Rotterdam is a city that faces many challenges, considering that a large proportion of its population is socially and economically disadvantaged, compared to the rest of the Netherlands and the other major cities. This is most visible in South Rotterdam, where social, economic and physical problems are accumulated. The persistent nature of these problems triggered the Dutch State,the city of Rotterdam and partners in the education and business community to join forces and work together for the upcoming 20 years on the National Program for South Rotterdam (NPRZ). NPRZ has been given the responsibility to develop solutions for this particular area, in cooperation with people who work there on site.

Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences (Rotterdam UAS) aims to address these themes by linking education and research to actual practice (work field). This approach leads to the acquisition of new knowledge, which benefits the work field and helps shape the direction of educational innovation in study programs for future professionals.

EMI focuses on specific social topics based on the four pillars of NPRZ: Children’s zone (education), Career Guidance (work), Social Support & Health Innovation (healthcare & welfare) and City Life (housing).

Each topic has a program that consists of several Communities of Practices (CoPs): collaborative partnerships between education, research and the workforce. Each year the programs and their communities of practice are evaluated and actualized. While the topics stay the same, the programs may vary each academic year. The program schedule for 2015-2016 is shown above.