UTFacultiesTNWNewsUTQ certificates with their own twist

UTQ certificates with their own twist

At the end of October, seven teachers of Applied Physics obtained their University Teaching Qualification, partially in response of the Month of Education. They have shown themselves to be didactically proficient in scientific education. We spoke with Stefan Kooij about the Month of Education and the University Teaching Qualification.

Why Month of Education?

"In the past, we had days of education, which did not resonate with the researchers, teachers, people who are educating. Those days sort of faded away. From there, the question was asked if we couldn’t choose another format. A concept that everybody could engage with. Not just one day, but several moments in one month. It was important that we could exchange experiences and discuss several themes together. This is how the idea of the Month of Education started. For one month, 3 days per week, we would invite inspiring speakers, panel discussions covering several themes, such as the future of higher education after COVID-19, effective exams, etc., etc."

"People first, in this case, means: What do people need? What are their ambitions? What do they need to accomplish those ambitions? That doesn’t mean that you never have to do something that you don’t want to do ever again, because those are just a part of life. It is about where you want to go long-term and what is needed to accomplish that."

Why the UTQ fast-track?

"Plenty of colleagues are dragging their feet when it comes to getting their UTQ because they think they must write a document with dozens of pages. That is simply not true. When a teacher works on their UTQ certification they need to prove that they possess five competencies surrounding education. UTQ fast-track came into existence to fight the idea of unending documentation. Employees interview each other, give presentations and record those instead of writing it all down as proof. Usually, the whole UTQ certification takes about a year. This pilot allows people to get their certification within 1.5/2 months, based on long-term experience in education. UTQ can be tailored to a teacher’s preferences, just as we do for students. I think that the Month of Education, together with the UTQ fast-track, helped and affirmed the customisation aspect of the UTQ."

Conversation as driver

"If you ask a teacher now: What did you like most about the UTQ fast-track? A frequent answer is: “The contact with others!” That was exactly the goal of the Month of Education, fostering contact between people. To talk about themes in education. How do you take this on? How do I take this on? There is no one size fits all. Talking about this opens a discussion in which you can glimpse what goes on in someone else’s mind. You discover how others view education and interaction with students. You talk to colleagues who have just done this track and hear what their experiences were. This track doesn’t take years of work, you’ll do a few things you are already doing, you’ll do a few things that you still want to do and you put those in a file. You can easily give it your twist; every file I have looked at is unique. Every conversation with a UTQ candidate is different."