NETLINC - Building INnovative Capacity of higher education through NETworked Learning

Higher education is expected to respond to and lead complex societal challenges. In this project, a multidisciplinary consortium studies how networked learning can enhance the innovative capacity of higher education institutes by investigating conditions and mechanisms at the level of the individual, the network and the organization.


We aim to understand what constitutes innovative capacity of higher education institutions, to examine the characteristics and conditions that promote ‘networked learning’ (learning in, between and across organizations), as well as the effect of this ‘networked learning’ on the innovative capacity of higher education institutions.


  • An Innovative Capacity Framework that will be refined and adapted throughout the project;
  • Knowledge about and applications of networked learning that promote the innovative capacity of higher education institutions.


01 August 2023 - 01 August 2027


The main question will be answered through 4 studies in two phases. 

  • Phase 1: Exploratory research
    • Study 1: integrative literature review and practice review resulting in the Innovative capacity framework.
  • Phase 2: Empirical research
    • Study 2: Case study from a network perspective
    • Study 3: Case study from an organizational perspective
    • Study 4: Learning network will explore improvements in practice based on results from Study 1, 2 and 3 through intervention strategies and small experiments.

HU researchers involved in the research

Related research groups


The Research Group Driving Educational Change (HU) heads this consortium which consists of universities of applied science Saxion, Fontys, and Zuyd and Utrecht University, University Twente en Open University. 


The project is funded by NRO as part of the Significant Questions in Higher Education program.

Would you like to collaborate or do you have any questions?

Picture of Kristin Vanlommel

Kristin Vanlommel

  • Professor
  • Research group: Driving Educational Change