The science of education

Wednesday, 20 February 2013 15:47
Thirty-seven years after its founding, the marriage between Maastricht University and Problem-Based Learning (PBL) has proven to be a happy one. In fact, without this education system there would have been no university at all. The launch of the medical faculty in 1974 depended on the ability to create something new and unprecedented in the Dutch academic world. Although PBL was initially deemed 'soft' and even 'alternative' by academics elsewhere, learning in small groups is now becoming a widespread phenomenon in universities all over the world. Maastricht, however, remains the forerunner: here, PBL is part of the university's genetic structure.

We are currently in the midst of the third wave of innovation in higher education. Now more than ever, the focus is on preparing students for the complex society of both today and tomorrow. To this end, Maastricht University (UM) is making structural investments in educational quality via its Leading in Learning master plan. “At present, we have a top reputation abroad. The key is to maintain it”, says project leader and education theorist Professor Wim Gijselaers, PhD. “Doing nothing is not an option.”

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