Lifelong learning

New knowledge is developing at a phenomenal rate. Your job undoubtedly requires knowledge that was not covered during your studies. Utrecht University’s Continuing Education programme provides the up-to-date knowledge and skills you need to remain permanently employable on the labour market, all based on the latest academic insights. From short courses to Master’s degrees, Utrecht University offers a wealth of opportunities for lifelong learning.

“Maybe I was born to learn”

Foto van Andreas van Grootheest

Andreas van Grootheest (36) 
Education: 2006 to 2010: Bachelor’s in Theology at KU Leuven; 2018 to 2022: Bachelor’s in Biology at Utrecht University)
Course: Thematic Interdisciplinary Challenge (TIC) Drowning deltas (Website)

Andreas van Grootheest studied theology after finishing secondary school, convinced he would go on to become a pastor. However, his beliefs changed over the course of his studies. He quit theology halfway through his Master’s programme and spent the next eight odd years working with his hands: as a mail prep worker, postman and cleaner. He also worked as a korfball coach until recently.

So why go back to university?
After years of unskilled work, which was a conscious choice on my part, I realised it wasn’t giving me much satisfaction anymore. I felt I had more to offer the world than just sorting mail! I’d always been into the sciences, and I’m fascinated by nature, so I ended up studying biology. Utrecht University was the only place where I could already take specific marine biology courses during my Bachelor’s. I already felt at home in Utrecht, so it was all pretty easy for me. I still had some study room in my final year and stumbled across the TIC course on ‘Drowning deltas’. That’s obviously a very relevant topic in the Netherlands, and I wanted to learn more about it.

A broader perspective
Andreas’ fellow students had backgrounds in fields like physics, marine sciences and geography. “That really challenged me to take a broader perspective and explore other disciplines. We worked together to analyse what the Dutch delta might look like in 100 years for our external client the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management. We talked a lot about our relationship with nature. Here in the Netherlands, we tend to view nature as something external, but it makes perfect biological sense to see humans as part of the ecosystem. Apart from the actual curriculum, I also learnt some really useful skills. I love knowledge, but it tends to fade away again. Skills are much harder to learn. That’s what made this course so important for me. If nothing else, I hope I can apply that reflective attitude in my future professional life.

Cartoon van man die bestaat uit boeken lezend in een boek
Image: Aad Goudappel

Unlocking future food solutions (MOOC)

START: 4 May 2023
DURATION: 15 hours
COST: Free

This Massive Open Online Course will see over 10 Utrecht University food researchers address key issues in the area of food consumption. We will be covering two interrelated themes: Food Shortages and Healthy Choices.

Sign up

Sustainability in biology classes (in Dutch only)

START: 3 April 2023
DURATION: three sessions
COST: free for U-Talent and Science Partners, €150 for external participants.

What biology teacher is not looking for opportunities to tie the latest news stories on sustainability in with their own curriculum? How can we address our pupils’ major questions in an accessible way? We will give you the knowledge and tools you need for your lessons over the course of three interconnected sessions on the topic of sustainability.


Want to keep learning?

See our full range of Continuing Education programmes: 

Executive programmes