Dr. Ellen Bastiaens

 Transfer in Teaching: the key is connecting

Problem-Based Learning (PBL) with its founding principles of collaborative, contextual, constructive and self-directed learning became the didactic method for Maastricht University. The problem-based approach firmly links education to research in its core. UM has been one of the leaders in the further development and full-fledged implementation of this pedagogical model ever since. Over the past forty years, Maastricht University has continued to evolve and grow; adapting to change, seeking opportunities and responding to external factors while remaining focused on and committed to quality education and internationalisation. Besides problem based learning, international class room and skills training/student employability are important principles for our educational approach. Based on these principles, students learn to become critical thinkers, to be flexible and prepare for a life in which a lifelong learning attitude is crucial and in which they are able to work in (culturally) diverse teams.

In the past few years we developed several programmes and initiatives that build further on these principles. An example of such a programme is PREMIUM. In this honours programmes students have the opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary setting with students from other faculties on authentic cases by real external clients. Via these programmes students bring the founding principles of PBL in a daily practice, thus adding a valuable learning experience to their development. Furthermore, we facilitate our students via the concept of Match where they can partake in voluntary jobs supporting different projects and activities in the city of Maastricht  (from language courses for refugees to social engagement activities with retirees). In the future we will implement a system for micro-credentials to hone these extra-curricular activities by students.

In my key note I will highlight the founding principles of PBL with examples from different academic programmes. From there on I will elaborate on the development and implementation of PREMIUM and on the involvement of academic staff in such a programme. In this process of developing and implementation this programme we were confronted with many challenges but currently I dare to say this programme is firmly embedded in our educational offering for students who want to go the extra mile. Finally I will give concrete examples of Match and shed a light on our ambition to develop and implement a system for micro-credentials.


Prof. Bairbre Redmond

Re-imagining student learning in a time of global change and uncertainty  

UNESCO, together with the International Institute for Educational Planning and the Global Education Monitoring Report (2017)  found that, between 2000 and 2014, the number of students in higher education globally more than doubled to from 100 to 207 million.  

Shared international objectives in the higher education sector have emerged alongside participation growth – particularly widening access to higher education and using it to address social inequalities and to contribute to overall the good of society and societal growth.  The university is now regarded as a key catalyst in a global learning system driven by knowledge, information and ideas. However, higher education is also fast becoming the main engine of international economic growth, with accompanying economic pressures on universities to produce cost-effective education to higher numbers. 

Even with such significant macro policy shifts occurring in higher education across the world, most individual institutions face similar questions. In an increasingly competitive, self-protective global environment, how do we continue to support students to learn in truly transformative ways? How do we assist them to become critically reflective individuals, capable of imagining a better world for themselves and others in the future and understanding their own unique contribution to its realisation?

Bairbre Redmond is Provost of Universitas 21(U21), a global university network, with twenty-seven university members, spanning seventeen counties. In this paper she will explore the shared difficulties emerging across the U21 network in regard to teaching, learning and curriculum development on a rapidly-changing global educational stage. She will look at the challenges of creating effective learning engagement with students, particularly in light of the promises and the subsequent realities of online approaches to learning. She will also explore the impact of the significant growth in international student mobility on how student learn. This includes not just those who are able to travel, but also those students who remain at home and study in increasingly culturally and demographically diverse campus environments. 

The paper will conclude by identifying some successful approaches adopted in universities across the U21 network to prepare students not only to be disciplinarily informed, but in a way that makes them curious, truly societally aware and capable of openness and enquiry.  ‘Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world’ (Albert Einstein).


 Prof. Dr. Dr. Christiane Spiel

Das Third Mission Strategieprojekt der Universität Wien – Wirken in die Gesellschaft durch Forschung und Lehre

Universitäten sind zunehmend gefordert neben Forschung und Lehre auch ihre „Third Mission“, d.h. den Transfer von Wissen, Technologien und Innovationen in die Gesellschaft sowie zivilgesellschaftliches Engagement, anzunehmen und zu verankern. Dem Ansatz der Implementation Science folgend bedingt dies in einem basalen Schritt, ein Klima zu schaffen, dass UniversitätsmitarbeiterInnen motiviert, sich für entsprechende Aktivitäten zu engagieren. 

Das Strategieprojekt „Third Mission der Universität Wien“ zielt darauf ab, schrittweise eine wissenschaftlich begleitete und bildungspsychologisch fundierte Implementationsstrategie für diese „dritte Aufgabe“ zu entwickeln und sie systematisch unter Einbindung der Betroffenen umzusetzen. Der gewählte psychologisch-handlungsorientierte Zugang ermöglicht die Spezifizierung des Third Mission-Profils der Universität Wien anhand einer Fusion von Bottom-up und Top-down-Prozessen.

In der ersten Phase des Projekts wurden basierend auf Leitfadeninterviews mit DekanInnen und Third Mission AkteurInnen Kriterien für Third Mission Aktivitäten an der Universität Wien entwickelt und Third Mission Dimensionen abgeleitet (Soziales Engagement, Wissenstransfer, Technologie- und Innovationstransfer). Darauf aufbauend wurde zur Identifikation von Third Mission Aktivitäten, die diese Kriterien erfüllen, eine Universitätsweite Online Erhebung durchgeführt. In der zweiten Phase des Projekts stehen die Themen Impact Assessment, Vernetzung und Service Learning im Zentrum. Letztlich geht es darum, Leistungs- und Anerkennungsparameter zu definieren und Transfer und Wissensaustausch mit der Gesellschaft als dritte Mission in den Strukturen der Universität zu verankern. Bei Service Learning geht es dementsprechend um die Verankerung in die Curricula. Im Beitrag wird das Strategieprojekt Third Mission an der Universität Wien vorgestellt sowie Erfahrungen, die in diesem Implementationsprozess gemacht wurden, diskutiert.