Students pitched their 'impact project proposals' that they developed during the Skills Academy in order to make societal impact in entrepreneurial ways in front of a professional jury, an 'impact winner' who will receive professional training and coaching by HUBspot Leiden to develop their projects further was announced. Students received their certificates for their course completion.
The 'Skills Academy: Maximise Your Potential!' was the first pilot that took place between September - December 2017 at the Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences at Leiden University in collaboration with the Centre for Innovation (CFI), the Millennial Leadership Lab (MLL) and the support of HUBspot Leiden. Students participated and experimented with new forms of learning in higher education through 21st century and transferable skills divided over four domains: Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Consultancy & Project Management. Students could choose a series of 4 workshops out of an offer of 8 workshops based on their (personalised) learning needs. The workshops included effective communication, creativity, problem-solving, budgeting, coaching, strategic thinking, collaboration and planning. Each workshop explored a theme.
In the Skills Academy students worked on aligning their personal and professional development as a base to achieve their life and career goals and potentially increase their chances for their participation in the labour market. A diverse pool of professional trainers gave workshops on a weekly basis in both hard and soft skills. Students were assigned on the basis of their learning needs. They received personal coaching and came up with their own 'personal learning roadmap', worked with personal reflection, theoretical and critical inquiry and a practical impact project proposal. In this way, they were challenged to think about what it means to be part of the Millennial Generation in a 21st century context and taking ownership over their lifelong learning journeys was stimulated.
"Students reflect that they have learned work and life skills that are generally not enhanced in their education, which was important for their development and work-life balance to ensure not to become part of the ‘burn-out’ generation was a recurring aspect. They also particularly indicate that becoming aware of the relevance of lifelong learning in the age of digitisation and cultivating resilience in an increasingly unsustainable world and highly uncertain job market was an important outcome of the pilot" says Seren Dalkiran, projectleader and developer of the Skills Academy curriculum.
We are delighted to have pioneered this pilot within Leiden University as an emerging good practice within higher education and look forward to a potential accreditation process that we are currently working on. Our aim is to ensure that the Skills Academy can benefit many other students across various faculties now the pilot phase has been closed successfully!
"Skills Academy enabled me to embed my passion in my future career. "
"Skills Academy has broadened my horizon, which I will continue to expand. Education is important, but we are in control of our future."
"Skills Academy provided me with a new, exciting and practical approach to learn about myself, on both personal and professional matters."
"Skills Academy provided me with tools that are applicable to many different real life problems/situations. This is much more valuable than just providing direct ‘solutions’."