Universiteit Leiden

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Research project

e-NOTE: European Network on Teaching Excellence

What is “teaching excellence” in Higher Education? Which different teaching excellence training, promotion and reward schemes exist across Europe? How can a common European teaching scheme look like? The e-NOTE project led by Leiden University seeks to answer these question in cooperation with five partners across Europe.

2020 - 2023
Joachim Koops
European Union’s Erasmus + Programme (KA 203 Strategic Partnership) European Union’s Erasmus + Programme (KA 203 Strategic Partnership)

Leiden University (NL) is coordinating this research consortium in partnership with Charles University (CZ), Coimbra Group (BEL), Coimbra University (PT), Copenhagen University (DK) and Global Governance Institute (BEL).

The three-year project, led by Joachim Koops, Clara Cotroneo and Alisa Kerschbaum of the Faculty of Governance and Global Affairs of Leiden University in cooperation with the University of Copenhagen (DK), the Charles University Prague (CZ), Coimbra University (PT), the Global Governance Institute (BEL) and the Coimbra Group (BEL) develops best practices in the field of online and offline teaching excellence related to Bachelor and Master teaching as well as PhD supervision.

Particular emphasis is placed on how to implement excellence in teaching and mentoring in the context of COVID and related online adaptations.

e-NOTE is a research project funded by the EU’s Erasmus + Strategic Partnership Framework and the first to be coordinated by Leiden University. An interdisciplinary team of experts from four universities in four European countries (Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal and Belgium), a European think tank and a network of 40 universities will work towards the creation of an European Network on Teaching Excellence (e-NOTE).

e-NOTE’s overarching objective is, on the one hand to enhance transparency, coherence and convergence in the field of training, promoting and rewarding higher education teaching skills. On the other hand, e-NOTE aims at stimulating collaboration towards a truly European teaching qualification and reward scheme. These objectives will be met by developing the following seven intellectual outputs:

  1. comprehensive mapping exercise of teaching excellence
  2. common curriculum for teaching training
  3. best practice guidelines on the curriculum 
  4. implementation and evaluation of pilot common teaching qualification scheme and training course
  5. blueprint for a common European framework on teaching excellence + online self-assessment tool for universities
  6. joint training on common Higher Education training and reward of teaching excellence scheme
  7. handbook for teaching excellence standards recognition 

To achieve the best possible results, the project Is based on a methodology that combines collaborative approaches, including desk research, stakeholder interviews, surveys as well as qualitative research methods.

e-NOTE starts on 1 September 2020 and ends 31 August 2023. For further details, contact Joachim Koops on j.a.koops@fgga.leidenuniv.nl.

Despite the Bologna process and the ambitious proposal of the creation of a European Education Area with the aim of strengthening teaching and mobility efforts, approaches to training and reward schemes of professors, higher education teachers and doctoral supervisors are still mostly confined to single institutions or national policies and lack international transparency and comparability. Whilst national approaches have made significant progress, higher education training remains fragmented and the recognition of higher education teaching qualification schemes for universities lack consistency at the European level. What is needed in the long-term is a truly European approach to promoting and rewarding minimum standards of teaching excellence – and this is where e-NOTE’s main contribution lies.

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