SIG Oker: the purpose of academic education

In today's discussions on education, much is said about finance and valorisation, how to measure and assess quality and how to deal with internationalisation, diversity and sustainability. Although all these discussions are relevant, the long-term questions about the purpose of higher education are often pushed into the background. What is good and meaningful academic education? What should be the role of the university in this? How does the UU want to prepare students for their personal future? How do education and research relate to this? In short: what is the purpose of the university?

Oker is a group of young academics who would like to keep the dialogue about the role and purpose of the university alive among its employees and students. They hope to have this discussion with many people and, where desirable, to be a source of inspiration for change. To this end, small-scale discussion meetings are organised within the SIG to discuss relevant literature, a scientific article or a film. For example, this article (in Dutch) on who wants to train the university, this podcast (in Dutch) on university values or the book 'Waartoe is de universiteit op aarde?' (2014).

Initiators: Marij Swinkels, Mare van Hooijdonk, Lubberta de Jong, Renee van de Wetering en Siebren Teule. They publised this article on DUB: ‘Even stilstaan bij de bedoeling van de universiteit’.

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The SIG meetings are open to everyone. These are the members who regularly attend the meetings of the SIG Oker:

This SIG also has two student members:

Siebren Teule is researchmaster student History. During his bachelor's degree in Liberal Arts & Sciences, he has worked in various positions for education and student life at the UU, such as at the Faculty Council of Humanities, at VIDIUS Student Union and as a student-assessor. Siebren is interested in how long and short term changes affect an institute such as the UU.

Renee van de Wetering is a master's student of Infection & Immunity. During her bachelor's degree in Biomedical Sciences and Law, she was often surprised by the fundamental differences between these programmes and their student populations. In her year as a student assessor at the Faculty of Medicine (2017-2018) she had the opportunity to work on this subject at a higher level, which she now continues within Oker.