Responsibility in University Ecosystems and Challenge Based Learning

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Universities introduce real-life stakeholders in their courses as challenge based learning (CBL). We argue that the literature has not yet discussed the role of responsibility for universities, their students and their ecosystems in this new format. This paper explores this gap by using Niklas Luhmann's concepts of structural differentiation, structural coupling and irritation. It studies how the focus of CBL on responsibility influences the structural couplings of the subsystems education, research and economy in society. We expect that responsibility in students and universities could be promoted by creating structural couplings between these subsystems. The paper shows why practice-based education may be undersupplied at universities and how novel education formats can be understood to fill this gap.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2022 IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON)
EditorsMohammed Jemni, Ilhem Kallel, Abdeljalil Akkari
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-6654-4434-7
Publication statusPublished - 11 May 2022
Event13th IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2022: Digital Transformation for Sustainable Engineering Education - Ramada Plaza Tunis Hotel/Hybrid, Tunis, Tunisia
Duration: 28 Mar 202231 Mar 2022
Conference number: 13


Conference13th IEEE Global Engineering Education Conference, EDUCON 2022
Abbreviated titleEDUCON 2022
Internet address


  • Challenge based learning (CBL)
  • ecosystem
  • engineering education
  • Luhmann
  • responsibility


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