UNILAK and Yonsei University celebrated the official launch of their Living Lab Teaching Approach on January 18th, 2024. This milestone follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on July 27, 2023, cementing the commitment of both institutions to revolutionize education and foster community engagement.
The Living Lab aims to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and real-world challenges. It brings together students, researchers, and community members in a dynamic environment where they can collectively develop solutions to address pressing issues faced by society.
The inauguration ceremony, attended by representatives from the two institutions and faculty members, marked the official opening of the Living Lab.
Dr. Emmanuel Hakizimana, the deputy Vice Chancellor for Academics and Research at UNILAK, expressed his enthusiasm about the project, stating, “The Living Lab represents a transformative approach to education, one that goes beyond traditional classroom boundaries. It empowers our students to apply their theoretical knowledge in a practical setting, making a tangible impact on the community.
The Living Lab will serve as a hub for interdisciplinary collaboration, allowing learners and researchers to work side by side with community members. This unique approach seeks to provide a holistic educational experience that goes beyond textbooks and lectures. Students will have the opportunity to engage in hands-on projects, conduct research, and directly contribute to addressing local and global challenges.
Dr. Sangbum SHIN, the Director of the Institute for Poverty Alleviation and International Development (IPAID) of the Yonsei University echoed these sentiments, saying, “Education should extend beyond the confines of classrooms, and the Living Lab is a manifestation of that belief. By integrating academic knowledge with practical experience, we are preparing students to be leaders in an ever-changing global landscape.”
The launch event featured interactive presentations, showcasing ongoing projects initiated by researchers from both universities.
As the Living Lab Teaching Approach begins its journey, both universities anticipate positive ripple effects on the broader educational landscape by emphasizing the practical application of knowledge and fostering a sense of shared responsibility towards societal challenges.
How does the Living Lab work?
In the Living Lab Teaching Approach, classrooms become dynamic spaces where students collaborate on projects, conduct experiments, and interact with professionals in their respective fields. The approach is not confined to science and technology but extends to various disciplines, including business, the social sciences, and the arts.
The concept is simple but powerful: students learn by doing. Instead of passively absorbing information, they actively participate in solving problems, applying theories, and gaining practical skills. This fosters critical thinking, creativity, and a deeper understanding of the subject matter.
One of the main strengths of the Living Lab Teaching Approach is its ability to prepare students for the challenges they will face in their future careers. By working on real-world projects, students develop problem-solving skills, adaptability, and a sense of responsibility.