In this course, students will work together with other students and experts from across Europe, on the transformative and disruptive challenges of our time as part of the Arqus European University Alliance. Students are challenged with conducting their own interdisciplinary research projects into how grand challenges take shape in the seven cities within the Alliance. In 2021, students will investigate the risks of climate change – from landslides to sea-level rise – and the role of institutions and citizens addressing these risks. In 2022, the topic will be diversity.
Meeting the grand challenges of our time
In the coming decades, Europe will need to rapidly respond to a number of converging challenges such as migration, climate change, inequality and the erosion of democratic institutions. These challenges are characterised by complexity, uncertainty, ethical dilemmas and urgency, and they force participants to rethink how we should act as European citizens.
In the 2021 course, students will work in interdisciplinary teams, in close collaboration with local institutions, on a research project that investigates climate change risks. At the same time, students will collaborate with students and researchers from the seven universities in the Arqus Alliance to compare their results and together build a portfolio of approaches to climate risk management for Europe, to be sent to the European Commission. These approaches will reveal the implications of climate risks for the principles and responsibilities of European citizenship.
1. Winter School 2021
The course kicks off with an intensive five day winter school together with students from the seven Arqus universities. In the Arqus Winter School, students will get an overview of the climate risks facing European cities and how these risks might be governed. Students will also develop practical skills, through intensive workshops, for mapping their cities climate risks; through interpretation of climate data, interdisciplinary collaboration and futures thinking.
2. A challenge-based learning programme
After the winter school, students will – in groups – run their own interdisciplinary challenge-based research projects in collaboration with local institutions. To support their work, the course combines international online learning modules, where students will learn from leading experts and collaborate with students across Europe, with local sessions supervised by researchers in each of the Arqus universities. The end result will be a research report.
3. A student-led forum
The course builds on their active participation. By participating in discussions, workshops and joint reflection, students will contribute to the learning of other students. As leaders of their own research projects, students will make key decisions regarding the directions of their research topics. At the end of the challenge-based learning programme, an academic conference, organized and led by students, will take place, as an opportunity to discuss and disseminate results from the programme.