Jan Haarhuis receives SURF Education Award

Education change makers honoured for their dedication

During Dé Onderwijsdagen 2016 (THE Education Days 2016), SURF announced the winners of the first SURF Education Awards. Utrecht University Manager of the education-innovation programme Educate-it received the 'change maker' award in the ICT and Education Professionals category.

Farshida Zafar is the biggest change maker in the Lecturers category and Anka Mulder won that title in the Governors category. Colleagues describe all three of them as those who, more than others, raise education to a higher level and reform it by deploying ICT.

During a festive meeting in the World Trade Center Rotterdam, the winners each received a trophy from SURF President and SURF Education Awards Jury President Paul Rullmann.


Jan Haarhuis has been the Programme Manager of Educate-it at Utrecht University since 2014. He developed a university-wide education-innovation programme during that period. This programme works on blended learning, lecturer professionalization and research into the effects of ICT use in education.

Educate-it consists of a strong team of education experts and is represented in every faculty. Jan works from the belief that lecturers should lead educational reform. He does not see IT use as a goal in itself, but as a contribution to quality improvement and to increasing the learning effect. “Jan Haarhuis has vision, is creative and knows how to bring people together with his personality. Jan simply gets started and makes people enthusiastic to join him. And it works!", his colleagues say.

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Portret van Jan Haarhuis.
Portrait of Jan Haarhuis.

Haarhuis himself is very happy with how he succeeded in, for instance, implementing the Educate-it programme in Utrecht: “Colleagues' university-wide involvement and dedication, the positive response to the programme and the fun and involvement of many people in this process is enormous. Fantastic Educate-it teams have been set up - university-wide and in every faculty - that work in close proximity to the lecturers. This can be attributed to, among other factors, the commitment of the faculties and the collaboration with the university's Educate-it team."


Education innovation by means of ICT only works when people commit to it. SURF wants to recognize the efforts of these 'change makers' who make a difference within their teaching institutes. The SURF Education Awards were presented for the first time this year, but will from now on be presented every year to a lecturer, an ICT and educational professional and a governor.

The jury consists of Paul Rullmann (President of SURF), Rob van Leeuwen (a member of the Programme Advisory Board and an Educational Technologist at VU Amsterdam), Pieter Cornelissen (Programme Manager of Education Innovation at HU University of Applied Sciences) and Christien Bok (Programme Manager Customized Education, SURFnet).

Fantastic Educate-it teams have been set up - university-wide and in every faculty - that work in close proximity to the lecturers.

Liaison SURF: Marielle Schipper, phone number (+31) 0613911458.
Press Office Utrecht University Wietske de Lange, w.delange@uu.nl, (+31) 030 253 4073, (+31) 06 45 75 82 44.