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Radical ideas in higher education: Three projects receive 650,000 euros in funding

Simon Sommer, Co-CEO of the Jacobs Foundation, moderated the "B3 - Bildung Beyond Boundaries" symposium at Jacobs University. (Source: Jacobs University)


September 27, 2019

Innovative and groundbreaking new ideas for future higher education were sought: In an international competition, the Jacobs Foundation and Jacobs University invited scientists from all disciplines to participate. The Jacobs Foundation provided 650,000 euros to support groundbreaking research projects following the "B3 - Bildung Beyond Boundaries" symposium. The third, and final project, has now been approved.

"Hands-On 4.0: Individualized Applied Education in the Digitalization Age" is the title of the third research project to be funded following the B3-symposium. It aims at an individualized education that takes into account the learner's interests, already existing knowledge and personality. It was developed by Professors Andrea Censi (ETH Zurich), Ralf Bachmayer (University of Bremen), Andreas Birk and Francesco Maurelli (both Jacobs University). The project "Developmental Adaptive Learning Support for Physics Students" by Dr. Jürgen Fritz, Professor of Biophysics at Jacobs University, and a project by Dr. Henrik Bellhäuser from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Prof. Dr. Peter Baumann, Prof. Dr. Sonia Lippke and Dr. Stanislav Chankov (all from Jacobs University) called "AMIGO" (Algorithmic Method for Intelligent Group Formation) are also supported.

A total of 30 proposals were submitted to the jury led by the Jacobs Foundation in Zurich. The competition dates back to the international "B3 - Bildung Beyond Boundaries" symposium at Jacobs University in November 2018: "The discussion with the participants encouraged us to look for radical ideas from very different perspectives in the competition," says Simon Sommer, Co-CEO of the Jacobs Foundation. The collaboration of international and interdisciplinary teams is to be promoted, with an emphasis on evidence-based educational research.

"The campus of Jacobs University serves as an experimental space together with the students and professors," says Pablo Zerm, Member of the Management Board of Jacobs University. "That is certainly what makes it special: It is not only about developing ideas, but also about concrete implementation and scientific evaluation".