Maarten van der Smagt - Senior Fellow

Balancing Scientific and Professional University Education

Maarten van der Smagt

All university bachelor programmes aim to offer a broad scientific education. To diversify their education, many programmes consider to internationalize their curriculum and add multi-/ interdisciplinary aspects to it, and offer their students room to choose their own study path. At the same time, scientific bachelor programmes with a strong professional orientation, such as Medicine or Law, must meet very specific professional requirements that are dictated either by law, by professional associations, or both. Therefore, compromises have to be made to the aims to broaden the curriculum.

Maarten is interested in how scientific bachelor programmes with a strong professional orientation can still offer their students a broad scientific education. Maarten: “Once students develop a critical mind-set, they will be better equipped to complete their studies and to become qualified professionals”. Maarten is director of education at the Psychology department. Here he investigates what both society and students need in the long term, and how the department of Psychology can accommodate these needs in the future.