Open online course

If we expect people to be proactive, to take responsibility and to be focused on learning from and with each other, then inspiring and supportive leadership is crucial.

Working in a changing context

The work of professionals such as doctors, veterinarians, judges, teachers, social workers and accountants is changing. Sometimes faster than they want to accept. Evoloving needs of clients, customers or patients, new techniques, as well as fiscal and budgetary constraints, the demand for more transparency, political pressure, a changing social position and reduced confidence - all of this challenges professionals to respond adequately. There seems to be an increasing mismatch between the current professional work fields on the one hand, and public expectations and the work environments of the professionals on the other hand. Adjustment of working methods and business models will no longer suffice. The changing context requires a paradigm change and more profound changes for professionals.

An interdisciplinary perspective

Addressing these challenges requires a deeper understanding of and insight into backgrounds and significance of this changing context and its impact on the professional. This applies to professionals as well as to those who work with professionals in professional organisations and to students being educated for these professions. By considering the challenges from an interdisciplinary perspective, the participant of this course is in a position to see the bigger picture. The course offers an overview of how information technology, the rise of managerialism and societal, cultural and demographic changes have affected the work of professionals, and how this forces them to respond. In addition to an in-depth understanding of these challenges, a roadmap is set for a different perspective, a paradigm shift and a way forward.

The course

The course is developed by the interdisciplinary research focus area Professional Performance at Utrecht University. It is a six-weeks course with a studyload of 3-4 hours per week. The scope of the course changes from a macro to a micro perspective, from a sociological and historical view on societal developments to the perspective on change of the individual professional.

Week 1           Professions in transition

Week 2           Control and empowerment of professionals

Week 3           Quality control and competence

Week 4           Organisation and leadership of professional work

Week 5           Professional motivation and well-being

Week 6           Lifelong learning

This course is open to everyone interested in societal change, in professional work, working with professionals, policymaking, and how professionals think, act and thrive.

Level: Intermediate

Study load: 6 weeks of study, 3-4 hours/week

Language: English

Net result: This course offers a course certificate (€ 43)

Accreditation: pending

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