Flexible education in 2030

Flexible education in 2030

Imagine: you as a student will be the central focus instead of the concrete learning outcomes of a study programme You are responsible and enterprising and know where you want to be in a number of years. Together with your study coach, you translate your objectives into a personal learning programme. Using this as a guide, you develop yourself broadly and learn to see the added value of different perspectives. Your learning programme can then become a regular degree programme, or even a flexible programme. As your university community, we will actively challenge you regarding your personal development plan.

Envisioning the education of the future

Within an academic community in which each member is fully seen and heard. Your group strengthens you, without limiting you. You set your own pace: accelerating, slowing down, deepening or broadening is all possible. This will make VU Amsterdam a more inclusive university and provide even more room for talent.

You will also be able to take a substantial number of courses at other institutions. You will be able to do this both on campus and online. VU already works closely with various partners, such as the University of Amsterdam and the University of Twente. A national education catalogue will allow you to find out which courses around the country fit into your study programme. You can also take courses with international partners within the Aurora Alliance initiative. Students completely dropping out of education is a thing of the past. We will make tailor-made arrangements if a full-time programme does not suit you. Perhaps a part-time study programme while you are working is a better fit for you, or perhaps it makes sense to stay abroad for a year while taking a number of courses with us. The partial certificates you have obtained with us will have considerable value in the labour market if you decide to quit your degree programme completely (or temporarily). After your education at VU, you will be able to look at subjects from different perspectives and collaborate with people from other disciplines. That is why the education is set up according to the principles of A Broader Mind. This is expressed through the Mixed Classroom, Community Service Learning and the promotion of Social Entrepreneurship. The emphasis of our education is on acquiring academic knowledge and skills that are widely applicable and that are useful for continuing your development throughout your career.

Coming together is the foundation

Through your mini-society on campus, you learn to look at society as a whole with an open mind—open to diversity in disciplines, nationalities, philosophies of life and social convictions. The digitalization of education offers flexibility. We give both of these a place in our course design, our educational materials and our forms of education. The digital and the physical overlap, complement each other and can be used interchangeably. This will allow you as a student to switch between online and on-campus learning within the agreements you make with us.

As a student, you establish relationships with lecturers, researchers, fellow students and with society. This is a network that will remain valuable throughout your life. You can also rely on us as a professional. VU Amsterdam continues to support you as a professional in meeting your learning needs by providing guidance in finding the training programme that is right for you. Sometimes this training will be our own, but in many cases, it will also be provided by partners at home or abroad. As a professional, you need extra training when a change in your field or your ambition demands it. In 2030, these changes will continue to occur more rapidly, due to technological developments, among other things. VU offers training in various forms, such as separate modules that offer training certificates, knowledge subscriptions, tailor-made courses and in-company training courses. The latest insights are constantly being incorporated into our training so that you can apply them directly in your work. The structure of our education and training in 2030 will therefore be future-proof and will lay a strong foundation that fully supports a society on the move

The ‘student routes’ and VU

Making this vision possible requires more flexibility in our education. Not only VU Amsterdam, but all educational institutions in the Netherlands are working towards becoming more flexible. In doing so, the four ‘student routes’ of the national Acceleration Plan are taken as a starting point. The four student routes are Own pace, Off the beaten track, MyDiploma and Modular studying.

walking Own pace

Own pace is self-explanatory in that you follow your education programme at your own pace. This is often not possible at the moment because there are various restrictions in the organisation of education, the deployment of teachers, supervision, the pace of fellow students and the availability of facilities. One of the challenges here for VU is preventing a learning trajectory from becoming too solitary and lonely.

hiking Off the beaten track

If you choose Off the beaten track, you will take a substantial number of courses at other institutions during your degree programme. Various agreements on education will be needed for this, also with universities of applied sciences (HBO institutions). In addition, we will need to look at: How do we assign credits for a course taken at another institution? What is the scope of a course?

diploma MyDiploma

MyDiploma focuses on each student’s individual learning trajectory. As a student, you make agreements with VU about how you can achieve your own learning objectives. Because students also take courses elsewhere, national and European standards will be the starting point here.

file-certificate Modular studying

Modular studying offers a variant in which you, as a student or professional, can follow accredited education without having to complete a full degree programme. Partial certificates or micro-credentials will give value to the completed courses. This blurs the current dividing line between the status of initial and post-initial education in the Netherlands. This poses a number of challenges, for example in terms of funding, European standards for assigning credits to courses, and quality assurance at the level of courses rather than degree programmes.