Quality of lecturers
Academic development is key to all university education. University lecturers stimulate students’ critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and enthral and inspire them with academic content. Academic lecturers face a variety of specific educational challenges. They have to speak to a critical, intelligent and diverse audience. With increasing university intake levels, students have become an eclectic group with a variety of backgrounds, levels of prior knowledge, motivations and ways of learning. Diverse teaching methods require diverse skills: delivering lectures to hundreds of students requires different skills to overseeing small groups writing papers or one-on-one thesis supervision.
The specific nature of university education, in which lecturers in their roles as content experts and academic role models dispense education and conduct research, means that teaching development essentially consists of 'learning on the job'. A key component of the professionalisation of lecturers is the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ), mutually recognised by all Dutch universities.
Of course, the professional development of university lecturers doesn’t stop once they obtain the UTQ. Universities offer a variety of programmes and courses after the UTQ, such as specialist courses, individual coaching, peer review, the Senior (University) Teaching Qualification (STQ) and the educational leadership course.