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Kristiaan van der Heijden: outlook education year 2023/2024

11 September 2023

Dear colleagues, welcome back after a, hopefully, wonderful summer period of rest, fun and inspiration! The new academic year has now officially opened and we have had a fantastic celebration FSW 60 years behind us.

What do we have in store in terms of teaching in the new academic year? Obviously too much to explain in this column. As you have been able to see, the finishing touches are being made to the new student plaza in the hall of our main building on Wassenaarseweg. Several student support points will be integrated here and our students will be able to ask their questions from now on.

In the coming months, accreditation will be sought for two new Bachelor's degree programmes with enormous social value. The University Teacher Training Programme Primary and Secondary Education will start on the Hague campus in 2025 and will contribute to reducing the teacher shortage. The Bachelor's programme Science for Sustainable Societies focuses on international sustainability challenges.

We are putting extra effort into supporting educational innovations this academic year. An inspiring Blended Education Festival took place on 5 September (LINK), where a new faculty vision on blended education was presented. Developments in AI will also require educational innovation and support. Monthly faculty meetings will be organised for knowledge sharing around AI and education.

In the coming year, national political developments in the field of internationalisation will start to make a mark on our education. As a faculty and university, we stand for the importance of international education and we are working hard to communicate this clearly to the outside world.

Finally, workload management remains an important objective. We will all have to adjust and prioritise ambitions from time to time. Efforts are being made to organise educational processes and planning more efficiently. Important steps will follow in the areas of welfare and inclusion, career and development opportunities and further development of the organisational culture.

And I hope we will succeed in increasing job satisfaction with small steps. Teachers can use podcasts or gamification to improve teaching, but such innovations can also make teaching more fun. In addition to regular student evaluations, peer reviews with fellow teachers can also be inspiring. Or asking more often about a new colleague's area of expertise or participating in an inspiring symposium. A cliché in conclusion: it's the little things....

I wish everyone a very inspiring academic year with lots of job satisfaction!

Kind regards, Kristiaan van der Heijden

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