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The Future of Higher Education: Launch Symposium of the Centre for Learning and Teaching

When: March 16, 2023, 1-5
Where: Zernike campus, 1st floor Bernoulliborg


13.00-14.15 | Panel on the future of higher education with panelists from different faculties
14.30-15.30 | workshop: ChatGPT - A strange loop or new horizons?
14.30-15.45 | workshop: Academia: who’s in, who’s out? A call for equity and empathy
14.30-16.00 | Research poster presentations
14.30-16.00 I Information desk on funding for educational research

13.00-14.15 | PANEL: The Future of Higher Education: Questions over Answers

In this panel, we will discuss the role and future (if any) of higher education through the lens of several pertinent global issues, such as climate crisis and the rise of misinformation as well problems that are closer to home such as issues related to standardisation and internationalisation. We envision an engaging and future-oriented discussion about the role of the university in a rapidly changing world with panelists from different faculties.

14.30-15.30 | Choice from 2 workshops:
ChatGPT – A strange loop or new horizons?

As educators, we send our graduates into an ever changing world equipped with a set of knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs. However, we cannot know what their future will look like. Technological developments have already made knowledge more and more external (in the form of books, internet), and the same has been happening for certain skills (the calculator, computer). This trend is being pushed even further by a tool like ChatGPT, potentially combining knowledge and skills (e.g. academic writing). But there is more to a graduate than just knowledge and skills, and in this workshop we will take a holistic view of the graduate attributes: what do we need to be teaching students to make sure that ChatGPT will not pull them into a strange loop , but rather enable them to find new horizons?

Workshop objectives:

a) Explore the impact of AI tools on learning and teaching at FSE
b) Reflect on what our students need to learn for career success


Academia: who’s in, who’s out? A call for equity and empathy

In this workshop, we will unwrap the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion. We will also see how these play in academia. Finally, we will introduce hands-on and simple tips, concepts and skills.

Having attended this workshop, you will walk out with:
a) An easy and effective experiential activity which enhances awareness and highlights the need for inclusion work
b) Some clear figures to document who structurally gets disadvantaged in academia
c) Practical tips and easy skill-building exercises to become more inclusive and/or to share with your coworkers.


On the occasion: the launch of the FSE Centre for Learning and Teaching

The Centre for Learning and Teaching was established in January 2023. It aims to enhance the quality of education at the Faculty of Science and Engineering by promoting innovative education and professionalization. The Centre has a primary mission to provide leadership and support for the FSE staff community to promote student engagement and learning. Through the Centre, we strive to foster an inclusive community of students and staff that utilizes contemporary learning theories, evidence-based education, teaching innovations, and interdisciplinarity.

Questions and panelists



Educational programs often entail maintaining a balance between standardization and individuation. How is this boundary being negotiated now at RUG? What is the future of standardization in higher education?

Tassos Sarampalis
Experimental Psychology
Faculty of Social Sciences

In light of recent advances in AI, more skills traditionally developed and assessed in the university are made redundant. What, if anything, should change in higher education in light of this? What specific changes in curricula and assessment methods may be necessary?

Malvina Nissim
Computational Linguistics and Society
Faculty of Arts

Given the abundance of misinformation and its central role in advancing dangerous political movements, how can we, as educators, prepare students to be not only discerning but also empathetic and just intellectual agents? How can we promote intellectual humility and openness rather than scientific elitism through our courses and study programs?

Marcello Seri
Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence
Faculty of Science and Engineering

Our university seems to be in a sensitive position when it comes to internationalization: it is both recognized as a value as well as questioned.  Recently, the influx of international students has come under scrutiny, as it both exceeds the capacity for available housing in Groningen and seems to heavily affect the rate of admissions of local students to higher education. How do we make sense of this situation and what are some solutions?

Marian Counihan
Philosopher working in urban and migration studies
University College Groningen

Climate crises poses existential challenges for societies, ranging from global warming, biodiversity loss, to poverty, to inequalities. What is the role of higher education in addressing the issue of climate crises and promoting climate literacy?

Valentina Gallo
Epidemiology and Sustainable Health
Campus Fryslân

Last modified:27 February 2023 7.29 p.m.