ENLIGHT joint courses

Global Engagement Module 2024

About the course


All major challenges we face today - from the climate crisis and energy transition to the digital revolution, public health and the need to build equitable societies, are indisputably issues that affect our whole planet and can only be dealt with effectively on a world scale. Each of these challenges goes well beyond the boundaries of traditional academic disciplines. The sum of specific skills and competencies, however important, does not suffice to tackle such issues.

If we want tomorrow’s academics to be truly globally engaged, they need to be equipped with the right mind-set and generic competencies and skills. This means to identify not as a member of a state, a tribe, or a nation, but instead as a member of the human race, looking beyond the narrow scope of national or personal interests. A globally engaged academic understands and appreciates different perspectives and world views, and interacts successfully and respectfully with others, in order to take responsible action toward sustainability and collective well-being.

Of course, such skills and competencies cannot be acquired easily and at short notice. They require many years of dedication and experience. Nevertheless, the Global Engagement Module has the ambitious goal to lay the first foundations for student’s global citizenship and careers. It aims to create awareness and show the way to succeed in an increasingly global and dynamic world. By doing so, it aspires to fill a need overlooked by most traditional academic programmes.

The Global Engagement module will fully exploit ENLIGHT’s huge diversity potential. Alongside an appreciation of diversity and strong belief in inclusion, the educational vision of this programme draws on activation of students and the provision of personalized feedback, both among students and by the teaching staff. In practice, teaching methods will include challenge-based learning, interdisciplinarity and peer learning and -assessment.

Learning outcomes

In this module you will:
acquire knowledge about the world and other cultures

  • understand historic developments and contemporary concepts relating to global engagement, global citizenship, diversity and inclusiveness;
  • learn about different disciplinary approaches and methodologies to solving global challenges

master skills to understand the world and take action

  • apply a challenge-based approach
  • collaborate effectively within a diverse team
  • communicate ideas, visions, and project results to a wide range of audiences
  • actively and respectfully engage with different perspectives to achieve comprehensive solutions

develop attitudes of openness & valuing human dignity and diversity

  • reflect on their own learning process and give and receive constructive feedback
  • recognise and critically reflect on the way their own value-system influences their perspective
  • appreciate social and cultural diversity

Each challenge will additionally provide with specific Learning Outcomes.

In the development of this programme two ENLIGHT partner universities are involved: University of Groningen (NL) and Ghent University (BE).


In the 2024 edition participating students from every ENLIGHT partner university, will be divided into two Learning Communities (LCs) of 30 students each. In the second part of the programme these LCs will be split up in smaller teams of ca. 5 students. On the basis of the student’s gender, home university, disciplinary background and team roles, a mixed and heterogeneous group composition will be ensured to create a diverse learning environment.

The Global Engagement Module will consist of two phases:

  1. An online preparatory unit, with a welcoming activity, course introduction and a theoretical part on diversity and inclusion, change perspective, global citizenship, employability and reflection on your individual learning curve and personal development. Among other things, this part will focus on the T-shaped educational model and the UN SDG’s. It will draw on peer feedback, introspection, debating skills and video-lectures. At the start of the module, the two LC’s will take part in the same online programme. This part of the programme will be provided jointly by the universities of Groningen and Ghent. These sessions will take place in the evening.
  2. The greater part of the module will center around two real-world challenges, one for every LC. After an introductory workshop by an expert in the field (evening session), students will be divided into smaller teams of five. In collaboration sessions with peer-learning modalities, they will work intensively together to tackle the challenge assigned to them. These teams will work as self-steering groups which schedule their own online meetings, based on instructions by the GEM coordinators and students' availability. The teams will also be coached by (junior) professors. The module will be concluded by a final assessment (presentation), first on the level of students’ own LC, then in a final meeting with the other LC through virtual exchange/mobility. The challenge-based part of the programme comprises both online sessions and a one week site visit to one of the two organizing universities. Please be advised students will be allocated to one of these challenges/locations as much as possible, according to personal preferences stated during the registration process. However, no guarantees can be made beforehand. The callenge offered by the University of Groningen will take place in Campus Fryslan, in the city of Leeuwarden.

The following two challenges will be provided by the University of Groningen (at campus Frysland, Leeuwarden) and Ghent University:

Groningen: Education for Inclusion and Equality (expert: Assis. Prof. Dr. Indira van der Zande)

In society, the pursuit of equality, inclusion, and social justice stands as a fundamental goal. This intricate challenge can be examined through various lenses, while our focus lies on exploring the role of education in advancing inclusion and equality. Education is an ongoing process that unfolds within educational environments, such as schools and museums. Issues concerning equality and inclusion can encompass accessibility to these spaces or the choice of educational methodologies. The central question we aim to address is how to design educational environments that are free from bias, inclusive, and integrated into society rather than operating in isolation. It is through this approach that they can contribute to sustainable transformation.

The current discourse underscores the positive impact of methods like active learning, inclusive games, inter- and transdisciplinary education, as well as the decolonization of educational content, lifelong learning opportunities for professionals, and studies focused on gender and disability. As GEM students, you are uniquely positioned to use these insights and develop as well as implement actionable initiatives aimed at enhancing inclusive educational spaces.

Ghent: Migration and Society (expert: Prof. Dr Ilse Derluyn)

Migration is a highly diverse and rapidly changing phenomenon, with implications for our entire society in all its facets. As such, migration and mobility are studied by an increasing number of disciplines, often each from its own focus, questions and preferred methods.

In this challenge, we offer focused, interdisciplinary discussions on specific themes (e.g., family, discrimination, health care, contentious movements and mobilities, housing and homemaking, communication and representation). These discussions are set up as dialogues between two disciplines approaching the same issue through a different lens. The double goal of this is to provide a more in-depth view on current debates on migration, and to foster interdisciplinary dialogues.

In addition to the shared programme, you will develop a personal learning plan and portfolio. Throughout the module, this document will help you to monitor and self-regulate your own learning-process, by describing both (acquired or desired) academic contents but most of all generic skills and competencies.


The assessment consists of an individual Portfolio and a group Challenge Output. Students will be graded on a four point scale: developing - beginner - good - excellent. They will receive one final individual score for the portfolio and one final group score for the challenge, the final grade will be the average of both. An insufficient (developing) on one of the two parts cannot be compensated. Both elements need to be sufficient (beginner level or higher).


Assistant Professor Dr. Indira van der Zande (University of Groningen)

Prof. Ilse Derluyn (Ghent University)



    Practical Details

    Courses – Focus area: Global Engagement
    Study Field: All fields
    Type: course
    Format: Blended
    Host: University of Groningen
    Course dates: Online: 18 March - 17 May 2024 (Onsite: 15-19 April 2024)
    Apply by: Registration closed
    ECTS: 5
    Number of places available: 20 students for University of Groningen - 5 students for all other universities
    Level: Bachelor 2, Bachelor 3