Lifelong learning

Getting your degree doesn’t mean you’ve finished 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.

Portret Roos van Leeuwen

Roos van Leeuwen (26)
Academic education: Bachelor’s in Philosophy (2017) and Master’s in Applied Ethics (2021) at Utrecht University
Position: Educational Innovation and Public Values Project Manager at SURF
Course: Responsible data

Technology and data are changing every aspect of the world around us. Alumnus Roos van Leeuwen works with academic and other data as part of her job at SURF. She and two of her colleagues decided to take part in Utrecht University’s Responsible Data Practices course.

Roos was thrown right in at the deep end with a challenging realworld case: should we be using algorithms to predict who will drop out of high school? ‘We used the Ethical Data Assistant (DEDA) to assess the issue’s ethical impact. We tried to identify any potential problems and see if we could overcome them. We came to the conclusion that it all depends on the way you collect the data and the context you apply it in.’

Why did you choose the university?

‘Going back to my academic roots felt like a natural step in my professional development. The university offers the kind of knowledge I needed. It was also important to me that we didn’t just receive practical lessons — we explored public values in data practices on the basis of academic research. We could all relate to the issues being discussed, and everyone felt encouraged to share their practical experiences. With participants from various fields — from municipal policy officers to ICT specialists — we had a great opportunity to compare the way different organisations use data.

A step along the way

As far as this alumnus is concerned, the degree certificate is just a step along the way: ‘I was eager to start working after my studies. I thought I knew everything about my field. When I joined SURF, I discovered there were lots of other subjects I wanted to learn more about. I think it’s a pretty outdated idea to think you’re done learning when you get your certificate . That piece of paper doesn’t mean you don’t need to keep developing. You also don’t necessarily have the opportunity to take all the courses you want as a student. It’s great to have that chance later on in your professional career.’


Interested in following this course?

You can apply for the next edition on January 26 januari and February 9. Please visit the website of Continuing Education for more info.

Illustratie Onderwijs voor Professionals

The influence of non-genetic factors on disease

START: 2 November 2021
DURATION: 15 hours
COST: free

What causes diseases? Exposome research aims to identify the non-genetic drivers of health and disease. Learn more during the Exposome course by researchers from Utrecht University and/or the NWO Gravitation Programme.

Sign up

Unlocking solutions for the food of the future

START: 2 November 2021
DURATION: 15 hours
COST: free

This Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) will see more than ten food researchers from Utrecht University explore some of the key issues surrounding our food consumption. The focus will be on two main topics: food shortage and healthy choices.

Sign up

Want to keep learning?

See our full range of Continuing Education programmes: 

Executive programmes