'Learning and innovating in the Regional Context of Nijmegen' transforms learning and development in Nijmegen through innovative cooperation between education, business and government. Working together, to build a resilient, future-proof society and sustainable labour market.

ROC Nijmegen














Challenge-based Learning in the Regional Context of Nijmegen

'Learning and innovating in the Regional Context of Nijmegen' transforms learning and development in Nijmegen through innovative cooperation between education, business and government. Working together, to build a resilient, future-proof society and sustainable labour market.


2018 - 2023


Strategic programmedesigner
Innovation facilitator
Programme management consultant


The "Training for the Region" programme focused on making ROC Nijmegen's courses more responsive to the needs of the region. The aim was to make a significant contribution to economic vitality, prosperity and a sustainable labour market perspective for workers and jobseekers. This was achieved by better tailoring vocational education to the needs of the regional labour market and by offering more flexible and challenging education. More specific the objective was to learn the regional ecosystem to be able the organize and facilitate challenge-based learning in a interdisciplinairy way with Hospitality as a common driver.

Tasks and Responsibilities

- Teach professionals to develop and implement flexible and challenging educational concepts in conjunction with the region's DNA.
- Train and advise in the use of tools and instruments in cooperation between educational teams and regional companies and institutions.
- Supervising the professionalisation process for programme management, education team and teachers within the framework of the learning organisation.

Core Values in Practice

- Ensuring fair opportunities for all students and increasing their self-directed learning process by letting them work on issues that appeal to them and contribute to their future profession.
- Implement innovative teaching methods and flexible teaching concepts, especially during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Strengthening collaboration with local businesses and institutions, which lead to stronger and more effective partnerships.

Impact and Results

- Improved connection of education to the regional labour market from themes such as 'Hospitality' and strengthening of meta-competencies, leading to better employment prospects for graduates.
- Implementation of flexible and challenging educational models for a personalised learning experience.
- Development of hybrid learning environments in collaboration with the professional field, resulting in a practice-oriented and relevant curriculum.
- Professionalisation of teaching teams: Teachers are better equipped to work demand-oriented and apply innovative teaching methods, resulting in higher quality future-oriented education.
- Substantial improvement of the intended goals of programme lines 1, 2 and 4 of the quality plan ROC Nijmegen (for details see additional information).

Learning moments

- The importance of flexibility and adaptability in new teaching methods.
- The need for good communication and cooperation between different stakeholders in the region.
- Recognising and addressing workload and capacity issues within teaching teams for successful implementation of innovations.

Skills developed by participants

- Project management
- Innovation management
- Collaboration and networking
- Educational design and curriculum development
- Guidance and coaching of transformational processes
- Financial planning and budget management


Link to ROC Nijmegen Board reports 2020-2022
Online article: read about challenge based learning or download the article here

Additional information about ROC Nijmegen in the region

ROC Nijmegen aims to strengthen the economic vitality and sustainable labour market perspective of the region by closely linking education to the needs of the regional labour market. They believe in continuous learning and innovation to create a resilient and well-qualified workforce that can respond to the changing demands of the labour market. This contributes to the prosperity and well-being of the region, equipping students and professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge for the future. To make this possible, ROC Nijmegen has formulated strategic programme lines in its quality plan. Since 2018, I have been able to contribute to the wishes, needs and issues from Programme Lines 1, 2 and 4, namely:

Programmeline 1: Education for the labour market of the future

Wishes and Needs: Improving connections to the regional labour market through close cooperation with regional companies and institutions. Professionalisation of teaching teams to be better demand-oriented and apply new didactic methods.

Main issues: Human Capital Agenda: ROC Nijmegen should confirm and anchor its presence in the Human Capital Agenda networks. Flexible Education: Development of flexible education is essential for a serious position in the Lifelong Development (LLO) market.

Programmeline 2: Flexible and challenging education

Wishes and Needs: Develop and implement flexible and challenging educational concepts that respond to the diverse needs of students and the labour market. Improve the connection with teaching teams, especially after the coronagraph, by paying attention to time, support and professionalisation.

Main issues: Implementation of flexible teaching concepts: Pilots have not yet started. Frameworks need to be set for flexible education. Communication and Support: Good communication and support are crucial for educational innovations within the organisation.

Programmeline 4: Professionalisation: learning to innovate and by innovating

Wishes and Needs: Development of competences within all teams for achieving the objectives of the quality plan. Adaptation of professionalisation models to the specific training needs of teams, with a shift from formal to informal learning.

Main issues: Mental Space for Innovation: In the corona era, the extent to which there is sufficient mental space for teams to innovate needs to be assessed. Informal versus Formal Training: A balance is needed between informal and formal training, especially within pilot teams.

Dutch podcasts on the experiences of the development towards challenge-based and real life learning:

Real Life Learning explained by Wim Barendregt, partner with cooperative DOON:

Client and student experiences on the effects of challenge based and real life learning: