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Broadening and deepening teaching skills

University focuses on teaching quality

The University of Groningen has a strong international reputation as an institution that conducts high-quality research. Of equal quality, but less visible, is its teaching. The University has therefore created four programmes that will ensure the quality of its lecturers’ teaching skills and provide them with a range of opportunities to broaden and deepen their professional skills.

The first programme is the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ). ‘The UTQ is a standard for lecturers in higher education’ says Harry Garretsen , chair of the University’s UTQ-STQ Committee. ‘Once lecturers have completed the programme, they possess proof of their didactic competence in the form of a qualification that is recognized by all Dutch universities. Since 2010, the University has actively pursued a policy that aims to increase the percentage of lecturers with the UTQ. This has resulted in an increase of 15 percent to over 80 percent. As all new lecturers must meet the UTQ requirements, we will end up at 100 percent.'

The three other programmes are:

  • Senior Teaching Qualification (STQ)
  • Educational Leadership (EL)
  • Permanent Education (PE)

‘The purpose of all three is to give lecturers the opportunity to develop professionally’, says Jaap Mulder, Lecturer Professionalization Coordinator at ESI . ‘ The STQ is for those whose ambition is to grow in higher education. We can offer various modules that look to improve or update degree programmes or aspects of them. It is therefore not only an individual development programme; it must also have added value for a faculty, for instance. EL focuses exclusively on the topic of educational leadership and is aimed at people in key positions within educational management – this is not necessarily the case with the STQ.’

Permanent Education (PE)

Lecturers must deepen their individual skills. At the same time, they have to keep abreast of the University’s ambitions and new and sometimes rapid developments. This is why the University facilitates PE. Garretsen: ‘PE is a broad package of educational growth opportunities for the University’s lecturers. You could view it as an annual update, maintaining and further developing your professional educational skills. You are not required to make use of it, but the University does have certain expectations. For instance, a generous budget is available for each faculty to give shape to the wishes and ambitions of its lecturers. The idea is for the line managers, during the R&D interview for instance, to stimulate and encourage lecturers to make use of this.’

Mulder: ‘We have plenty to offer and plenty is possible. For instance, teaching in an International Classroom, the application of e-learning or improving your presentation skills. The participants are free to choose what they want to do, as long as it is of educational value. If that is the case, we will do our utmost to facilitate it.’

Last modified:15 May 2017 2.26 p.m.
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