Part of the 4TU.Federation
4TU.
Centre for
Engineering Education

Project introduction and background information

Many changes are taking place within university education, and although a number of these trends are widespread in all university education, there are also specific developments in the field of engineering education. These changes require changing roles and competencies of university teachers and more opportunities for teaching specialisation.

This development coincides with VSNU's 'Recognition and Rewards' programme, which strives for diversified and revitalised careers within all Dutch universities. At the same time, all kinds of developments are taking place within the universities concerning professional development aimed at education. These are, for example, the introduction of new and more education-oriented frameworks for career development for those with mainly teaching tasks, the use of innovation calls for courses, the Comenius grants from NWO, but also thoughts about the formation of fellowships or teaching academies. Finally, many universities are considering the development and mutual recognition of a follow-up to the Basic Teaching Qualification, for example a Senior Teaching Qualification, whether or not in the form of more innovation-oriented teaching, learning pathways or educational programs, or on impact outside the sphere of influence of the own university.

Furthermore, it is interesting that almost all universities in the Netherlands, including the engineering education domain, participate in a longitudinal study conducted by Ruth Graham into the valuation of education in universities. This study therefore offers the opportunity to investigate the effect of all kinds of measures within universities on the (perceived) recognition of educational careers. However, the results of the study's first measure show that there is still work to be done.

Objective and expected outcomes

The ambition of our project is to arrive at a common framework for career development focused on academic teaching, for all universities of technology and the science faculties of the general universities. This would make interchangeability of qualifications and recognition of previously acquired competencies possible. Therefore, universities are looking for shared indicators for the development of high-quality education, in order to better support and value careers in education.

 More specifically, we aim to determine whether there are specific indicators for engineering education. To what extent are there specific innovations in this domain, and do they contribute to the career development of teachers?

The universities have the ambition to link their processes to the broader developments within Recognition & Rewards. While Recognition & Rewards has a vision-oriented character and is aimed at multiple university tasks and roles, this project aims to create a substantial teacher's role through the development of indicators and joint professionalisation activities. As mentioned, this project also has a specific focus on the context of the STEM domain.

Results and learnings

The project aims for the following results and learnings:

  • Development of a common framework for educational career paths in (technical) universities
  • A toolbox to help realise these educational careers
  • A platform for exchanging experiences, dilemma’s, good practices, and noteworthy developments
  • National agreements on interchangeability of qualifications & previously acquired competencies
  •  A series of (online) workshops regarding educational careers in (technical) universities
  • Increased teacher satisfaction, visible in the aforementioned surveys by Ruth Graham

Practical outcomes

During the course of the project (2021-2024) we will share tools, inspiration, good practices and more on this project page of the innovation map.  See ‘Downloads’ for recent updates.