Project Fenix & Hogeschool Utrecht collaborate on development

Innovation in Education

13 Jun 2023 14:25 | Entrepreneurship

Project Fenix has successfully introduced a tailor-made module to the Consulting Skills (Business Administration) course at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences. This module provided students with the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial competencies that are not typically covered in their regular curriculum. The goal was to impart agility to students through creativity, innovative thinking, and the promotion of their problem-solving abilities.

Illustration made by Elle Smits

Project Fenix, an initiative of the Entrepreneurship research group, explores various aspects of entrepreneurship and specifically focuses on the importance of dealing with setbacks and restarting, as this aspect is often overlooked in both entrepreneurship research and education. For the Consulting Skills course taught by lecturer and coach Toufic Elcure Alvarez at Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, an English-language module was developed to enable students to enhance their agility by strengthening their creativity, innovative thinking, and problem-solving abilities. The module consisted of a qualitative method in which students conducted interviews and analyzed their responses as data. Elcure Alvarez explains that their program's focus is not specifically on entrepreneurship, but entrepreneurial competencies are indeed universally applicable. "One theme covered in the course is learning what to do when things don't go well. That is a skill or knowledge that could be useful for everyone in business education," Toufic Elcure Alvarez explains the relevance of applying the module. "It was a bit challenging for the students because they were asking how to deal with difficult questions about falling and getting back up."

Shared vision

The collaboration between JuanFra Alvarado Valenzuela (leader of Project Fenix, researcher, and lecturer at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences) and Toufic Elcure Alvarez goes beyond sharing teaching materials. It involves an exchange of knowledge and educational innovation between teachers from both universities of applied sciences. Through this institutional collaboration, teachers can benefit from each other's expertise and experience, enabling them to improve and enrich their own teaching practices. "After two conversations with JuanFra, we thought that something interesting could be possible. In my opinion, collaboration is more about how open that person is to working together, the connection you have, and having the same vision regarding how it aligns with the students. That is the ultimate goal, and if JuanFra shares that same vision, then it works well," Toufic explains why he chose to work with JuanFra from Project Fenix.

Making an impact together

The positive impact of this collaboration between Utrecht University of Applied Sciences and Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences demonstrates the value of educational innovation and institutional collaboration. It emphasizes the importance of education that meets the needs of a rapidly changing society and prepares students for future challenges with universally applicable skills. JuanFra Alvarado Valenzuela shares his perspective on the positive impact of institutional collaborations in education: "Developing and implementing good ideas in collaboration with enthusiastic teachers makes a difference in the learning process of students. By adding small innovations to existing modules, we can take significant steps together in improving education. We can anchor that innovation in the curriculum by making good agreements with a team of teachers."

Join us

Making a difference doesn't have to be a big step. Do you also want to apply entrepreneurial competencies to education? Read more about Project Fenix here. For any questions, you can contact JuanFra Alvarado Valenzuela via j.f.alvarado.valenzuela@hva.nl.