Universiteit Leiden

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LERU makes suggestions for teaching at research universities

What are the typical characteristics of teaching at research universities, and how is excellence defined and promoted? These are the key questions in the latest position paper published by LERU, the partnership of European research universities, including Leiden.

LERU carried out a qualitative survey among the universities that are part of this partnership.  In the position paper LERU showed that students have certain advantages when studying at a 'research-intensive' university. The researchers also mention a number of challenges and show how these can be addressed. 

Broad range

The data suggest that students at research universities not only learn about research, they also conduct research themselves both within and outside their own discipline. Taking part in research gives the students a broad range of skills that are useful in their working life, such as critical thinking, problem-solving and gaining insight into ethical dilemmas. 

Barriers

However, there are also a number of barriers that make it difficult for students to excel. Research universities tend, for example, to value research above teaching. And external barriers also play a role, such as limited funding and the lack of stability in research policies. LERU puts forward some recommendations about how to reduce these barriers.  

Want to know more? Read the position paper on the LERU website.