germany) from 8 of our partner universities (Assossa University, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, RCU Maria Cristina, Universidad de La Sabana, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Universidade São Francisco, FAE Business School and University Kristianstad) were invited to take part.  

The academic goal was to deliver a research seminar "on steroids" that taught students how to contribute to science by conducting rigorous research. Understanding, retrieving and using the concept of Innovation Districts was accomplished by: performing literature reviews, collecting data, mining and analysing results with specialised software and then successfully communicating findings. A devoted team of lecturers provided their expertise and mentoring skills, to make sure the intended learning outcomes of our EPAS accreditation aligned with the Summer School as part of our internationalisation strategy.

PhD (c) Joshua Mahaney, Creativity and Innovation expert, was key to our Summer School success, who made sure every participant felt present, positive and committed to a demanding two-week journey by establishing ground rules from the beginning and setting a safe environment to participate and co-create knowledge in this unusual learning setting. Despite the circumstances, a high-quality distance learning experience was delivered, held in synchronous and asynchronous mode with all the flexibility and personalization that online learning grants.

At the end of the intense two-weeks, the Summer School Team was delighted to witness how every learning objective gave life to a strategy that will set Innovation Districts at the heart of regional development and last but not least important, how teamwork turned into friendship, despite COVID-19 circumstances. Once again, the MSB Summer School has proven its resilience by adapting and patiently laying the path to build a solid tradition of Summer Schools in Europe.

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