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The troubling facts on teaching certificates

A recent study of university’s year-reports by the Dutch ISO (Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg) has shown that 30% of university teachers do not have a teaching certificate. In 2008 all Dutch universities agreed that teachers needed to acquire a BKO qualification (basiskwalificatie onderwijs), but universities still seem to have work to do.

ISO president Jan Sinnige explains why these qualifications are so important: “you can be really good in a lab, teaching however, is a completely different story. A student should be able to trust that a lecturer is qualified. To teach elementary school you need four years of education, whereas university lecturers can teach without any training.”

Nevertheless the ISO does see an improvement in the training of university teachers. However, they would like the BKO to be an official requirement that has the same standards all over the country. “At some universities it is a short afternoon course, whereas others offer an extended programme. There need to be certain standards.”

Minister of Education, Jet Bussemaker, has also recognised the importance of training and support of university teachers. “Each student has the right to a teacher who is well prepared for education.”

Maastricht University has scored average on ISO’s report and at EDLAB we are currently running multiple projects to improve the quality of teaching all over the university.

See the results from all universities here.


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