1 AP Hogeschool Antwerpen (BELGIUM)
2 Centria University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
4 Uniwersytet Lodzki (POLAND)
6 HTW Berlin (GERMANY)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2022 Proceedings
Publication year: 2022
Pages: 5738-5741
ISBN: 978-84-09-45476-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2022.1419
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
In today’s professional world, soft and digital skills have become increasingly important. Higher Education Institutions (HEI) need to provide their students with these skills that are highly sought-after in the labour market. Some alternative approaches to more traditional learning approaches must be put in place for this particular task. Nowadays, the need to include diversity and to support disadvantaged groups in the educational process is ever more a priority. This promotes inclusion and contributes to a more coherent society.

Start-IT is a project developed by a consortium of six European Union HEI, led by HTW Berlin, and financed by Erasmus+ under contract n.º 2021-1-DE01-KA220-HED-000023215. The primary objective of the project is the development of innovative teaching methodologies, such as active learning, within the respective HEI to promote soft and digital skills. This will occur firstly among the students who will participate in it. Afterwards, it is anticipated that the practices developed within the scope of the project will be extended to other students from the respective HEI, as well as to other HEI that wish to adopt them.

The core task to be implemented, in order to achieve this main objective, is the organization of three ten-day mobilities. Each mobility will involve 50 students from the participating HEI. These students will work in diverse, multidisciplinary and multicultural teams. The students will be supervised by academics from the participating HEI. In the three mobilities, it is intended that students will develop a mobile application and a business plan. The mobile application must be related to some aspect of climate change. The first mobility will take place this September, in Vila Nova de Gaia, organized by ISPGAYA. The other mobilities wil take place in 2023 in Berlin, organized by HTW, and in 2024 in Antwerp, organized by AP.

With this approach, Start-IT aims to contribute to the stimulation of innovative learning and teaching practices (with the adoption of active learning methodologies), to the development of STEM in higher education, and in particular to female participation in STEM (app development in gender balanced teams), to build inclusive higher education systems (positive discrimination for disadvantaged students) and support digital capabilities within higher education (development of digital skills of participants).

This paper intends to depict the essential aspects related to the implementation of this project. The introduction will allow for a contextualization of the main aspetcs the project addresses. Methodologial aspects related to the project implementation will follow and expected outcomes and resultas are later presented.
Active Learning, Soft skills, Digital skills, Climate Change.