Leading in learning. In the eighties and nineties, Maastricht University was at the forefront in the Netherlands, but since then it has become the victim of the dialectics of progress. The Back to Basics project was introduced to breathe new life into the education system.
Every faculty is experimenting with something new at the moment. If things work out well, the other faculties can also benefit. Projects vary from helping SBE students choose the right master's subjects to developing multidisciplinary electives in the bachelor-of-law programme, in which the focus is on legal solutions for social problems.
At the same time, the project is looking into the usefulness of financial incentives. Lecturers and tutors who have good ideas can apply for a kind of ‘microcredit’. Or rather, a ‘micro subsidy’, because they do not need to pay anything back. Anyone who sends in an idea, will receive a definite answer within four weeks.
The UM is at a turning point, reckons the project leader Wim Gijselaers, professor of didactics. “Either we sit back and watch how we drop further in the rankings and continue to ask ourselves whether we are actually still innovative, or we put our backs into it.”