Universiteit Leiden

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Educational Innovation

At the Humanities, students are central. They are trained to be critical thinkers, academic professionals and concerned citizens. Our lecturers and researchers stimulate students to develop the knowledge with which they can understand and interpret big questions in our society. Because everything around us is constantly changing, students, the university, technology, society, the labour market and the world, we should adjust our education accordingly. This is what we call educational innovation.

Study programme projects

  • How do you answer a research question using primary sources?
  • How do you use digital maps in your teaching and how do you use them to stimulate the learning process of students?
  • How do you get your students to talk about their own research to a broad audience, in an accessible manner?
  • How do you let students do their research using a photocamera or painting?

Our study programmes continuously work on innovating their education. The Faculty of Humanities prioritises the ambitions 'Interconnectedness of education and research', 'Orientation labour market' and 'Skills' from the Vision on teaching and learning of the university Learning@LeidenUniversity. Every study programme (and lecturer) can be given the time and space and are stimulated this way to innovate their education in the field of these themes. A total of 30 innovation projects are currently running.

Faculty projects

In three working groups, that included lecturers, students and staff members, plans for the three ambitions were developed. The recommendations that emerged from this form the agenda for the Programme Educational Innovation FGW. This programme is led by Sanne Arens and its goal is to connect education even better to the wishes and demands of students and society. 

Three project leaders were appointed to follow up on the recommendations of the working groups and to guide the study programmes in implementing innovations in education. 

Interconnectedness of Education and Research

A working group, led by Prof. Ineke Sluiter, set the agenda for strengthening this ambition for the coming years. In the report Onderzoekend leren (Dutch), they concluded that the interconnectedness with research is already expressed in our education in various ways and advised against introducing a stronger policy regarding this topic. In order to be able to work better with learning trajectories and to visualise them, we want to build a visualisation tool together with other faculties, for example in uSis or Brightspace. In addition, lecturers will share their good examples in expert meetings and workshops. 


The faculty working group Skills developed a guide for lecturers (Dutch), which offers study programmes guidance on how these skills can be incorporated into their teaching. The ultimate goal is for all study programmes to explicitly and systematically integrate these skills into their curricula. We will give further shape this by, for example, developing a learning trajectory on skills and a learning trajectory on reflection skills for all study programmes.

Labour market preperation

The working group, led by Prof. Dr. Jos Schaeken, and including lecturers, students and staff, made ten recommendations (Dutch) to strengthen labour market preparation within the faculty. One of the concrete developments is that all study programmes have information on their webpage about labour market preperation, which lists all study programme-specific, faculty and university tools and activities. Together with KULeuven and the University of Helsinki, we have also submitted an Erasmus+ application to develop, among other things, training modules to better prepare students for the labour market.

Knowledge sharing

Knowledge sharing is a challenge within a big educational organisation. 

Humanities uses several online and offline channels to shape this as well as possible. Through, for example, thematic expert meetings with lecturers, lunchbytes, the website and an Education Parade, we share the results of the projects and exchange knowledge and experiences. 


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