Utrecht Education Incentive Fund: Accepted projects in 2017

For the year 2017, the Executive Board allocates money to five projects of the Utrecht Education Incentive Fund. These projects are described below.

‘Community Service & community engagement’

This project aims to make the social responsibility of the university more visible, to enable students to develop knowledge and skills that prepare them for meaningful roles in society and to develop education innovations in which community service and engagement are integrated.

For this purpose, this project focuses on the development of practices of ‘community service and engagement’ in the academic education at Utrecht University. The idea is that students from diverse disciplines collaborate with local interested parties and contribute to the creation of sustainable solutions to issues in Utrecht neighbourhoods and districts.

Students, lecturers and social stakeholders work together on the development of education and testing. With this method, the project aims to primarily deploy forms of (participative) action research in the neighbourhood of Overvecht. Social partners in that neighbourhood include Wijk & CO (social brokers) and the Social Enterprise Lab (se.lab).

Contact: Dr Jeroen Vermeulen.

Read more about this project here. (Dutch only)

‘Escaping the chasm’

Utrecht University has set the goal for itself to make blended learning an inseparable part of the Utrecht education model by 2020. However, some of the lecturers are currently not exploring the technological possibilities that could improve their education programmes.

This project aims to make lecturer teams acquainted with new education technologies in innovative ways. This is done by means of developing an escape room. A lecturer team will be voluntarily locked in a room and can only escape by completing all kinds of assignments together. This lets lecturers become acquainted with all kinds of innovative education forms such as blended learning in a playful way.

After their escape from the escape room, lecturers will discuss the application in their own courses together. The project aims to develop a mobile escape room and use it at least four times.

Contact: Jasper van Winden.

Read more about this project here. (Dutch only)

‘Making Journeys: Building Blocks for Diversity’

Diversity and inclusivity are high on the university's agenda. This project is the result of the earlier initiative InclUUsion, in which refugees are offered the chance to enrol in education at Utrecht University. Making Journeys researches what role diversity plays in university education with the help of Arts Based Research.

The project aims to make refugee students' experiences visible, audible and tangible. The project involves lecturers and fellow students in this as well.

Among other things, the project results in an interactive website and a mobile exposition with which the dialogue on the improvement of diversity and inclusion is supported. This project continues where a successful EMP project of the French degree programme left off.

Contact: Dr Noortje van Amsterdam.

Read more about this project here.



An adequate system of testing is of essential importance for degree programmes in higher education. The quality of testing must be made clear and discussable to all involved parties. However, this has become a complex and time-consuming task for many degree programmes.

The central goal of this project is to develop a user-friendly, online system that helps degree programmes to develop a vision on their own testing and improve them. This ties into the methodology of The Testing Tested (in Dutch: De Toetsing Getoetst, DTG), which has been introduced in Dutch higher professional education before.

Contact: Dr Harold Bok.

Read more about this project here. (Dutch only)

Intercultural competence for the UU

Interculturality is high on the university's agenda. This is tied to the ambitions in the field of internationalisation. Students and staff members of different backgrounds need to feel at home at Utrecht University. The best way to achieve this is if the community is diverse and inclusive.

Possessing intercultural skills is crucial to this. Some degree programmes already have expertise in this field. The goal of this project is to better unlock that expertise. This means:

  • Making the existing available courses more visible and making this accessible to other degree programmes.
  • Professionalising lecturers by expanding the course ‘Teaching in the International Classroom’. The Centre for Teaching and Learning of the university offers this course.
  • Professionalising support-staff members at international offices, credits and Study Advisors by means of directed intercultural training. 

Contact: Dr Jan ten Thije.

Read more about this project here.