This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon Europe widening participation and spreading excellence and further supporting actions programmes. Grant agreement ID: 101071330.

FAQ

Welcome to Sustainable Mobility Innovations course! We’re excited to have you join this learning experience. This Q&A section is designed to address common questions, provide support, and ensure a smooth transition into the learning environment.

What is the course schedule?

The course runs from week 8 (starting on Wednesday 21st of February) to week 17 (ending on Friday 26th of April) inclusively and is preceded by an introductory session. The course combines online and in-person learning.

The course introductory sessions will take place on the 13th of February from 3pm to 4pm CET and the 16th of February between 10am and 11am CET – you can attend the session that is more convenient for you.

For the first 9 weeks of the course, online Modules will take place on Wednesdays from 3pm to 5pm CET (with some exceptions in case of holidays or instructor conflicts, where the course could be moved to Thursday at 3pm).

The onsite seminar will take place from Monday 22nd to Friday 26th of April at different locations in Žilina, Slovakia. The exact location and content of the classes will be shared with you in due time.

What do I need to access the online part of the course?

To participate, ensure you have a reliable internet connection, and a compatible device with Microsoft Teams installed and ready to go https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/download-ap

We recommend that you take the time to reboot your computer before each course to avoid sound or camera issues, and that you connect 5 minutes before just in case.

How do I connect to online modules?

The link to each online Module will be the same throughout all 9 online modules: http://bit.ly/incities-course-2024. In case you need technical assistance please contact UNIZA InCITIES project team at circular.incities@uniza.sk or directly our technical assistant Michal Hvizdák michal.hvizdak@uniza.sk. He will be available for the beginning of each module in case of technical problems.  

How much preparation and follow-up work is involved in the modules?

The course is set to 3 ECTS, which according to European guidelines is equivalent to 75-90 hours of work including everything. A prepared student will spend max 1h in preparation and up to 2h in follow-up team assignments after each module. Workload is split in half between the online and the onsite part of the course (approx. 37.5-45h each).

What are the conditions for successsfully completing the course?

Attending is passing. We of course expect that you are active in both online and onsite activities. You should expect to present some teamwork results at least once during the course.

Is the course graded?

No, the course is not graded. But you will receive a certificate of successful participation for 3ECTS from the University of Žilina.

Can I formally transfer ECTS credits to my institution?

If a more formal credit correspondence is needed by your institution, we can issue a certificate of successful completion for the course “Transport Planning and Sustainable Mobility” by Marián Gogola, who is also instructor for module #4 on Cycling and active mobility. You can find the course details here. Do let us know if you experience accreditation problems and we can try to help.

Is there a fee for the course?

No, there is no fee to join the course. Costs for running the course are covered by the Horizon Europe project InCITIES https://incities.eu/.

 

There is however an expectation to participate in all online modules AND to join in person for the onsite week in Zilina which will take place between April 22 and 26. Lunch and refreshments are included during the physical stay.

Attending the onsite event has travel costs, for which students can apply for ERASMUS+ support from their own institution, or decide to pay the travel cost themselves. In some cases, we may be able to support a few visiting students with accommodation and food in the case that they are not eligible to other sources of funding. Please contact us early if you need help.

Is there a minimum required level for the course?

The priority is given to Master’s and PhD students, however students currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree are also welcome to apply. Applications will be evaluated based on the student’s motivation and background to join the course (these questions are asked on the application form). We aim for a good diversity in terms of background, level, country, and gender. Priority will be given to students currently enrolled by the Pioneer network of universities https://pioneer-alliance.eu/.

Can students from other fields of study than transport or mobility also apply?

Yes! We welcome and encourage a multidisciplinary approach to solve real mobility problems. Students in social sciences and humanities (SSH) are also encouraged to join.

When will I know if I am accepted?

The list of participating students will be made public and students will be informed once the application deadline is past, just after February 7.

How to communicate with us?

You can reach out for any further questions to the course organisers at circular.incities@uniza.sk. You can also stay informed via the InCITIES website, and our social media X and LinkedIn accounts. Important updates will also be sent via email throughout the course.

How to get to Žilina?

Further information on how to arrive in Zilina, local transport, health care and other useful facts can be found in the Welcome Guide available at this link: https://www.uniza.sk/flexpapers/welcome-guide-inter-students/. Vienna is the closest transport hub for both night trains and flights from many European cities (we encourage you to consider taking the train). If enough students arrive together, we may organise a direct shuttle bus from Vienna before the event (to be confirmed later).

Where to stay in Žilina?

We have prebooked a number of student dormitories, which can be booked for 20eur/night (the room is shared for two people and has its own bathroom). Let us know in advance if you wish to apply for a space.

We look forward to a productive and enriching learning experience. Remember, your success is our priority. Don’t hesitate to reach out, and make the most of your learning journey! For any questions, comments or further support please contact us at circular.incities@uniza.sk.

Course content questions

How does the course address emerging innovations in sustainable mobility?

Indeed, innovations are novel by definition. The course’s underlying approach to innovations is rooted in transition theory, and more particularly on transition management, where innovations are considered as a key enabler for systemic change (this theory is itself loosely based on Roger’s older innovation adoption theory). This also means we do not consider innovations to be necessarily technological, they can also be policy-related, behaviour-related, etc.

However, this course is not theoretical, and although we can provide references to these key sources, there will be no time to cover them in detail. The online modules are 2h each: they will be focused on an authentic case study, a genuine problem faced by planners in Žilina, who aim to ensure a safe, pleasant and healthy environment to and around two schools in Zilina and on a specific pedestrian zone in the city centre. This means that specific mobility innovations and their impacts will be generated, proposed, and evaluated by students themselves.

How does the course address potential impact on urban air quality?

When considering impacts (such as air pollution or carbon emissions), the underlying frameworks are “The Four System Conditions of a Sustainable Society”, the concept of Planetary Boundaries, and the so-called “doughnut” economic model, which together form the pre-conditions and the indicators for designing societies within a minimum social floor and maximum environmental ceiling. However, the same answer applies here: the theory will be provided as references; but the focus will be on bringing solutions to a real case.

Could you provide more insight into the analytical framework for critical thinking mentioned in the course description?

In our course, we apply the Learning by Developing (LbD) pedagogical model which equips students with the skills required to deal with real-life situations. It demands active participation, and the co-construction of shared expertise between participants. Some of the core components of this approach are: the identification of key elements, inquiries development, evaluation of facts and evidence, data analysis, problem-solving, research, logical reasoning, and decision-making.

You can find more information here: https://www.laurea.fi/en/laurea/laurea-as-a-university/learning-by-developing-lbd/