"The biggest impact we have, is with the people we educate"

The Executive Board has appointed Harold Bok as Professor of Educational Scholarship in Veterinary Medicine at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Utrecht University as of 1 January 2024. The chair bridges educational theory and current educational practice issues. Harold is also Vice Dean for Education at the Faculty.

What does this appointment mean to you?

"I see this appointment as an important recognition of the importance of looking at veterinary education in a scientific way. What teaching method works for whom and under what circumstances, and why does it work or not work? These are important questions that we must continue to ask ourselves, in close collaboration with other disciplines and stakeholders both within the Faculty and beyond."

Why is this so important?

"The biggest impact we have as a university is with the people we educate. Fortunately, our Faculty is well aware of this. We really want to give education - in addition to research and patient care - the recognition and attention it deserves. This includes using our scientific attitude and tools to improve education. After all, we are going for the best quality and the best use of scarce resources."

What can we expect in the near future?

"For me, Team Science is an important starting point. Only through interdisciplinary cooperation we will succeed in moving forward with the challenges we face in education and bridge the gap between educational theory and practice. Think, for example, of the discussion about selection methodologies, the revision of curricula of both veterinary medicine programs or the implementation of the bachelor's program in Clinical Sciences.”

What kind of educational innovations should we think of?

In the coming period, for example, interdisciplinary teams will conduct research into the supervision and assessment of students in the clinical workplace, the sustainable improvement of student welfare, the optimization of the training in clinical skills, and the use of learning analytics to support and promote learning and teaching in the clinical environment. I look forward to applying the insights from this research to practice and I am honored to contribute as Professor to the education of future veterinarians. So that our students can get the very best out of themselves and flourish in veterinary practice after their graduation."