The Executive Board of Utrecht University has appointed Ferdi Engels to the position of Professor of Design and Development of Science Curricula in Higher Education as of 1 July. Within this broad assignment, Engels will focus on new insights and educational methods related to interdisciplinary education and other educational situations in which issues pertaining to inclusiveness play a role. With the creation of this new chair at the Faculty of Science, Utrecht University emphasises the importance it places on education and career opportunities in education. Moreover, Engels’ appointment contributes to the university’s ambition to become more diverse and inclusive.
In the academic world, and definitely within the sciences, internationalisation and interdisciplinary research cooperation are increasingly important. These themes therefore affect Utrecht University as well. Both developments entail greater diversity and the accompanying issue of inclusiveness among both students and lecturers.
Educational differentiation and personalised learning
“I often hear that lecturers wrestle with the question of how to provide support to students with different educational and cultural backgrounds”, says Engels. “Educational differentiation and personalised learning as answers to 'teaching to the middle’. This presents us with a good challenge that has piqued the interest of educational researchers in the Netherlands and abroad.”
Ferdi Engels (1959) studied Biology and earned his PhD at Utrecht University’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. In 1989 he started working at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, where his research focused on the pharmacology of lipid mediators in inflammatory diseases. Since 2002 he has also served as an Editor of the European Journal of Pharmacology and he has been involved in the Medical study programme at the University of Faro, Portugal, as a visiting professor since 2012.
Director of the Undergraduate School
Over the past few years, he has studied the professional and educational aspects of pharmacological education. He has also filled several administrative and policy positions supporting the educational activities of the department and the faculty. In addition to his work as a lecturer at the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, he also acts as Director of the Undergraduate School of the Faculty of Science.