Stijn Temmen, alumnus Educational Sciences talks about his studies.
Alumna Maaike Radix about the Teacher track of Educational Sciences at Utrecht University
“Before I decided to pursue a Master’s in Educational Sciences with the focus on primary education, I successfully completed the academic teacher training programme for primary education (ALPO). After this Bachelor's programme, I wanted to combine teaching disabled children with educational research and consultancy. I chose therefore to continue in Educational Sciences with the Master's programme and specialise through the Teacher Track, to get a more general sense of all areas of primary education. For instance, I learned about educational policy and educational design. During this track it was really pleasant to have a mentor, because she helped me to focus on a specific topic: strategies of giving feedback and its effectiveness.
The Teacher Track taught me to think constructively and critically about the quality of education at a micro-, meso- and macro level. That allowed me to develop myself in the field of educational innovation and educational consultancy. Moreover, the mentor meetings, my internship at the ‘Onderwijsraad’ (Education Council) and the meetings with fellow students who followed the track, contributed greatly to my development as an educational scientist and academic primary school teacher.
In the future I hope to combine teaching with a job as an educational policy officer or an educational advisor. I would also like to see more (job opportunities for) academic teachers in primary schools in order to stimulate and apply an evidence-based approach to teaching and educational innovations. Hopefully, I can contribute to this goal as a recently appointed board member of the Professional Association of Academics in Primary Education (Beroepsvereninging Academici Basisonderwijs, BAB).”
Patrick Kurvers is a student in Educational Sciences at Utrecht University
"Before starting the Master’s Educational Sciences, I finished my Bachelor’s in Utrecht, where I have also built a life over the years, so I was slightly biased choosing the Master in Utrecht. However, I still compared my choice with other programmes in the Netherlands to make sure this was the right choice. I concluded that other programmes were relatively focused on the pedagogical side of educational sciences, which is the opposite of my own interests: I was more interested in learning in organisations, and in designing learning situations.
It also attracted me that in the Master’s in Utrecht I had the opportunity to choose my own path. Within the courses, thesis and internship I had the freedom to focus on the subjects that interested me. I also very much appreciated that the thesis and internship are performed separately.
In my thesis, I collaborated with thirteen organisations in the Netherlands such as, for example, ING, IBM, Randstad and the Rabobank. With the help of my network and some guts, I managed to get in contact with these big organisations. I experienced the contact and organisational approaches within those different organisations, which was a great contribution to my understanding of different sectors. Along the way of finding participants for my thesis I also came into contact with ING, where I am finishing my internship at the moment.
Soon, I will be graduating, and I plan to find a job in an organisation as an educational consultant and/or project manager. Here I will focus on learning environments where I provide people with support, guidance and advice to help them reach their full potential."
Romy Wendrich is a student in Educational Sciences at Utrecht University
"Before I decided to pursue a Master’s in Educational Sciences, I actually trained to be a teacher. Although I loved teaching, I always felt that I wanted to do more – I really wanted to broaden my horizons.
Because I had a degree from a University of Applied Sciences (hbo) I first had to finish a pre-Master’s programme before I could start the Master’s. The pre-Master’s was really good preparation because it taught me a lot about doing academic research and about statistics, which I had never done before. Plus, I met a lot of people in my time as a pre-Master’s student, so when I started the Master’s I already had a pretty big social circle!
During the pre-Master’s I also joined VOCUS, the student association for Educational Sciences and the Academic Teacher Training programmes at Utrecht University. Once I started the Master’s I became a board member for VOCUS as well, so I divided my time between my classes and my responsibilities as a board member. This meant I had to take an extra year to finish the programme, but it was worth it because this year brought me a lot in terms of contacts, experience, and personal development.
My goal for the future is to combine teaching for a few days a week with a job as a consultant, so I’m hoping to do an internship in a consultancy firm this year. What I really like about consultancy is that it’s very broad: you work for many different kinds of companies on all kinds of topics regarding training and education. The internship will be a good way to test if consultancy work really suits me before I go into the work-field!"
Alumna Meri Häärä studied Educational Sciences at Utrecht University
"Before coming to Utrecht, I did a Master’s of Arts in Education at the University of Oulu in Finland, where I’m from. I chose to continue in Educational Sciences at Utrecht University because while my previous degree was centered around pedagogy and intercultural teaching, I felt this programme could help me improve my knowledge and skills regarding learning in organisations, instructional design and research methodology. I had also done some exchange studies at Utrecht University and was eager to stay longer and learn more.
What I enjoyed most about the Master’s in general was the rigor of the programme. I was pushed out of my comfort zone a lot and had to tackle problems that at times seemed impossible. I was juggling school full-time and working part-time, and the pace of the programme was very fast. I fell behind a few times, but managed to eventually stay on track. Although the Master’s was stressful, I did gain a lot of knowledge and skills in this year.
The course I enjoyed most was an elective I took called Security, Violence and Sovereignty. Although this course was very different from my own educational background and courses, I found it very useful for examining the contexts that I study and work in. Having the option to take electives from other programmes provided some new and refreshing perspectives to my studies.
Being the only international in the programme was tough at times, but overall this experience has made me stronger. I have learned a lot, grown immensely throughout this year, and made some wonderful friendships. In the end, I am grateful that I had this opportunity."