Universiteit Leiden

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Educational Innovation

At Humanities, students are the point of focus. They are trained to be critical thinkers, academic professionals and involved citizens. Our lecturers and researchers encourage students to develop knowledge with which they can understand and indicate the major topics in our society. Because everything around us - students, universities, technology, society, the labour market and the world - is constantly changing, we need to adapt education accordingly. This is what we call educational innovation.

Study programme projects

  • How do you answer a research question using primary sources?
  • How do you use digital maps in education and how do you use these to stimulate the learning process of students?
  • How do you allow students to talk to a wide audience about their own research in an accessible manner?
  • How do you get students to carry out research using a photo camera or a painting?

Our study programmes continuously work on innovations within the education sector. The Faculty of Humanities prioritised the ambitions 'Interwovenness of Education and Research', 'Orientation of the Labour Market' and 'Skills' of the Educational Approach of the university Learning@LeidenUniversity. All study programmes (and lecturers) can be given time and space and are thus stimulated to renew their education based on these themes. A total of 30 innovation projects are currently running.

Faculty projects

The plans for the three ambitions were developed during three seminars, which included teachers, students and staff members. The recommendations that emerged form the agenda for the Humanities Educational Innovation Programme. This programme is led by Sanne Arens and aims to make education even more attuned to the wishes of students and society's demands.

Three project leaders have been appointed to follow up on the recommendations of the seminars and to guide the study programmes in the implementation of innovations in education.

Interwovenness of Education and Research

A seminar, led by Prof. Dr. Ineke Sluiter, set the agenda for strengthening this ambition for the coming years. In the Investigative Learning report, she noted that the interwovenness with research is already reflected in our education in different ways and advised not to introduce stronger policy directions on this subject. In order to work better with learning lines and to visualize them, we want to build a visualization tool together with other faculties, for example in uSis or in Brightspace. In addition, teachers share their good examples during expert meetings and workshops. 


The faculty seminar Skills developed a guide for lecturers, in which study programmes are offered tools that help with how these skills can be incorporated into education. The ultimate goal is that all study programmes explicitly and systematically integrate these skills into the curricula. We further shape this using, for example, a learning line for skills and a learning line for reflection skills for all study programmes. 

Orientation of the Labour Market

The seminar, under the supervision of Prof. Jos Schaeken, with lecturers, students and staff members, has made ten recommendations to strengthen labor market preparation within the faculty. A concrete elaboration is that all study programmes add information about labor market preparation to their webpage, which list all study programme-specific, faculty and university tools and activities. In collaboration with KULeuven and the University of Helsinki, we also submitted an Erasmus + application to, among other things, develop training modules to better prepare students for the labour market.

Sharing knowledge

Sharing knowledge is a challenge within large educational organisations.

The humanities faculty uses various online and offline channels to organise this as well as possible. Through, for example, thematic expert meetings with lecturers, lunch bytes, the website and an Education Parade, we share the results of the projects and exchange knowledge and experiences.


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