Senior University Teaching Qualification (SUTQ)

Teacher professionalisation is at the heart of the Centre of Expertise in Learning and Teaching. We offer the UTQ, courses, individual advice, tailor-made support, and the SUTQ. We are proud that we can offer you the SUTQ trajectory and hope that you are interested to join us and the SUTQ community.

The SUTQ is the follow-up trajectory of the University Teaching Qualification (UTQ), for teachers who want to develop themselves further into an evidence informed educational innovator. In February 2023 and September 2024, new rounds of the SUTQ will start (applications for 2024 are on hold).

The SUTQ offers you the opportunity to develop yourself as a scholarly teacher by working on an educational innovation project of your own choice. Through conducting this project, you will develop competencies in using evidence-informed approaches in education, and in participating in a community of practice where ideas and experiences are shared with peers.

Below you can find more information on the context and contents of the SUTQ. There is also a separate page with an overview of previous SUTQ projects for inspiration. This is the recording of the SUTQ closing session on 1 April 2021 (for UT only).

  • The SUTQ in a nutshell

    Two main concepts form the heart of the SUTQ trajectory at the UT:

    • Learning and development towards a Scholarly teacher, and
    • Educational design research.

    Learning and development

    The SUTQ trajectory is structured around a Challenge-Based Learning (CBL) approach. CBL is an important concept for the university and we think that this enriches the connection between and the impact of the SUTQ projects.

    The University of Twente defines Challenge based learning as:

     "A process whereby learners are actively engaged in situations that are real, relevant and related to their environment, driven by challenging, open-ended problems that have multiple solutions, build on the foundation of experiential learning, the learning process is more important than the outcome (solutions)."


    For the SUTQ, this means that we start from a real, complex problem (big idea), relevant for the university. Stakeholders from the university will share their vision on this problem with the group to start the process.

    In the Engage phase, the group will explore the big idea and define essential questions to explore the problem space. These questions are answered by studying literature, talking to people, etc. The findings are shared in the group to make maximal use of each other’s knowledge and experience. This phase is concluded with defining the scope of the individual or group SUTQ projects within the framework of the big idea.

    In the Investigate phase, the individual or group project is defined in detail, leading to an educational design research proposal with a problem definition, theory background, research questions and methodology. Looking for additional resources and information is probably needed; working together on this with others is stimulated. Participants will be clustered in smaller groups based on their research question and will meet and exchange knowledge and experience, supported by a coach.

    In the Act phase, the projects are executed, data are collected and conclusions are drawn. This phase ends with writing an output in the format of a conference paper and a reflection report, and a session in which the results of the SUTQ are shared with interested parties within the UT.

    Educational design research

    The scholarly teacher, following the Career Framework of University Teaching of Ruth Graham, should be able to conduct educational design research to work evidence informed and to generate new knowledge from research in teaching practice. This methodology forms the basis of the SUTQ approach and will be explained to you in a series of workshops, and be practiced in a SUTQ project.

    Educational design research is a genre of research in which the iterative development of solutions to practical and complex educational problems provides the setting for scientific inquiry. The solutions can be educational products, processes, programs, or policies. Educational design research not only targets solving significant problems facing educational practitioners but at the same time seeks to discover new knowledge that can inform the work of others facing similar problems. Working systematically and simultaneously toward these dual goals is perhaps the most defining feature of educational design research.McKenney &Reeves, 2014.

    The workload of the SUTQ is 160 hours, spread over one year. Because the SUTQ requires a considerable time investment, the participants should seek permission to participate in the SUTQ from their supervisor. The programme director should be informed about the plans to conduct the SUTQ project in the chosen course or programme.

  • Is the SUTQ something for you?

    The SUTQ is meant for teachers who want to develop themselves further as a teacher, participating in the teacher community of the university and beyond.

    Are you interested in what really works in education, want to try out new things, want to share and learn from others, want to build up a network? Then the SUTQ could be interesting for you.

    Obtaining the SUTQ certificate could help in progressing on the UT Teaching Framework for Recognising and Rewarding Teaching Achievements (based on the Career Framework of Ruth Graham). Having the UTQ is a requirement for entering in the SUTQ. Applicants are asked to show through a narrative that they are a Skilled and collegial teacher, and are ready to move to the next level of Scholarly teacher.

    The skilled and collegial teacher

    “The skilled and collegial teacher takes an evidence-informed approach to their development as a teacher and provides mentorship to their peers to promote a collegial and collaborative educational environment across their school or discipline. Their sphere of impact encompasses their academic colleagues (as well as students).”

    Ruth Graham,

    The scholarly teacher

    “The scholarly teacher makes a significant contribution to pedagogical knowledge by engaging with and contributing to scholarly research which, in turn, influences educational practice within and beyond their institution. Their sphere of impact encompasses ‘educational knowledge’, at their institution and within the community in their pedagogical fields of interest (as well academic peers and students).”

    Ruth Graham,

  • The SUTQ starting in February 2023 and September 2024

    Two starting dates for the SUTQ in 2023 are available:

    • February 2023 is suitable for teachers wanting to do their research in quartiles 1 and 2 of the academic year 2023-2024.
    • September 2023 is suitable for teachers wanting to do their research in quartiles 3 and 4 of the academic year 2023-2024. This run has been postponed to January 2024.






    Q3 (Feb)

    Q4 (May)

    Q1 (Sept)

    Q2 (Nov)

    Q3 (Feb)



    Teachers with research in Q1 and Q2


    Engage to the big idea and select a focus

    Investigate and develop an educational design project proposal

    Act according to the proposal, collect data, draw conclusions, reflect, write conference paper and reflection report


    SUTQ assessment and Closure session





    Q1 (Sept)

    Q2 (Nov)

    Q3 (Feb)

    Q4 (May)

    Q1 (Sept)

    Teachers with research in Q3 and Q4





    Engage to the big idea and select a focus

    Investigate and develop an educational design project proposal

    Act according to the proposal, collect data, draw conclusions, reflect, write conference paper and reflection report

    SUTQ assessment and closure session

     Along this timeline, a series of activities is scheduled:



    Engage phase

    • Kick-off with stakeholders to explore the big idea and formulate essential questions
    • Workshop to exchange findings and define focus of individual or group projects
    • Give and receive peer feedback on chosen focus

    Investigate phase

    • 3 workshops on educational design research methodology
    • Small group meetings with coaches
    • Give and receive peer feedback on research proposal

    Act phase

    • Small group meetings with coaches
    • Writing sessions
    • Give and receive peer feedback on project output


    Closure session where you will receive your certificate and share your findings with the UT community

    Somewhere in the programme

    Workshops will be scheduled based on interest, for example on writing proposals for educational grants/projects, ethical aspects of educational research, blended learning, formative assessment, …

    In 2023, the SUTQ is organized around the following big question: How to engage students?

    We will kick-off the trajectory with discussing this question with stakeholders from the university. From this discussion, you can formulate your own research focus and research questions. Individually or in a team. You will receive feedback on your educational design research proposal from both participants and educational (research) experts. The results of the project should contribute to improvement of a module/ course, the programme or education at the UT and be of interest for others facing the same problem.


    For the formal application to the SUTQ trajectory, you are asked to write a narrative about your educational experience, using this format. Intake interviews will take place in the month before the actual trajectory starts (January or August), with this narrative as an input. The purpose of the intake is to clarify the SUTQ trajectory and make sure that mutual expectations are clear. The deadline for for application for the January round is 12 December 2022. The application deadline for the August round is 3 July 2023.

    For the application, the applicants have to send an e-mail to Sonja Borst, containing:

    1. The narrative
    2. E-mails of their supervisor and programme director stating that they support them doing the SUTQ
  • What is the university context of the SUTQ?

    The University of Twente has adopted the Career Framework of University Teaching of Ruth Graham, as a guideline for teacher professional development. This framework consists of four levels of professional development, where the SUTQ is situated in between Level 2 (Skilled and collegial teacher) and level 3 (Scholarly teacher). The purpose of the SUTQ is to help teachers make the transition from level 2 to level 3.

    Figure: Spheres of impact. Taken from The Career Framework for University Teaching by Ruth Graham.

    Through the SUTQ, the university establishes:

    • More evidence-informed innovative teaching practices;
    • More attention to (-the importance of-) the quality of education within educational programmes;
    • University/Faculty recognition of achievements of experienced teachers;
    • Promotion of the development of educational expertise by experienced teachers;
    • Community building among experienced teachers;
    • Improvement of the quality of peer guidance of beginning teachers and UTQ teachers;
    • Knowledge sharing between educational programmes in the field of education.

For more information on the SUTQ, please contact: