Fontys Pulsed shows the future of higher education

The famous Greek saying “Change is the only constant in life” is more relevant today than ever before. Pulsed is an international academy, part of Fontys University of Applied Sciences, that puts this adage into practice.

In Eindhoven, the Netherlands, they created a whole new learning environment for students. An environment that makes the students feel at home and, moreover, makes them feel comfortable with themselves and trying new things. At Pulsed, they believe that the future will be written by self-directed professionals who excel in a world of constant change.

“We really want to make their voice, their uniqueness, the center of what we can offer them.”  – Stella Lo Giudice, Digital Technology Expert & Research Expert Lead at Pulsed 

Students and teachers have access to ‘a living room’ where they can sit and relax, play music and play games. Education takes place in a home-like environment.

Concept at Pulsed

“We can educate whatever we want: math, business, whatever. But I don’t believe that’s where we can make the change”, says Jochem Goedhals. He is an Educational Designer & Team Lead at Pulsed. Pulsed premise is that life and education should merge and that students should feel at home in their educational environment. They created a homelike space for both students and teachers. Students are invited to take off their shoes and put on slippers and relax. And in the ‘living room’ students and teachers can play table tennis or games together.

Design-based learning

Education at Pulsed is based on Design-based learning. Students work from a design-oriented perspective on solutions to realistic problems in which they systematically reflect on their learning process. The Pulsed Academy has four educational programs:

1.         A minor program which is called Embrace TEC, where TEC stands for Technology, Entrepreneurship and Creativity;
2.         a master’s in Digital Technology Engineering. This program focuses on  teaching the future engineers to approach ‘wicked problems and wicked challenges’;
3.         an educational program also includes an Associate Degree in Engineering, which is dedicated to young students who want to start their career in engineering;
4.         the Empower TEC program, that is specifically designed for students who dropped out of university. Pulsed helps those students to discover why that happened and what the better choice is that they can make for themselves.

Design-based learning education is the formula of education at Pulsed. Teachers expose students to real-life questions and realistic problems.


Happy students, alumni and teachers

Students are encouraged to be themselves and to discover who they want to be in the future. Some students join the Pulsed Academy somewhat insecure, like Valentijn: “I was doubting myself a lot. Can I do it? Am I good enough? Then I came here and everybody was so nice and open. I got way more confident in myself.” Students and teachers inspire each other; information is given to students but also taken back. As Stella Lo Giudice says: “Pulsed is about becoming a good self-directed professional. We try to educate students, but also ourselves.”
Former student and now intern at Pulsed, Anouk, had the same experience: “I know a lot better now what I want, who I am, what my values are, and how that compares to the professional fields. I can pretty confidently say that this fits me and makes me happy.”

Masters student Samuel summarizes the Pulsed philosophy in the perfect way: “Just do what sparks you, what motivates you, what fascinates you.” Got interested? Have a look on the Pulsed website and read about the design-based learning programs and the future of education.

At Pulsed, teachers and students interact with each other a lot. Teachers inspire and encourage students to discover themselves.

Pulsed for good collaborations

Pulsed works together with people who have social challenges or initiatives in the Pulsed for Good program. Students of the Embrace TEC program are working on solutions for current social dilemmas. Examples of these dilemmas are challenges faced by lonely elderly people, people with disabilities, homeless people or people in public unsafe environments. The idea of Pulsed for Good is that students work with ‘real’ people to gain first hand impressions and experiences that help shape their identity and future choices. If you are working on a current social dilemma, you can get in touch with Pulsed for Good.

Pulsed for companies

Besides the four educational programs for students, Fontys Pulsed also offers innovative solutions for companies, so called  *Innovation Kitchen, and education re-design workshops for education professionals under the flag of *edex.

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