OEII Background & Objectives

BackgroundIn face of enormous socio-economic and demographic challenges, Europe requires an advanced educational performance, which better contributes to innovation, competitiveness and economic growth. Many factors attribute to universities' successes and failures: course offering, pricing, openness, social and professional regional embedding, market conditions, access to finance, educational R&D, constellation of the local regulatory framework, entrepreneurial capabilities and culture, intermediaries, stakeholder cooperation, and knowledge transfer mechanisms.

Educational systems & associated business models must increasingly be agile to respond to, and survive, (more versatile) changing (external) factors. Universities must search to create added value and innovate (more) systematically. They must learn to reinvent, reinforce and restructure educational programmes with requirements of the innovation-driven economy in mind. They must do this by acknowledging the centricity of the lifelong learner. As the call for high-level, educated, employable and entrepreneurial students with more converging market skills is loud, curricula infusion with new elements must be a part of a systematic discussion of universities and external parties. It is high time that the acceleration processes to university entrepreneurship, university interfacing, and university-market receptiveness, are identified and assessed. Universities must systematically explore how higher education can better connect with the labour market opportunities, and enact a dialogue between university management, public (policy) bodies, social partners, foundations, commercial & non-commercial partners, on the (inclusive) education, training & retraining of individuals, academics and professionals. The collection of practices of (university-market) interface models must systematically contribute to this objective, and increase capacity building in favour of more rapid educational innovation and incubation.

Objectives of OEII

TargetBlueBallThe aim of Open Educational Innovation & Incubation (OEII) is to conceptualise the design of a sustainable organisational interface which supports improved university-market receptiveness and improves (internal) university incubation and innovation. OEII intends to systematically involve university management, change agents, internal & external stakeholders, multipliers and accelerators, to promote the knowledge exchange process between different parties. It intends to seek solutions to optimise the educational innovation and incubation process, and identify any organisational structures and opportunities that can be taken advantage of. Recommendations to improve organisational interfaces are formulated, and appropriate motivation and reward mechanisms for academics and accelerators are provided.

To accumulate knowledge, OEII performs a cross-comparison of university interfacing models, and deduces flexible interface models for improving support to the (pre)incubation of new educational initiatives. It seeks more empirical insight into the process of incubation by assessing the actual strengths and weaknesses of emerging, running, and small-scale experimental pilots, which actually go through the process of (pre)incubation.


The primary objective of OEII is to formulate recommendations on the organisation of a (more) transparently organised, and sustainable, university-market interface, which is receptive to inside and outside developments, and the valorisation of educational innovation powered by commercial & Open Educational Resources (OER). Secondary objectives include: (a) driving the employability-dialogue with external stakeholders on curriculum innovation & student skills and competences, (b) enhancing educational attainment by establishing connective (post-academic) HE learning paths, (c) acting as a provider towards more inclusion of the population, and (d) improving the possibilities of social mobility for disadvantaged groups.


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Darco Jansen
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