Nearly 40 students from the seven universities and colleges in the partner regions of the Euregio Meuse-Rhine (EMR) from different backgrounds – such as Economic Geography, Occupational Therapy, Media and Communication, International Business, to name but a few – took part to create intelligent and sustainable solutions for the well-being of all citizens in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine in the area of cross-border mobility. In this year’s edition, the students were primarily asked to develop new mobility concepts. In order to be optimally prepared for the specific challenges of a border region and the associated team challenges, three regional pre-seminars in Hasselt, Aachen and Maastricht were organised in advance, in contrast to last year, in order to sharpen euregional awareness and knowledge of the nature and functioning of the EMR among the participants in advance.

Equipped with these tools, the Summer School 2.0 gave the participants the opportunity to experience the Euregio and its diverse educational landscape in practice and to deal with the cross-border challenges. By working in international and multidisciplinary teams, the participants were able to experience cross-border cooperation first-hand.

This approach of experiencing the Euregio not only theoretically but also practically was intensified by the “on tour” aspect of the Summer School, which enabled the students to get to know a different city and a different highlight from the Euregio every day. Starting from the “Base Camp” Corda Campus in Hasselt, the programme did not only include visits to incubators and research facilities in the EMR, such as the DC Campus in Liège, the “Superbouw” project in Heerlen, the DigitalHub in Aachen or the “Campus Technifutur” in Spa-Francorchamps. In order to sharpen the “euregional awareness”, the participants also had the opportunity in the evening to explore the cities of Liège, Aachen, Maastricht and Hasselt personally and directly.

The final lectures of the students showed that euregional thinking and acting is a challenge. But a challenge that was accepted and mastered by the students. The jury was impressed by the ideas and the participating projects and partners will take up and follow up these ideas in their project work. The feedback not only from the jury but also from the participants confirmed that the Summer School format can make a significant contribution to a euregional educational landscape and to the creation of a euregional awareness.

photo credit: Massimo Marigo / RTV Maastricht