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The Future of Open Education

In this Inspirationlab, Prof. Simone Buitendijk and Prof. Edwin Bakker share their visions on the future of open education. How does open education influence Leiden University's strategy? And what can we say about its relevance and impact? Registrations for The Future of Open Education are now open!


Open education is about free and open sharing of educational material. Leiden University is one of the pioneers in open education in The Netherlands: it is the first Dutch university who provided an online course on the internationally renowned platform Coursera, making education accessible to anyone worldwide. At Leiden University, the Online Learning Lab develops and experiments with online courses, such as MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) and SPOCs (Small Private Open Courses).

Why is open education important for our future? What are the experiences of Leiden University concerning open education and what are points of focus of the university for the coming years? Prof. Simone Buitendijk (Vice-Rector Magnificus, Leiden University) strives for open education and therefore gives priority to the development of new online courses within the university. During this inspirationlab, Buitendijk especially focuses on the future of open education from a university perspective and will give us an insight in the impact of open education on rethinking campus education: what does open education mean for the (future of the) university?

Prof. Edwin Bakker (Director Centre for Terrorism and Counterterrorism, Leiden University - Campus The Hague) has been one of the first MOOC teachers of Leiden University. During his MOOC "Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice", he experienced the enormous impact that his online lectures and interactive feedback sessions had on the international participants. Because of open education, teachers can reach a much bigger audience. Doing a MOOC is therefore an unique opportunity to teach a worldwide audience and to compare different perspectives that are offered by all the participants. Especially in an online course such as Terrorism it is interesting to have a look at its (social) impact: can we reach people from developing countries or people who live in rural areas to discuss relevant topics such as extremism? Can we find ways to better deal with the impact of terrorism and foster resilience? During this inspirationlab, Bakker will especially focus on the impact of open education and its opportunities for the future.

Information / registration

Everyone is welcome to join the debate on Friday, March 13 th (12:00-13:00 ). You can register (for free) by sending an email (with your name + inspirationlab title) to: c4i@cdh.leidenuniv.nl.

This event is organised in collaboration with SURF, as part of the global Open Education Week 2015 from March 9 th to 13 th - to celebrate the global open education movement. The event will be live streamed at the website of SURF.

What: Inspirationlab Future of Open Education
When: Friday 13 March (12:00-13:00)
Location: Café, Schouwburgstraat 2, The Hague.

Read more about Inspirationlabs here.

About the speakers

Prof. Simone Buitendijk ( Vice-Rector Magnificus, Leiden University). Simone Buitendijk is Vice-Rector Magnificus and member of the Board of Leiden University, and Professor of Women’s and Family Health at the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC). She studied Medicine at Utrecht University, obtained a Master at Yale University and a PhD in Leiden. Buitendijk is co-author, together with the vice-rectors of Oxford University and Lund University, of the LERU (League of European Research Universities) advice paper on Online Learning at Research Intensive Universities. Simone Buitendijk recently joined the Coursera University Advisory Board. Buitendijk strives for free worldwide education and - while working closely together with the Leiden Online Learning Lab - she gives priority to the development of new online courses within the university.

The wish to innovate on-campus programmes, as well as our new online offerings, is one of the main goals of Leiden’s involvement in open education such as MOOCs. Leiden also developed a Community Management method, working in close collaboration with Leiden MOOC alumni. Leiden University is exploring the possibilities to use MOOCs for research, such as in Prof. Edwin Bakker’s best practice course (Terrorism & Counterterrorism) collecting perceptions on terrorism from different countries, and building a network of professionals around the world. Leiden joined the first generation of Specializations together with our colleagues from Geneva, with the social sciences track Challenges in Global Affairs. Until 2016, Leiden will develop a modularized and flexible portfolio based on twenty MOOCs, ten SPOCs and an increasing number of flipped classroom projects in all faculties. The experiences of Leiden University with its first generation of MOOCs, SPOCs and other related projects have been published in the Leiden University Online Learning Lab report 2014.


Prof. Edwin Bakker ( Professor of Terrorism and Counterterrorism and Director of the Centre for Terrorism and Counterterrorism (CTC), Leiden University - Campus The Hague). Edwin Bakker is Professor of Terrorism and Counterterrorism at Leiden University - Campus The Hague. His research topics include radicalization and jihadist terrorism, focusing in particular on (Jihadists) terrorist profiles. Bakker studies what motivates terrorists, investigates ways of limiting the effects of terrorism, and delves deeper into dealing with fear of terrorism. In his work, Edwin Bakker aims to break down myths about terrorism and to provide feedback to citizens and security services. His research enables governments to formulate policies to counter terrorism and its effects; and citizens can probably lay to rest a few unfounded fears and anxieties.

Edwin Bakker also has his own MOOC (Massive Online Open Course) “ Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Comparing Theory and Practice”, which he has given for four times (combined with a flipped-the-classroom course at Leiden University and Delft University) and that is available On-Demand from February 2015 onwards. Bakker also teaches several courses within the Master “Crisis and Security Management” at University of Leiden, Terrorism and Counterterrorism and Leiden University College.

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