Making room for talent
VU Vision on flexibilisation of education
On December 20, 'VU Amsterdam’s vision on flexibilisation of education' was adopted. Flexibilisation offers opportunities to respond to changes in society and education - such as digitalisation and internationalisation. Five principles underpin the vision: talent development, academic education, broader interpretation of talent policy, an appropriate connection to the (inter)national academic and professional work field and collaborative learning.
Why is teaching flexibility so important these days? Freek Schmidt, portfolio holder for education at Faculty of Humanities and member of the education flexibility working group explains: "Times are changing, we see that universities are being asked to offer in-service training and back-service training. Flexibilisation of education ensures that we can offer programmes that match social demand without having to set up completely new Bachelor's programmes. In the current set-up, it is still quite complicated to be flexible."
"Flexibility is not only important for 'learners' who come back to the university for an additional programme, for example, but also important for our regular students. At VU Amsterdam, you don't become something but someone; we think it is essential that we educate people with a social conscience. We want to give students more room to choose their own path. Not to follow wild fantasies per se, but to think more broadly even at Bachelor level, enabling them to do more diverse things to get a good job. For Master's programmes, we are considering part-time study programmes or modularisation."
To successfully implement flexibilisation, it is fundamental that staff support the changes. Freek: "We would therefore like to continue discussions within several faculties that like the idea. We hope to start a number of pilots soon, called 'cross-over tracks'. For example, it is interesting for a degree in economics or business administration to also be able to work in the cultural sector. If VU Amsterdam can facilitate a crossover with arts and cultural studies, we would have a very interesting new path."