CItEE – empowering change

Lauren Sykes
Tuesday 9 January 2024

Transforming challenges into opportunities

In a challenging world, the University of St Andrews Creating Impact through Enterprise Education (CItEE) programme encourages innovation by transforming student ideas into impactful projects through collaboration and bespoke events.

CItEE drives change through educational revamps, developing external partnerships, entrepreneurial skill development, and cross-disciplinary activities. The essence of CItEE lies in addressing identified needs with innovative and workable solutions.

Unveiling Scotland’s Big Challenges

CItEE was heralded by our ‘Scotland’s Big Challenges Competition’ where students were invited to identify pressing needs in Scotland that we could solve in collaboration with external stakeholders.

Student finalists in the Scotland's Big Challenges cometition hold certificates
Finalists in the Scotland’s Big Challenges competition

The diverse issues raised through the competition encompassed climate change, Scotland’s brain drain, and personal struggles such as supporting older individuals and victims of domestic abuse. The project was jointly funded by Scotland’s Future Series and the Director of Eden Campus, Geoff Morris.

“CItEE has allowed me to speak openly about an issue that means ever so much to me. The team guided me… to create the maximum impact possible. It is truly refreshing and encouraging to know that students’ passions can be shared with a wider network.” – participating student

Three stages of transformation

Co-Initiation: Sparking Ingenuity

The journey began with Co-Initiation, where students collaborated with diverse internal stakeholders to generate potential solutions to identified challenges. Stakeholders from across the University including Research and Innovation Services, Careers, and Schools from all Faculties participated, setting the stage for later progress and external collaboration.

Gallery of images of people working together around tables and laptops
Participants collaborate in the Co-Initiation event at WBH in March 2023

Co-Creation: Nurturing Ideas for Impact

Co-Creation delved deeper into challenges fostering interdisciplinary collaboration with internal and external experts from St Leonards School, Police Scotland’s Violence Reduction Unit, the NHS, and Scottish Care as well as colleagues from the Global Office, Careers, Student Services, the Chaplaincy, and the Centre for Educational Enhancement and Development (CEED). Students refined their proposals, exploring opportunities for change within the University context. This stage highlighted the strength of collaborative thinking and diverse perspectives in idea generation.

In-person Co-creation event with internal and external stakeholders at WBH in April 2023

Co-Evolution: Propelling Change Forward

At the Co-Evolution event, students presented evolved proposals to key University members, addressing issues such as domestic abuse, mental health awareness, ‘Comics for Change’, and ‘Engage’. These projects aimed to create positive societal impact, emphasizing the importance of community collaboration in driving change.

students pitch ideas to internal stakeholders at Co-evolution event 3 Sept 2023 North Haugh
Students pitch ideas to internal stakeholders at the Co-evolution event 3 at the North Haugh in September 2023

The path forward

CItEE’s success relies on collective efforts, showcasing the transformative power of innovation. We invite ongoing collaboration and support for sustained impact. To contribute or join the journey, visit the CItEE website and contact us at

“CItEE has presented a brilliant opportunity to help build upon the research my partner and I have developed. It is mission driven and the coordinators have supplied support for our creations and ideas.” – participating student

The CltEE team is led by Gosia Mitka from the School of Management; Gayle Doherty from the School of Psychology and Neuroscience; Kenneth Boyd and Kirsty Ross, both from the School of Computer Science; and International Relations and Psychology Degree student intern Hitanshi Badani.