On 7-8 October, there was a two-day meeting in Utrecht of the policy group Teaching and Learning in LERU (League of European Research Universities), which includes vice-chancellors and deputy vice-chancellors from all the 25 or so member universities.
I took the train from Copenhagen for a full-day trip to Utrecht. This time, the agenda included education strategies (which in Utrecht were linked to Open Science) and the further work within the European universities, concerning both strategic collaboration and its implementation, which is now mainly focusing on “microcredentials”.
It became clear that there was one issue in particular in which all the participants are involved – and in which they face many challenges – namely, how we are to engage the faculties in creating interdisciplinary programmes. And how these programmes are to be placed and organised. Lifelong learning was also a key topic. The participants were given a detailed presentation on how all the universities in the Netherlands have a strong focus on the qualification value of educational and teaching work. They have come a long way and use a system in which promotion to professor can be based on work in education and teaching (i.e. not primarily based on research).
This week, a group from Lund University is in Portugal to meet our partners in the EUGLOH collaboration (there will be a follow-up in a later newsletter). It was necessary to fly there – the one-way train journey would take 54 hours, involving at least 10 transfers. However, it was possible to take the train to Utrecht. It took about 10 hours with 2-3 transfers, and it may be worth considering for which trips the train is an appropriate choice.
Next week is Future Week, which will offer many exciting presentations. I hope you will have the opportunity to attend and participate in some of them.
/ Ann-Kristin Wallengren
This text is published in LU News No 4 - 2021