VIP - Higher Education and Its Communities: A Transatlantic View on Openness, Democracy and Engagement
Feb 25, 2019
"One important concept to emerge from the discussion was the notion of integration. Participants promoted integrative lear-ning; that is, using activities in and outside the classroom to provide a stimulating and seamless learning environment to students.
The concept of integration found an echo in the discussion on research as well. Exposing students to research is a way of fostering better learning. The Association of American Colleges and Universities encourages its members to use the very effec-tive model of Vertically Integrated Project (VIP) developed by Edward Coyle. The VIP research teams unite undergraduate and graduate students along with academic staff to work on specific research projects. Undergraduates are part of a research team for three years; this provides them with an opportunity to develop their research and problem-solving skills. Graduate students and academic staff benefit from having extra pairs of hands to carry out large-scale research.
A US participant mused about the “integrated medical model” and whether it could serve as a template for other disciplines. The integrated model refers to links to the community that are maintained through patient care and delivered in the university hospital; links to the university are maintained through research and teaching activities; translational medicine weaves research and patient care together.
In effect, the School of Transnational Governance at the Euro-pean University Institute (EUI) is based on such an integrated approach. Its Director, Miguel Poiares Maduro, presented this project in the seminar. He noted that a growing number of universities are creating public policy schools that are focused on national governance. At EUI, considering the importance of both European integration and globalisation, the choice was made to focus on transnational governance. The School brings together students, researchers and practitioners from the private and public sector and policy makers. It is strong on interdisciplina-rity and organises such activities as advanced and executive training on a variety of topics; high-level policy dialogues with experts, academics and policy makers; fellowship programmes with specific skills training (fellows come from around the world, have very different profiles and spend three to nine months at EUI); a master programme in transnational governance will be launched soon."