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Frequently Asked Questions

Check the below sections to find all the information regarding the ECIU University experience. Can’t find the answer to your question here, or need additional information, please contact us via this contact form and we are happy to help you.

ECIU and ECIU University

What is ECIU?

The European Consortium of Innovative Universities (ECIU) is a network of 13 universities from 13 different European countries and Mexico with collective emphasis on innovation, creativity, and societal impact. The ECIU was established in 1997 and is composed of the following members:

  • Aalborg University (Denmark)
  • Dublin City University (Ireland)
  • Hamburg University of Technology (Germany)
  • INSA Group (France)
  • Kaunas University of Technology (Lithuania)
  • Linköping University (Sweden)
  • Lodz University of Technology (Poland)
  • Tampere University (Finland)
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain)
  • University of Aveiro (Portugal)
  • University of Stavanger (Norway)
  • University of Trento (Italy)
  • University of Twente (Netherlands),
  • and Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico).

What is ECIU University?

The ECIU University is an EU-funded initiative (Erasmus+ European Universities Initiative) that develops a ground-breaking and innovative educational model on a European scale. Currently, the 13 European ECIU members are part of the EU-funded ECIU University. Lodz University of Technology as youngest member of the ECIU, will join the ECIU University by Fall 2022.

What is the European Universities Initiative?

European Universities is an Erasmus+ initiative funding alliances of European universities who are developing new and innovative ways of organising education and international cooperation. The first pilot call was launched in 2018, and ECIU University was among the first 17 alliances to receive funding. In 2022 a second call was launched to help the European universities further develop their work and ECIU University was among the alliances to receive funding for the second term.

ECIU University learning opportunities

What are the ECIU University learning opportunities?

ECIU University offers two types of learning opportunities to learners, challenges and micro-modules. Please refer to the questions below for more details, and see the overview of available learning opportunities.

What type of learners are ECIU University learning opportunities addressing?

  • Student learners - Enrolled students from the ECIU member institutions following a Master's or Bachelor's degree (2nd or 3rd year).
  • Continuous learners - Professionals and other learners from societal partners and businesses. (Continuous learners will be able to apply to challenges and micro-modules soon in 2023)

What are the ECIU University challenges?

The ECIU University challenges are learning opportunities organised by the ECIU member institutions and open to enrolled students of ECIU member universities and continuous learners from the countries of the ECIU member universities. The challenges are provided by businesses, public organisations and societal partners across Europe. These challenges are real challenges that communities and organisations face at this very moment. By working on ECIU University challenges learners have the opportunity to engage with external stakeholders to work on real-life challenges and make an impact to society. Our challenges are tackled using a challenge-based learning approach, a multidisciplinary setting, and an international environment. Browse all our challenges.

What are the topics of ECIU University Challenges?

For 2022/2023, the ECIU University Challenges evolve around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities, with a focus on four main thematic topics: Circular Economy; Energy and Sustainability; Resilient Communities; Transport and Mobility. In addition to the SDG 11 themes, we also focus on the theme of Entrepreneurship, technology and innovation as well as developing transversal skills, such as language learning. More thematic topics and societal challenges will be introduced in the near future. By collaborating together with others at local, national, and international levels, learners can help to solve these complex challenges and make society future proof.

Why should learners enroll in ECIU University challenges?

Working on challenges will give learners first-hand experience and possibilities to contribute to real societal change. Learners will learn to tackle local, national, and global problems with the ECIU challenge-based approach. In addition, learners will gain unique experiences and develop professional, transversal, personal skills and competences. Learners will develop problem-solving and team-work competences and get the opportunity to work in a multidisciplinary and international team and develop intercultural competences. In the challenge-based learning approach, learners will work together with teachers, public stakeholders, experts, businesses, and societal organisations. In addition to this, learners may choose from a variety of micro-modules (short courses) that can support learners to better solve the challenge.

Why should learners enroll in ECIU University micro-modules?

ECIU micro-modules are short learning experiences aiming at developing new skills and transversal competences. Micro-modules support learners to fill their knowledge gaps and boost their capabilities in order to successfully engage in ECIU University challenge-based activities, and are typically attended individually and can be combined with challenges. A variety of domain specific, skill developing and language learning micro-modules are on offer. ECIU University can provide recommendations for suitable micro-modules per challenge or per the learner's needs. It is also possible to participate in a micro-module without participating in a challenge. Browse through all micro-modules.

Do I have to pay a participation fee?

Taking part in learning opportunities is completely free.

What mobility options do the ECIU learning opportunities offer?

ECIU learning opportunities can be offered in the following formats:

  • Fully online
  • Hybrid
  • Blended
  • On campus (physical attendance)

Learners can consult the specific page of each learning opportunity to learn more about the format and modality.

Application and admission to ECIU learning opportunities

How to apply for an ECIU learning opportunity?

  1. Register to create a profile
  2. Browse the ECIU learning opportunities and make a choice.
  3. Apply for the learning opportunity of your choice.
  4. Wait to be accepted and for the challenge to start.

Why do I have to register via the ECIU platform?

Registration to the ECIU platform is a one-time action. As the ECIU platform contains all the ECIU learning opportunities (challenges and micro-modules), therefore to be able to apply to any ECIU learning opportunity it is necessary to first create a profile. Thereafter learners can proceed with applying to the challenge(s) and micro-modules.

What are the admission requirements for participation in a ECIU learning opportunity?

For student learners:

  • Be an enrolled student of one of the 14ECIU University member institutions having completed at least 120 ECTS of higher education studies (exemptions may apply when possible)
  • Have B2 level of English language proficiency (Self-assessment, CEFR of languages)

For continuous learners:

  • Have acquired a Bachelor’s degree (minimum 120 ECTS) at minimum and not be enrolled in a Master programme during the challenge
  • Have good command of the English language (at least a B2 level)
  • Be a resident from one of the ECIU member’s countries
  • Be an ECIU University partner alumni residing in or outside Europe (exceptions and restrictions to particular activities will apply)

Disclaimer: some learning opportunities may have some special requirements, so make sure to look in the challenge description for any special extra criteria as indicated in the information section of each challenge or micro-module.

What information do I need to provide in my application?

Each learning opportunity has different requirements and documentation that is necessary to be submitted. Typically a CV, a letter of motivation and a Transcript of Records (ToR) are the most usual documents required, however some additional proofs or documents may be required for admission purposes after the submission of an application. All learners are responsible for providing the requested documents before proceeding with their application. In case of a ToR or other official documents regarding current studies, learners can contact their student administration services at their home University to obtain those documents.

Do I need to provide certification of English language proficiency?

English language proficiency requirement for participation in ECIU University learning opportunities is B2 (Self-assessment, CEFR of languages). A language proficiency proof may be requested, but all learners are asked to check their proficiency via the self-assessment. Please check the registration form for all the options. For questions on this topic, please contact us via this contact form.

What is the application deadline for applying to ECIU University learning opportunities?

The application deadline varies depending on the start of the learning opportunity. Please consult each learning opportunity’s page for specific information.

How does the admittance process work?

After the application process an automated email confirmation will be sent out. Then, a pre-admission process starts once the application deadline has expired. Once the application has been submitted (completed and with all the necessary documentation) it will be handled by an ECIU Admission Officer. The result of the pre-admission check will be communicated via through the ECIU profile and via email in the form of an offer, with instructions to accept or decline this offer. Thereafter, more information on the learning opportunity and the next steps will be shared. If there are any questions please contact us via this contact form.

Technical problems after registering to a learning opportunity?

If you are experiencing technical problems registering to an ECIU learning opportunity via our platform please contact us via this contact form.

Mobility Support

Will ECIU University help with organising travel and accommodation when participating in a learning opportunity at a university abroad?

When participating in an ECIU University challenge or micro-module abroad, your home university will support in organising mobility and coordination with the hosting university. Learners are responsible for any travel arrangements necessary but the host university will provide the information that will help make travel and accommodation arrangements. Some additional practical information can be found here or please contact us via this contact form for more information and support.

Can I receive funding for my mobility within ECIU University?

Some learning experience are eligible for financial support, from a dedicated ECIU student mobility fund or from Erasmus+. Please contact your home university (see list of contact points), or contact us via this contact form for more information and guidance on how to finance your participation in ECIU activities.

Learner Support

Can I get support or help before applying via the ECIU University platform?

If you are considering applying to one of the ECIU University learning opportunities and you need study guidance or support, you can contact us via this contact form with your request. In the near future, you can also visit your local ECIU Support Centre located at each ECIU member institution.

Can I get in contact with fellow ECIU learners?

You can find more information about the community of your learning opportunity once you have applied to it, a section will be displayed in your profile with all your teammates or fellow learners. If you want to connect to the wider community of ECIU learners, you can find more information here by selecting your home university and then visiting in the Student Engagement and Student Life section or check out our Facebook group. You can always contact us via this contact form if you have any questions.

Does ECIU University have forums for student involvement and engagement?

ECIU University organises student agora, events, and student representatives’ meetings. You can find more information here by selecting your home university and then visiting in the Student Engagement and Student Life section or check out our Facebook group. You can always contact us via this contact form if you have any questions.

What is the ECIU Student AGORA?

The ECIU Student AGORA is a forum for students to meet and support each other within the context of ECIU University activities. If you would like to know more, you can contact us via this contact form.

Working on a challenge

How will I work on challenges when I am admitted?

As soon as your admission to the challenge has been completed, a team of learners will be formed. The teacher and/or a team facilitator (teamcher) will start working with students and helping them to tackle the challenge through the challenge-based learning (CBL) process. The teams may consist of only student learners, only continuous learners, or a mix of both. Find out more about CBL here.

What is a Challenge-Based Learning (CBL) approach?

In ECIU University, learners, teachers, researchers, and representatives of businesses and public organisations join forces across a variety of disciplines to solve real-life problems. The challenge-based learning (CBL) approach follows a specific structure consisting of three main steps: Engage, Investigate and Act, letting learners be active participants and co-creators in the process. Find out more about CBL here.

When will the challenges take place?

The start dates and duration of each challenge vary and are thus announced in the individual challenge descriptions on our platform. Please consult the challenge description for specific information.

Will challenges be held in English?

All ECIU University challenges are offered in English, as challenge teams generally include learners from various ECIU partners universities. English language proficiency requirement for participation in the ECIU University challenges is B2 (Self-assessment, CEFR of languages). Please check the specific language requirements in the information section.

How long do challenges run?

The duration of a challenge depends on the kind of challenge that is being addressed and the decision of the team members regarding how they want to organise the work. Please consult the challenge description for specific information on duration.

How much workload am I expected to have when participating in a challenge?

Participation in ECIU University challenges is highly rewarding for those who decide to be committed and flexible. The workload will be shared, and each team member is asked to contribute to the best of their ability and to organise their time accordingly. This means devoting some free time to working on the challenge, which for most learners means extra work on top of their normal work or study schedule. At the start of the challenge, the workload is negotiated and agreed upon by all.

Can I drop out of a challenge after I have been accepted to it?

If a learner is accepted to a challenge, they will be given a deadline to accept or reject the offer. After accepting an offer, the learner is required to participate to a challenge since the team of learners is formed based on the accepted offers. Please note that dropping out of a challenge after being accepted to it will have a significant effect on the work of the team and the course of the challenge. If a learner decides to stop being part of a challenge, they are required to inform the teamcher and the Institutional Admission Officer as soon as possible. When in doubt, you can always contact us via this contact form.

Certification, credits and recognition

Will I receive credits for my participation in ECIU University learning opportunities?

Each ECIU learning opportunity offers a different number of credits depending on the learning outcomes and workload. All ECIU learning opportunities offer the possibility to gain certification, however not all challenges or micro-modules offer ECTS. Please check the information in each learning opportunity to find out more about the workload and ECTS or contact us via this contact form if you have any questions.

Will I receive a certificate for participation for ECIU University learning opportunities?

All learners participating in an ECIU University learning opportunity will receive at least a Certificate of Completion after successful completion of the challenge. In some cases, the learner will also receive proof of ECTS obtained and/or a Supplement mentioning more details for the work carried out (challenge description, learning outcomes and workload), which can be used for purposes of recognition (in the case of student learners). Other forms of credentialling, such as digital credentials will also be awarded for certain learning opportunities, with the aim to make this the prominent credentialing as of September 2023. Please note that this depends on the institution hosting the challenge and on whether the challenge is credit bearing or not.

Can I get my credits recognised?

For questions on whether credits obtained by participating in an ECIU University challenge or micro-module or the workload spent can be recognised as part of your degree, please consult the student administration at your home university. We advise you to contact your home institution on beforehand to check how your ECIU University challenge or micro-module may fit with your academic plan, and whether it can be recognised as part of your degree or study program.

What are micro-credentials

A micro-credential is the record of the learning outcome obtained following a successful short volume of learning and issued against transparent and clearly defined standards (Council of Europe, 2022). Micro-credentials are awarded by ECIU University members and issued by the ECIU as per European standards. They detail the competencies acquired during the learning process, such as expertise level and ESCO (European skills, competencies, and occupations) demonstrated by the learner. By storing and sharing them online, learners can personalize their learning experience, showcase their competencies, and enhance their employability. Read more about micro-credentials here

How are micro-credentials issued and stored?

Micro-credentials are issued upon successful completion of learning opportunities. The learner receives an email with a safe link to their credential and can then save it in either their Europass digital wallet or any other digital wallet compatible with European Digital Credentials. This allows effectively storing, accumulating, and sharing micro-credentials online.

How secure are micro-credentials?

Micro-credentials are tamper-proof, e-sealed credentials issued by ECIU, which adhere to European standards, and are quality assured by ECIU member universities.

Is there a difference between learning opportunities and micro-credentials?

ECIU learning opportunities are known as challenges and micro-modules. Meanwhile, e-sealed micro-credentials are what learners receive after they have successfully completed either a challenge or micro-module.

Who recognizes micro-credentials issued by ECIU University?

All 14 ECIU University member institutions recognize micro-credentials issued by ECIU. These micro-credentials can also be recognized by other European and international institutions since they follow European quality standards.

Are micro-credentials digital-only?

Micro-credentials are issued digitally by ECIU. This allows learners to receive, store and share them online – for example, using the Europass platform – while also ensuring the micro-credentials are tamper-proof.

Continuous learners

Which ECIU learning opportunities are open for continuous learners?

A variety of challenges and micro-modules are open for continuous learners only or blended, where continuous learners will participate in the learning opportunity with university students. All the learning opportunities can be found in our platform. A specific label indicates which learning opportunity is open for continuous learners. In the case of micro-modules for continuous learners, there might be specific admission requirements or additional documentation to be submitted. Please check the specific requirements before applying.

Who is considered as an ECIU continuous learner?

If you are a resident in one of the ECIU member’s countries with a bachelor’s degree and you have a curious personality, or if you are a recent alumnus/alumna from an ECIU partner university, you are the perfect learner for our ECIU learning opportunities. A good command of English is necessary as all learning opportunities are held in English due to the international environment (with the exception of language micro-modules). If you are interested, you can contact us via this contact form.

Which is the usual schedule for the challenges?

The schedule of a challenge depends on the kind of challenge that is being addressed and the decision of the team members regarding how they want to organise the work. This will be agreed during the first meetings of the challenge, when your team of learners have been formed.

Where can I find more information about the admission process, the challenges, micro-modules and other related topics?

Please check the other FAQs sections where you will find all the information regarding your ECIU journey as well as the specific information in each learning opportunity's page.