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The BioEnergyTrain Experience: 1st Energy & Environment Clustering event

Conference Abstract 01.10.2019

By Dr Maarten Arentsen, professor of Behavioural Management and Social Sciences at the University of Twente, NL, member of the BET Consortium and eseia Expert.

The transition to a renewable and sustainable energy economy in Europe is a critical developmental process requiring the integration of research and technology, education and training, industry and business, government and non-governmental organizations, and the general public. Of these, the linkage between industry and technological research and education is poorest in Europe.

The BioEnergyTrain project (BET) coordinated by eseia addressed this challenge by developing and pilot testing several cooperative learning formats engaging students from higher education institutions in real life problems and challenges of companies and organizations working in de field of biorefinery, biobased economy or energy transition. More specifically, BET ran in four years’ time several open summer schools, interdisciplinary student camps and pilot plant research labs in different countries. The co-operative learning formats link industry in a new way to education at universities and teach students to work in interdisciplinary teams. The teaching approach in the three educational formats reflects student centered learning (SCL). The co-operative formats widen student’s disciplinary knowledge, with interdisciplinary problem analysis and solving, team work and collaboration skills and communication and presentation skills. Students bring state-of-the-art knowledge from science and research to industry.

The co-operative formats do not need heavy institutional commitment. The success basically depends on the willingness and enthusiasm of teaching staff and staff of the collaborative companies and organizations. The core issue is the financing of the traveling and residence of the participating students. The co-operative formats are not only far away from the conventional / traditional teaching at universities with students in a passive role of listening to the academic teacher, but also far away from the financial formats of university education.


About the 1st Energy and Environment Clustering Event

Prof. Maarten Arentsen presented 23 September the BET co-operative learning formats developed within the project at the 1st Energy & Environment Clustering Event organised by the European University Association (EUA) and the Durham University. From 23-24 September 2019 in Durham, UK, members from university, industry and research gathered to present best practice examples of innovative education and training initiatives facilitating mutual teaching and learning cross-sector opportunities.


More Information

‘Theory and Practice of European Education and Training Co-operative Formats’

Contact person

Dr Maarten Arentsen, Associated Professor at the University of Twente - m.j.arentsen@utwente.nl