Celebrating Innovation in Education: T4EU Innovative Teaching Awards

Education is constantly evolving, adapting to the ever-changing needs of students and the world at large.

Two weeks ago, during the international conference “INNO-METHODS for Quality Curricula,” the T4EU Innovative Teaching Awards were presented, showcasing the exceptional efforts of educators who are at the forefront of implementing innovative teaching practices.

Highlights T4EU – “INNO-METHODS for Quality Curricula”

These awards not only recognize these educators’ contributions but also serve as an inspiration for the collective adoption of new teaching methods.

Here’s the awarded professors and their remarkable contributions to the world of education.

1) Dr. Evelina Bendoraitienė – Creation of Life Escape Room

Imagine learning biology not through traditional textbooks and lectures but by immersing yourself in a real-life scenario. Dr. Evelina Bendoraitienė from Vytautas Magnus University did just that by creating a “Life Escape Room.” This innovative teaching method allows students to step into a thrilling adventure, where they solve biology-related puzzles and challenges. By making learning an exciting and interactive experience, Dr. Bendoraitienė’s approach sparks curiosity and enthusiasm, making complex subjects more accessible and engaging.

2) Magdalena Christ – ABC of Visual Thinking and Sketchnoting

Visual thinking and sketchnoting are powerful tools for enhancing learning. Magdalena Christ, from the University of Silesia in Katowice, has taken these concepts to a new level with her “ABC of Visual Thinking and Sketchnoting” course. This innovative approach helps students unlock their creativity and communication skills through drawing, visualization, and note-taking. Magdalena’s method not only makes learning more enjoyable but also equips students with valuable skills for the future.

3) Jun.-Prof. Dr. Benedikt Schnellbächer and Alexander Schöneseiffen – Digital Entrepreneurship

In today’s digital age, entrepreneurship is taking new forms. Jun.-Prof. Dr. Benedikt Schnellbächer and Alexander Schöneseiffen from Saarland University have developed a cutting-edge approach to teaching “Digital-enhanced and International Teaching of Digital Entrepreneurship.” Their method equips students with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in the digital business landscape. By combining technology and entrepreneurship, they prepare students for the challenges of the modern business world.

4) Assoc. Prof. Giovanni Bacaro – Universal Game Design for Learning

Assoc. Prof. Giovanni Bacaro from the University of Trieste has created an exciting teaching approach called “Universal Game Design for Learning and Game Co-design for Student-centered Learning.” By integrating game design principles into the learning process, students not only acquire knowledge but also develop problem-solving, critical thinking, and teamwork skills. This innovative method redefines traditional education and encourages a student-centered approach to learning.

The T4EU Innovative Teaching Awards have highlighted the exceptional contributions of these educators, each of whom has taken innovative steps to revolutionize the teaching and learning process. These award-winning methods not only make education more engaging but also better prepare students for the challenges of the modern world.

As we celebrate these pioneers in education, we should also take inspiration from their work to further enhance our teaching methods and encourage innovative practices in the field of education.

Saarland @UniTS

Within the Transform4Europe Alliance, a meeting for the research cooperation between Saarland University (Sport Science Institute) and Trieste University (Department of Life Sciences – Psychology Unit) took place this week.

A delegation from Saarland University – Prof. Sabine Schaefer, Dr. Christian Kaczmarek, MA Kai Leisge, and Anna Lina Heggenberger – visited the campus of Trieste and the laboratories of Prof. Tiziano Agostini, Prof. Mauro Murgia, and Prof. Fabrizio Sors.

This meeting was a “follow-up” of the previous visit of the Trieste delegation to Saarbrücken in November 2022.

The research groups took stock of the previously planned experiments on the effects of spectators on motor skills, and discussed about further activities to be conducted jointly in the next months.

From 500 Euros to a 3 Million Euro Startup: The Story of Serpact and Nikola Minkov

The Importance of Entrepreneurship Education

The International visiting lectureship for entrepreneurs and practitioners aims to connect the different economic environments of the Universities of the alliance through the experiences of their more prominent entrepreneurs. The goal is to educate students to an entrepreneurial mindset by involving real entrepreneurs as role models. Many universities introduced programs on student entrepreneurship or included entrepreneurship strategy as a compulsory subject in the curriculum.

The T4EU project is the opportunity to meet the entrepreneur face to face.

On the first week of June, the University of Trieste hosted Mr. Nikola Minkov on the behalf of the second International visiting lectureship.

Nikola Minkov is the founder and CEO of Serpact, a small Bulgarian SEO agency established in 2016. The agency has managed more than 2,500 successful SEO projects and is the only Bulgarian SEO agency to have participated in three Google events, with over 80 international certificates and 14 international awards in the past five years. Minkov also has significant teaching experience as a lecturer in Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski and Varna Free University “Chernorizets Hrabar”​ in Bulgaria, in Tokyo University in Japan, in Australia, and Italy.

Turning 500 Euros into a 3 Million Euro Startup

Minkov kindly shared his story of how he turned 500 Euros into a 3 Million Euro startup. He emphasizes that business opportunities are where problems exist, and the key is to identify them. He talks about the structure of his company, which includes:

  • SEO Agency Serpact;
  • The first Bulgarian fully SEO focused program SERP Acad.;
  • SEO Conference SERP Conf.;
  • and other products.

He also introduces his latest startup, Trackian, which is currently on pre-seed funding stage.

Lessons Learned and Personal Growth

Minkov shared some personal stories and lessons learned throughout his journey. He talked about his failures, including his bankruptcy and how he turned his life around. He emphasized the importance of sharing knowledge and helping others, regardless of how much money one has. Furthermore, he discussed setting goals and how having daily, weekly, and monthly goals can help one achieve success.

Mr. Minkov shared some of his other achievements and involvements, including being a member of the board of directors in Bulgarian E-commerce Association, having around 10 years of experience in digital marketing, being certified by Google, Bing and HubSpot Academy, and giving talks at various conferences worldwide. He also mentioned being a member of Rotary International and serving as a president on their local group in Bulgaria in 2020.

The Importance of SEO and Digital Marketing in Business

The speaker compared the internet users in Bulgaria to those in Italy and highlighted the difference in population and target audience, discussing the significance of search engine optimization (SEO) and how it affects the organic results generated by Google.

How to Dominate Your Business Niche

The lesson learned is composed by eight simple points to dominate a business niche, including conceptualization, investment, focus on customers, value proposition, marketing, branding, alliances and partnerships, and innovation. Minkov emphasized the importance of innovation in digital marketing and how it can quickly become outdated, highlighting the significance of staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in the industry.

INNO-METHODS for Quality Curricula

Innovative Teaching Conference

Digital technologies have transformed the learning ecologies of higher education systems and offer new opportunities to create innovative quality curricula to deal with societal challenges.

Against this scenario, the “INNO-METHODS for quality curricula” conference intends to promote reflection on innovative teaching and quality curricula, share innovative teaching approaches enhanced by digital technologies and build a shared perspective for the T4EU Alliance.

It will be an opportunity for mutual exchange and enrichment, thanks to the participation of professors and experts from the whole T4EU Alliance, as well as of international experts.

Up to 10 teachers per partner university are invited to participate, as are researchers, PhD students and staff.

During the conference, the winners of the innovative Teaching Award Competition will be announced and the prize-giving ceremony will take place.

You can register simply by filling in the dedicated application form by 15th August EOD

First conference on Knowledge Entrepreneurship

We are pleased to announce the Call for Proposals for the upcoming Conference on Knowledge Entrepreneurship to be held on 06.09.2023 (afternoon) and 07.09.2023 at Saarland University in Saarbrücken, Germany.

This conference aims to bring together researchers, academic staff, and teachers from all partner universities of the Transform4Europe Alliance to explore and discuss the emerging field of knowledge entrepreneurship and to share their experiences with knowledge entrepreneurship. 

Even if you do not intend to submit a proposal, you are welcome to join us and be a part of this exciting event. Please submit your proposals or your registration electronically using this form: https://forms.gle/QFWM9PZX9cztdTxt5 by 08.08.2023.

All submissions will undergo a blind peer review process by the program committee. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 15.08.2023.

Saarland University will cover travel costs for up to 450 Euro and 110 Euro for accommodation per night.

For more information – especially about funding of your travel expenses – and updates, please contact:

Denise Vesper denise.vesper@uni-saarland.de or

Anna-Maria Braun anna-maria.braun@uni-saarland.de

Transborder Europe

The University of Trieste is looking forward to welcoming over 120 participants, of which more than one hundred are from the universities of our Alliance.

The first T4Eu week in Italy will focus on “Transborder Europe”.

It will officially start on Monday, 5th June at 10 a.m., in the Aula Magna of Building A, where the opening plenary session will take place with the welcoming of all guests and institutional greetings.

The five-day programme is rich and varied.

T4E Week in Tallin: Mobility week selection procedure

The T4EU week in Tallin “Design and Sustainability” will be held on 13th – 17th June at The Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA). List of students who were selected to participate in the first T4EU week of 2023 from the University of Trieste:




T4EU Week in Tallin – EKA “Design and Sustainability” from 13th to 17th June

The Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA) invites MA and PhD students of all the Transform4Europe partner universities to take part in the Transform4Europe Week @EKA.

The event will be held in Tallinn, form 13th to 17th June and the topic is “Design and Sustainability”.

Sustainability is one of the core values of EKA – we promote sustainable thinking and green transition on every level, and integrate it in our teaching, research and artistic activities. We think that art and design are important part of the solution to the ecological crisis.

Selected students will get to know about artistic research, situated writing, curating in the art museum, artist originality in the age of digital technologies, mending textiles and the future of fashion.

Three students per partner university will be accepted. Further information about the courses and registration links will be sent to the selected students soon.

To apply, please fill in this form by 7th May 2023

Apply to the T4EU week in Trieste

Students: we are glad and excited to announce that you can now apply to the T4EU Week organised by the University of Trieste!

We invite BA, MA and Phd students to participate in one of the most significant events of the year, whose main topic is Transborder Europe.

As you could see from the programme published last week, we have organised a didactic, an administrative, and a cultural/social stream, plus workshops, sport activities and even a live concert!

If you wish to apply, just fill in this application form  by 8th May. Spread the word!

Selected students will then receive a second link to choose optional activities and parallel events they wish to attend.