Bring on the future!
At the Institute of Psychology, a ‘new beginning’ is in the air. The academic year 2013-2014 will bring changes with inherent challenges and opportunities for all of us. Educational reform and the International Bachelor in Psychology (IBP) are two main changes that have been set in motion, and will be introduced simultaneously.
We are updating, modernizing, and intensifying our teaching formats in line with developments in secondary education and the use of interactive media. The most visible results will be: more contact hours for students, more interaction between lecturers and students, greater variety of course assessment tools, and more advanced use of Black Board. All of this should help us to create an even more inspiring academic climate in which teaching is so much more than the mere transfer of knowledge.
Of course this requires both input and enthusiasm from all teaching staff, and a great deal of work. As a kick off - to mark the start of all this - we organized a working conference in January which was attended by many of the staff members involved in teaching in the first Bachelor year and student members of the institute board and educational committees. This resulted in a creative and educational get together. Topics discussed in the plenary sessions and the workshops were Blended Learning, test matrices, teaching in English, the international classroom and principles of good teaching. All this newly gained knowledge was subsequently applied to the set-up and content of each of the twelve courses offered in the first Bachelor year. There will be more use of tools such as knowledge clips and peer review, and more opportunities for feedback and debating, for instance. Many commented afterwards that this event had spontaneously turned into a team-building experience. And a very welcome one, too!
As of September 2013 we distinguish between a Dutch and an International version of our bachelor's programme. Dutch is the main language in the bacheloropleiding Psychologie; English is the main language in the International version. Both versions are identical in terms of content and teaching formats. The maximum capacity for the bacheloropleiding Psychologie is set at 645 students (last year 528 full-time students enrolled). The maximum capacity for the International version is set at 105 students.
Prospective students from 60 nationalities
There appears to be a great demand out there for an English-language Bachelor in Psychology: about 360 prospective students from 60 nationalities were working on their applications at the time of writing. Of those, 270 completed and submitted their application before the deadline of April 1. We will select 105 students (15% of our quota) from that pool of applicants. The diversity in nationalities ensures the international character of this version of the programme: both students and lecturers will bring international perspectives, input and cases to the table.
Social support programme
We are currently wrapping up the development of the English language version of our courses, arranging for lecture rooms, setting up time-tables, translating course documents, etc. etc. We are also setting up a social support programme for these new, and often young, students, and reserving rooms for them to live in. We have two locations for IBP students: the Oranjelaan in Oegstgeest and two floors in the new building on the Anna van Buerenplein in The Hague, right next to the Central Station. Unfortunately Leiden does not offer enough rooms to house these students, but the Anna van Buerenplein is a beautiful location, only 15 minutes away from FSW and the new LUC campus – so our IBP students will feel right at home.
There is a lot of work still ahead for all of us, but we’ll be more than ready when September arrives.
Board of the Institute of Psychology
Corry Donner (project coordinator IBP)
Marlies van der Meer (project coordinator Educational Reform)
(11 April 2013/ Corry Donner)