Why opt for University College Utrecht
A UCU education is built on six pillars:
Liberal Arts & Sciences
At UCU, students to a large extent develop their own specific and individual curriculum, driven by their motivation for learning, by the questions and issues they want to pursue academically, and by their ambitions. Liberal education is more than getting acquainted with various domains of scholarship. Students are also encouraged to think across the borders of disciplines and to develop cross- or interdisciplinary ways of thinking, related to important questions and issues in society or in academia. The ability to think creatively and ‘outside the box’, always grounded in a solid basis of disciplinary knowledge, is an important competence for further study and for a professional career.
Cultures & Nationalities
There are more than fifty nationalities among UCU students, and about 35% of the students have a non-Dutch nationality. UCU students bring in diversity with regard to talents, experiences, lifestyles and learning styles, religions, mother tongues, and social and cultural backgrounds. In combination with the residential setting, this rich diversity offers plenty of opportunity for intercultural encounter, deepening of intercultural understanding, and for friendships across the globe. The diversity in cultural, linguistic and geographical backgrounds of the students is often used in classroom discussions, in order to gain a richer understanding of issues under study.
Learning is at the centre of UCU education. Teaching is supposed to facilitate learning. The small-scale and interactive class format creates optimal opportunity for learning. Students write papers, give presentations, lead discussions about reading materials, engage in debate, work on assignments in small groups, analyze data and so on. They receive feedback on their work in order to improve their academic skills and levels of understanding.
The cornerstone of guidance at UCU is the tutorial system. Students receive personal guidance from tutors assigned to them for the duration of the program. Tutors assist students with academic career guidance, including referral to other advisors. Beyond academic development per se, tutors provide a measure of pastoral care, including referral to external professional services when necessary. Tutors are involved in the process whereby students select courses, compose majors and minors, and plan their future studies and careers. Together with their tutor, students reflect on their performance and on difficulties they may face in their academic work. Almost all tutors are also experienced teachers.
‘Eagerness to excel’ is part and parcel of UCU culture. Many UCU students graduate with ‘honors’ or ‘cum laude’ distinction. UCU graduates are accepted into highly selective masters’ programs: abroad, at Utrecht University, or at other Dutch universities. The success rate of UCU graduates in obtaining scholarships for further study is very high compared to graduates from other institutions. Excellence is not just a matter of student effort. It is an ambition of UCU as a whole: in teaching, tutoring, administrative procedures, communication, and all other domains of college life. Excellence is enhanced by a constructive critical and self-critical attitude of all involved, an open atmosphere, and quality assurance at all levels.
UCU is a residential academic community, where it is considered normal to work hard and aspire to do well in your academic work. Students organize many extracurricular activities that give an extra dimension to your education: lectures, performances, debate clubs, community outreach activities, off campus visits, student participation in academic affairs, and many more. UCU is also a community for socializing: at parties, in the bar, over a meal, or simply in your residential units. Many Dutch students go to their parents’ homes during the weekend. They are encouraged to take non-Dutch UCU friends with them now and then, and to give them an extra experience of Dutch life, cities and culture.
Do you recognize yourself in these six pillars? Then UCU might be the right place for you. You can find more information on the UCU website.