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Digital Acceleration Programme for University Transformation

Starting March 2022

Do you believe your institution has unexploited potential to become more entrepreneurial and engaged and increase the impact it can make? You are not alone!

ACEEU Aspire is a 20-week digital, team-based, co-creation program towards developing your institution's entrepreneurship and engagement practice.

Built around ACEEU’s proven 15 standards for entrepreneurial and engaged universities, Aspire is a route to cultivating engagement and entrepreneurship and embedding it within your institution or academic unit. It is entirely digital, flexible, and actionable.
Important note: Not only entire universities but also single faculties, schools and departments can use the Accelerator to advance their practice. To contribute to the readability of the page, the text however primarily refers to universities.
University Transformation

We understand the challenges of universities!

Missing (agreed and proven) framework

Starting an analysis and improvement process with a blank piece of paper is not only difficult, but also costs time as finding an agreement on terms, focus areas and approaches can take years.

Missing (analysis and design) process

While a framework provides structure in terms of the elements to look at and improve, it is essential to also have a streamlined process for analysis, design and implementation.

Missing team efforts

Many institutions struggle to involve key staff over a longer period of time as change processes are often ineffective and unengaging.

Missing inspiration and expert insights

Universities often keep transformation processes purely internal, resulting in a lack of fresh perspectives as well as ideas and experiences of externals.

Missing action focus

Universities are great institutions to develop frameworks, models and concept but often struggle to decide on and implement actions.

Missing resources (time, money ...)

Many transformation processes cost much more resources than they should as inefficient sharing and collaboration approaches result in a unnecessarily prolonged process.

If three or more of the above challenges apply to your institution's situation, ACEEU Aspire might be the right institutional development approach.

Addressing the challenges of university transformation

ACEEU Aspire approach and features

ACEEU Aspire has been developed based on our deep understanding of the transformation challenges of universities as well as our ambition to design a solution that provides value to a wide-range of institutions.

ACEEU Aspire builts upon ACEEU's 15 element strong proven framework for developing entrepreneurial and engaged universities, ensuring that the transformation process covers all important elements.

Utilizing not only design thinking approach but also extensive experience in developing digital start-up idea acceleration programmes, ACEEU Aspire features a clearly structured, evidence- and tool-based and action-oriented process that guides universities through the transformation journey.

ACEEU Apire puts sharing and collaboration at the centre, utilizing visual collaboration tools (such as Mural and MS Teams) to ensure the efficient integration of all central stakeholders.
Understanding the value of external input, ACEEU Aspire fosters peer sharing and learning as well as the integration of external advisors.

ACEEU's overall purpose is to foster action as without action, there is no university transformation. Therefore, our accelerator helps universities not only to develop general ideas, but supports to clearly define the scope, required resources (staff, investment ...), steps to be taken, responsiblities of actions.

Lastly, ACEEU Aspire is built upon digital solutions that provide increased value (e.g. international peer learning; team collaboration independent of time and location; access to a wide range of resources etc.) whilst reducing the costs that are required for providing the value, making ACEEU Aspire a time and resource-efficient acceleration programm that is accessible for a wide range of institutions.




  • to direct one's hopes or ambitions towards achieving something.
  • to rise high; tower.
Process & timeline

What does the accelerator programme look like?

Week 1

Kick-off Forum

Join us when we get together and get to know each other, building a community of change makers.

Week 2

Phase 1: Scoping

We set the stage for the project (e.g. team, unit of analysis, expectations ...).

Week 3 to 10

Phase 2: Diagnosis

Utilizing a variety of tools, you will gain a deeper understanding of the current situation.

Week 11 to 12

Phase 3: Aspiration

Based on the diagnosis results, you will be empowered to note down your aspirations (i.e. the problems you like to tackle)

Week 13

Mid-term forum

The mid-term forum will be used to share the insights all universities gained and to understand learning opportunities between the institutions.

Week 14 to 17

Phase 4: Solution design

Taking the defined aspirations as a starting point, solutions for the core problems and areas for improvement will be designed.

Week 18-19

Phase 5: Action planning

Having developed a wide range of solutions, the implementation will be planned (i.e. prioritization, responsibilities, resources)

Week 20

Final forum

The final forum will bring together all universities to share their insights and solutions and to celebrate the achievements made already in the process.

The process

How does ACEEU Aspire work?


the tools

Watch the introductory video (alone or in your team) to understand the analysis or design tool


in analysis and design

Use our ACEEU Aspire visual collaboration canvas to joinly analyse the situation and co-create ideas and solutions to improve


views, ideas and feedback

Use our communication, document sharing and collaboration platform MS Teams to exchange information and ideas with and get feedback from your colleagues, peers or an internal or external advisor.


the community

Join our bi-weekly Q&A sessions and monthly meet-ups to meet with the Aspire facilitators and other universities in the first Aspire cohort

A streamlined approach to help you achieving your goals

Four main benefits for universities and academic units

Create momentum and a team of champions

Through the collaboration of the core team members in the acceleration process and their work on tranlating their learnings into action, ACEEU Aspire will generate the momentum needed to succeed in the transformation process.

Conduct a comprehensive analysis of your situation

Through its proven framework and practical tools, ACEEU Aspire will help you to gain a deep understanding of your university's specific situation, a prerequisite for designing impactful transformation approaches and actions.

Get inspired and develop cutting-edge solutions

Through the collaborative approach and the ability to integrate insights from tools, best practices and experts, ACEEU Aspire enables you to design cutting-edge solutions that fit your needs.

Develop a tailored action plan (Roadmap)

Through the accelerator's holistic approach, covering aspects such as strategic commitment, culture, leadership, staff capacity, support structures and performance monitoring, amongst others, ACEEU Aspire will result in the detailed and prioritized action plan that you need.

Within 20 weeks, go from challenges in third mission to a tangible, tailored action plan

Organisational Information

Development focus

Personal Information

Anything you like to tell us

Then register your interest to join our first cohort!

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate the ACEEU Aspire coordinator Flavia Colus.


Muenster, Germany

+49 251 9799 9630

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