While it is taken for granted that higher education has a key role to play in contributing to the knowledge society and to the Lisbon objectives, little attention has been paid to how creativity and innovation can be enhanced in higher education and to identify best practices in this area. The starting point of this project is that Europe - universities can contribute to the construction of European society by strengthening their capacity for creativity and innovation. This can be achieved through optimal governance, structures and decision -making processes; cooperation with stakeholders; students; involvement; a strong link between research and education; appropriate public policy and a culture of risk taking. The project aims to identify a range of conditions, success factors and good practices that enhance the creativity and innovative potential of higher education institutions.
The 28 participating institutions are grouped in four networks to work on a specific theme as follows:
- Creative partnerships: HEIs, industry and external stakeholders
- Creative learners: Innovation in teaching and learning
- Creative cities/regions: HEIs, NGOs and governments
- Creative HEIs: structures and leadership
Our network Creative learners: Innovation in teaching and learning will explore the possible ways in which creativity can be fostered through teaching by focusing upon the following areas:
- Effective teaching is determined by the engagement of learners. If learning is seen as a "joint proposition" between teachers and learners, what are the best practices in ensuring students "engagement in educational activities in and outside the classroom" These best practices can include the availability and quality of academic staff and academic learning resources, specific curricula and assessment that encourage creativity and extracurricular activities and events that promote engagement in the HEI community.
- Effective teaching also includes developing creative thinking skills, problem-solving and behaviours that encourage "out-of-the-box" thinking and that develop curiosity, risk-taking, tolerance for ambiguity and openness and applies both imagination and judgement consistently throughout the process of problem identification and solution finding What are the best practices in developing these skills? Particularly, is there a value in including research training in undergraduate education and how?