Universiteit Leiden

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Dossier

Flexible learning pathways

With flexible learning pathways, students, supervised by their lecturer, have the flexibility to adapt their study career to suit their own individual goals.

Integration of research and teaching requires not only active participation, but also a particular level of self-management by students, while at the same time requiring the University to offer more flexibility and freedom in the curriculum. Students must be given the opportunity, guided by lecturers and study support staff, to choose the right path for themselves. The learning paths should reflect the questions raised by students.

Mapping out a path together

This does not mean, however, that students determine independently what mix of courses they will follow, but rather that they will work with their lecturers to map out a path that best matches their ambitions. The programme boards and lecturers will continue to be responsible for the quality of the learning paths. This can be in terms of the choice between disciplinary and interdisciplinary paths, and can also relate to options in the orientation towards the external environment (emphasis on the job market or profession, on society, technology or the world) in the form of the possibility of an internship, a community project, an online course or a research project or study abroad.

Added value

Different students have different areas of interest and different ambitions. The University therefore has to offer a range of different paths to make these ambitions possible. It also has the responsibility to offer, organise and evaluate participation in internships, community projects, summer schools and/or MOOCs. Not all students are satisfied with a pre- determined learning path; many are looking for a personal academic experience. A University that can meet this requirement offers a clear added value.

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