Title: Bringing social challenges to the classroom: connecting students with local agents

Authors: Alicia Jordán-Fisas; Marta Mas-Machuca

Addresses: Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC), C/ Immaculada, 22, 08017 Barcelona, Spain ' Universitat Internacional de Catalunya (UIC), C/ Immaculada, 22, 08017 Barcelona, Spain

Abstract: The aim of this research is to go beyond the traditional university-industry collaborations and explore how students and local agents can benefit when collaborating in projects with a marked social character. The analysis took place through the experience of an innovation project in which students had to solve a challenge proposed by a local agent (SaóPrat). Specifically, this study pinpoints and describes the individual benefits obtainable by each of the parties involved in this collaboration: students, lecturers, and local agents. The challenge-based learning (CBL) methodology was used to systematise the activity. Herein, we report the results of the activity, paying special attention to the perceptions of students, professors, and local agents. Their opinions were collected through different means: surveys, focus groups, and interviews. All in all, this study fills the existing gap in research on how universities and businesses can collaborate for the benefit of the broader society.

Keywords: university-industry collaboration; challenge-based learning; social challenges; competition; higher education; design thinking; social innovation; student engagement; employability; social impact; student empowerment.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIPM.2022.120978

International Journal of Intellectual Property Management, 2022 Vol.12 No.1, pp.129 - 147

Received: 20 Apr 2020
Accepted: 11 Sep 2020

Published online: 21 Feb 2022 *

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