School of Management student represents Swansea University at HEInnovate 2018 Hackathon

Anna Edwards, School of Management BSc Economics and Business student, participated in the HEInnovate two-day Hackathon representing Swansea University in discussions on innovation in higher education alongside experts, policymakers, stakeholders, and students from European HE institutions.

Anna Edwards attending HEI-Hack 2018‌Anna secured a highly competitive place to represent the School of Management and Swansea University at the HEInnovate ‘Make Innovation Work in Higher Education’ 2018 HEI-Hack! Hackathon, which took place at the Egg in Brussels on February 27-28th. Organised by the European Commission and the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), the two-day event addressed key questions facing HE institutions, such as ‘why should and how do HEIs become innovative and entrepreneurial?’ asking students to share their thoughts and ideas on innovation in higher education.

The event showcased keynote speeches, plenaries, interactive breakout sessions, opportunities for knowledge exchange and mutual learning alongside the two-day hackathon, which saw 30 students from 30 European higher education institutions grouped into five international teams. Each team was tasked with discussing and formulating how, from a student perspective, education in higher education institutions across Europe could become more entrepreneurial and asked to present their ideas and strategies to a panel of experts on day two of the conference.

Praising the event as a great opportunity to learn more about other higher education institutions, Anna said: “I enjoyed interacting with the different individuals and learning about the culture and environment, both generally and with the education system, in their countries. I learnt that Swansea University is extremely advanced in its innovative programmes and the opportunities that are offered, in comparison to other universities across Europe.”

Mentors from Belgium, Spain, Poland, Portugal and Wales were on hand throughout the two days to support the student teams including School of Management’s Business lecturer and Director of Enterprise and Employability, Dave Bolton, who said that the event “offered a lot of food for thought and was an excellent opportunity to build on our connections and bolster the reputation of the University.”

Dave also said: “Being able to learn and share best practice, and involve our students in the discussions was great.

“All teams worked extremely hard, and I’m very proud to say that Anna represented herself and the university extremely well.”


HEInnovate: HEInnovate is an initiative of the European Commission, DG Education and Culture and the OECD LEED Forum, and supported by a panel of six independent experts. It is a free self-assessment tool for all types of higher education institution, allowing them to benchmark themselves against criteria associated to the innovative and entrepreneurial nature of their higher education environment.