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SVM: background and context

08 July 2019

In 2018, the University of Groningen received € 7.7 million for SVM, a fund that is to be used to improve teaching for students. The Board of the University agreed with the University Council that the SVM should be divided into two parts.

Part 1: extra teaching staff - € 4.8 million

Following discussion in the University Council and faculty councils, all faculties agreed to appoint extra staff with the aim of improving teaching by enabling more intensive teaching in smaller groups and by providing more and better student supervision.

Part 2: teaching improvement projects - € 2.9 million

In 2017, the University Council agreed to a proposal to assign € 2.9 million from the SVM to teaching improvement projects in the faculties. The SVM steering committee, made up of representatives from the faculty boards, the University educational policy department and students from the University Council, drew up a plan for the academic year 2018–2019 that included 25 teaching improvement projects clustered around two main themes: active learning and personal feedback (with the necessary centralized support from CIT/ESI).

The aim of the projects in the active learning domain is the further implementation of active learning methods, by creating new tools or further developing existing, successful tools within the University’s IT network. Support is also provided for teaching staff relating to the design, or redesign, of course units, assessment issues and user support. Examples include the use of Perusall, TrainTool and Peerceptiv.

The aim of the projects in the personal feedback domain is to improve feedback by using more, and better, formative feedback, as well as feedback based on digital assessment. Examples include the development and wider use of rubrics, a validated question database and the SOWISO interactive learning, practise and assessment environment for the technical sciences.

All 25 projects contribute towards improving the quality of teaching and, where possible, reducing the workload of the teaching staff.

We were also able to develop several new interdisciplinary project-based course units, in the form of Bachelor’s degree programme Minors (30 ECTS). The University hopes that these three new Minors will better prepare its students for their future careers. After all, students are increasingly expected to be skilled in teamwork, communication, creativity and intercultural competencies (the ‘twenty-first century skills’), in addition to learning knowledge. At the same time, the complex issues at play in society require an interdisciplinary approach. The three new interdisciplinary project-based Minors give students the opportunity to work with their peers from other disciplines to solve real, complex issues facing the business community or government. Therefore, not only do they come into contact with the labour market, learn to apply their knowledge in practice and improve their academic skills, they also have the chance to develop important twenty-first century skills and gather, integrate and apply knowledge from other disciplines.

In 2019, the SVM will be used for extra teaching staff and centralized support. From 2020 onwards, the SVM will be linked to the agreed quality targets.


Do you have questions about the studievoorschotmiddelen? Please, contact Hans Beldhuis for more information.

Last modified:08 July 2019 10.12 a.m.
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