Search form


B³ - Bildung Beyond Boundaries

Radical Ideas in Higher Education Challenge

Europe’s universities meander between a traditional narrative of Wilhelm von Humboldt’s science orientation and John Henry Newman academic studies orientation dominant for the Anglo-Saxon university model. Antonio Loprieno has called this a demystification process towards a rapidly expanding “world-class university ideal”. However, what are the implications for teaching and learning in the digital era?

The Symposium “B³ - Bildung Beyond Boundaries” brings together educational experts with diverse backgrounds to reflect on the future of Higher Education and to develop radical ideas for its innovation. Breakthroughs in higher education can only be achieved through an united effort by different actors across vast disciplinary terrain. For a great leap forward cognitive and educational sciences must play a significant part in educational technologies, learning analytics and normative values of Bildung.

The symposium on 8-9 November 2018 will be used to develop and refine a concept of a “Radical Ideas in Higher Education Challenge” with internationally renowned experts, and kick-off the Challenge to the public and the scientific community.

The Radical Ideas in Higher Education Challenge posed by the Jacobs University, the Jacobs Foundation in partnership with the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI) aims to foster collaboration between cross-disciplinary researchers and seed disruptions in higher education and academic learning.

Strong emphasis is given to an evidence-based application design, which potentially distinguishes this approach from other innovation projects in learning and teaching.  Such translational research may comprise psychological, physiological, pedagogical or technological interventions before, after or in an online or offline course.
External scholars will approach Jacobs University faculty, or vice versa, to draft projects

a) within or around the existing curriculum, or
b) experimentally launch a new offer to complement the existing courses or even modules.

An international jury will evaluate all applications and nominates up to three projects for implementation. Each project will be funded with up to 250.000 CHF by the Jacobs Foundation and must be accompanied by a rigorous evaluation. Projects should run for a maximum of two years and start in fall 2019. In line with the international profile of Jacobs University, we explicitly seek innovations and ideas from all over the world to be tested on our campus.

After the first pilot, it is intended to establish, together with the Jacobs Foundation, this format biennially as an ongoing collaboration within an innovation network for higher education.




Day 1: Thursday Nov 8th, 2018


Welcome by

  • Sandro Giuliani, Managing Director of the Jacobs Foundation
  • Michael Hülsmann, President & Managing Director of Jacobs University

Beyond the present.
How should university teaching look like in the 21st century?

  • Sanna Järvelä, President of the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI), Professor for Learning and Educational Technology, Head of the Learning and Educational Technology Research Unit (LET), University of Oulu, on: Do we have a common understanding or overarching guidelines for future teaching and learning?

Praeludium II
Beyond the national.
Universities and diversity; forming Weltbuerger for the excellence of science?

  • Patrick Aebischer, President Emeritus Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) Lausanne, Professor in Neuroscience and Head of the Neurodegenerative Disease Laboratory at the Brain Mind Institute EPFL, on: The role of internationality in the development of a top university, the case of EPFL?

Moderation by Simon Sommer (JF)


Beyond the discipline.
Academic innovations and the role of inter-and transdisciplinarity?

  • Antonio Loprieno: former Rector of the University of Basel, former President Swiss Academies of Arts and Sciences, on: [Impulse] The role of trans- and interdisciplinary in the higher education landscape?
  • Manuel Dolderer, President of Code University Berlin, on: Where are all the disciplines gone at Code University?
  • Victoria E. Szabo, Associate Research Professor of Visual and Media Studies, Duke University, on: How to decompose disciplines best?

Moderation Moderation by Simon Sommer

13:00-14:30Lunch Break

Beyond the digital.
The role of digital inventions in teaching and learning?

  • Sian Bayne, Assistant Principal Digital Education, Professor of Digital Education University of Edinburgh, on: A vision for a digital education, the Edinburgh approach
  • Hendrik Drachsler, Professor for Educational Technologies, Deutschen Institut für Internationale Pädagogische Forschung (DIPF) and Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, on: Remarks on the Edinburgh approach & what is the future of learning analytics?

Moderation by Marion Mueller & Jacobs University Student

15:30-16:00Coffee Break

Beyond the individual
The perfect learner and the future of teaching

  • Kathryn Paige Harden, Professor for Psychology, University of Texas at Austin, on: Can we predict a grading score?
  • Wouter van den Bos, Assistant Professor, Department for Developmental Psychology, University of Amsterdam; Research Scientist at Max Planck Institute for Human Development Berlin, on: Personalized vs. collaborative learning proportions in future curricula?
  • Susan Engel, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, The Class of 1959 Director of Program in Teaching, Williams College, USA, on: What is the role of a residential university if child future is determined?
  • Christian Stamov Roßnagel, Professor of Organizational Behavior, Jacobs University Bremen, on: How to motivate across student lifecycles?

Moderation Arvid Kappas & Jacobs University Student (tbc)

Transfer to the Hotel
20:00Symposium Dinner


Day 2: Developing concept of a Radical Ideas in Higher Education Challenge



Radical Ideas in Higher Education Challenge – developing the concept.

  1. Sanna Järvelä
  2. Patrick Aebischer
  3. Antonio Loprieno
  4. Manuel Dolderer
  5. Victoria E. Szabo
  6. Sian Bayne
  7. Hendrik Drachsler
  8. Kathryn Paige Harden
  9. Wouter van den Bos
  10. Susan Engel
  11. Christian Stamov Roßnagel

Moderated by Simon Sommer, Jacobs Foundation, Project Management of Radical Ideas in Higher Education Challenge