On December 2, the new alliance between Wageningen University and Research (WUR), Utrecht University (UU), the Utrecht Medical Centre (UMCU) and Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) was officially launched. The new alliance will engage in many joint activities, both with respect to research as well as with respect to education.
For education, the alliance is working on a series of projects, such as innovative educational concepts like Challenge Based Learning and doing practicals with blended setups; exchange of staff and students; developing flexible and innovative programmes linking the involved institutes; life long learning and learning for professionals; and evidence-based research on the innovative programme. For this last topic, educational researchers from the four universities have joined forces, and in the upcoming years will focus on two topics: Challenge Based Learning, and Learning for Professionals. Currently, two fulltime (or four part-time) postdocs are being searched for these topics. The postdocs will be supervised by seniors from each of the four institutes, to make it a true alliance programme. The postdoc on CBL will investigate the many challenges that the alliance will launch the upcoming years, and will look at – next to student learning processes – what university staff and external partners involved learn and how they collaborate in these challenges, how to best support challenges, and how to best link them to existing curricula. The postdoc on Learning for Professionals will inventorise what learning formats and topics are currently being used by the four institutes for life long learning activities, what competencies and content these activities focus on, how they support learning and performance of professionals, and how these activities can be linked to the other education activities of the universities. Perry den Brok is part of the project management for the postdoc programme, and supervision of the postdocs, also from WUR (and ELS) side, will be determined soon.