The school’s top priority is talent development, with a dual focus on our students and on encouraging innovative approaches to teaching. For starters, we have decided to trim down the number of first-year courses so that our students can focus on the fundamentals. We are also making a bellwether change – the inclusion of computational thinking as the ‘third pillar’ of the first-year curriculum.
EPFL has a solid track record in innovation in education that reaches beyond our campus. This can be seen in the MOOCs we began running in 2012 and the Extension School we set up in 2017. We are now taking this even further by creating LEARN, a center for innovation in education.
Strengthening the School in key topics
Another of our priorities is to strengthen EPFL in emerging fields of science that are set to have a major impact on society. Eight new positions have been created in four areas: the digital transformation of society, cross-disciplinary research between engineering and neuroscience, extreme environments and computational life sciences. What’s more, we are currently recruiting for 28 professorships.
New initiatives in project-based education and open science
Our third priority is to promote initiatives across EPFL in the areas of project-based learning and open science by fostering bottom-up innovative projects. In the afterglow of the Solar Decathlon and Hyperloop, we are keen to encourage more exploits along these lines. Indeed, that’s the rationale behind MAKE, a new innovation fund and support team for cross-disciplinary projects. And in the field of research, a new fund devoted to encouraging open science has been created and a call for proposals is underway.