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Hanne Cuyckens and Daan Weggemans appointed Teaching Fellow

Four fellows are selected from a list of the Leiden Teachers' Academy nominees every year. This year, two teachers from FGGA were included in this selection: Hanne Cuyckens and Daan Weggemans have been appointed Teaching Fellow and Member of the Leiden Teachers' Academy (LTA) from 1 September 2023.

The committee believes Hanne and Daan are strong candidates with ambitious and innovative projects that are also very relevant to other faculties. As Teaching Fellow, they not only receive recognition of their achievements as lecturers, but also the opportunity for further development in the field of educational innovation. They will each receive a grant of €25,000 to carry out innovative teaching projects. 

The LTA aims to high-light the qualities of our best lecturers, develop them further and make the most of them university-wide. The LTA consists of 25 Teaching Fellows. They actively engage in educational innovation, share their experiences, and are looking to collaborate with other lecturers within and outside their own discipline. 

Hanne Cuyckens

Hanne Cuyckens - Education with impact: the SDGs at the centre of curriculum design

'Universities can make an important contribution to solving sustainability issues. Education also plays a crucial role in this. Two questions are central to my project: how can the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) be used to map what we’re already doing on sustainability? And to what extent can they also be used as a tool for further curriculum development? In addition, I’m very happy to have the opportunity to contribute to educational innovation in general within the LTA.'  

Daan Weggemans

Daan Weggemans - Teachers in motion: when academic education is your job

Daan Weggemans - Teachers in motion: when academic education is your job
'It’s great to be able to work on educational innovation as a member of the LTA within a university that is continuously developing! The way the university is willing to think about lecturers and their professional development is a good example. How can we ensure that they’re able to teach to the best of their ability while contributing to fulfilling their career ambitions? To answer these questions, I will be looking at relevant experiences inside and outside Leiden University.'

You can read more about the Leiden Teachers' Academy here.

Education with impact: the SDGs at the centre of curriculum design

Dr. Hanne Cuyckens - Educatrional Director at Leiden University College (LUC) and Assitant Professor of International Law 

While some universities are starting to use the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to map the content of their programmes, Hanne Cuyckens plans to go a step further and use the SDGs as a tool for curriculum design. The interdisciplinary programme on global challenges offered by Leiden University College (LUC) is the perfect test case to assess whether the SDGs can be used to provide a coherent narrative and help students structure their knowledge and learning trajectory around the SDGs. 

Cuyckens and the Faculty Board expect that the outcome of this project will also be very valuable for other courses. Ultimately, this project aligns very well with Leiden University's ambition to play a leading role in the transition to a sustainable future, through an integrated approach that also makes great use of the knowledge emerging from education. Cuyckens is also particularly well placed to carry out this project, as she is the current education and programme director of LUC.

Teachers in motion: when academic education is your job

Daan Weggemans - Programme Director of the BSc Security Studies and researcher at the Institute for Security and Global Affairs

Weggemans' project on the development of the teaching function within today's university. The Young Academy has proclaimed this year as the year of 'Everyone Professor', advocating to reduce the hierarchy within the university and to also give more rights to assistant and associate professors. But what about lecturers who do not have a PhD? What can the university do for their careers? 

In recent years, Leiden University has made an important and promising step forward in offering lecturers without a PhD a permanent contract. This provides them with more security and confidence. However, this is not a final policy destination, but a beginning. How can we offer lecturers a challenging working environment within the university? Can we, as a university, contribute to their career opportunities within or outside science? 

These are important questions that require further reflection. In his project, Daan Weggemans wants to collect best-practices and develop ideas about lecturers within the university. This is important for both the well-being of a large group of (often young) lecturers, but also for education in general because these are people with great ideas about education. They are often close to the students and play an important role throughout the educational curricula. Thus, they ensure coherence and accessibility within educational programmes. The idea, therefore, is that a university that is good to its lecturers can better ensure the quality of its education. The central question in this project is therefore how best to address this.

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