The UM edition of going hybrid

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The UM edition of going hybrid

Until today Maastricht University has engaged in multiple hybrid forms of education. The organization offers its students the possibility to combine different kinds of courses and build a more personal interdisciplinary curriculum.

The most prominent example of an interdisciplinary program and the most familiar form regarding personal curriculum building is University College Maastricht (UCM) or also known as the Liberal Arts & Sciences Honours College of Maastricht University. UCM focuses on highly motivated students with a broad interest for various academic fields. During his or her studies, the UCM student is able to select courses out of the 150 that are offered, and build his/her personal curriculum which focuses on the topics that they are mostly interested in and want to learn more about. This is a program which might sound interesting to many, however is only within reach for a select and highly qualified group of students. This school offers the students a broad variety of courses to choose from and it is therefore necessary to have the highly motivated students who are willing to do the work for such a personal curriculum.

Next to the interdisciplinary program of UCM, Maastricht University can allow for hybridity thanks to the division into different faculties that allow students to choose courses from other programs during their studies. In every program at Maastricht University there are a certain amount of courses which are optional and are able to be changed for courses at other faculties. Thanks to this, students can be inspired to think more intensively about what they are most passionate about. Due to the flexibility in the programs, students are able to feel more responsible for what their curriculum consists of and which courses would teach them the most valuable information. This motivates students to feel engaged from the very first moment of their studies and on top of that the broad interest of studies is something future employers are looking for in today’s society.

Since four years there is a new type of hybrid in Maastricht, and this new type of program is called iArts. This program was set up as a pilot-project by Zuyd University and the faculty of arts and social sciences of Maastricht University. This program is a professional higher education art programme which focuses on teaching students how to become more critically engaged. By combining artistic skill courses, entrepreneurship and research-based courses, the students are able to select the courses that they are most interested in and build the curriculum they would like to complete. The cooperation between these different kinds of schools is very promising and could lead to further developments when it comes to hybrid forms of education and cooperation between different kinds of institutions. And even though Maastricht University has already built quite a few renowned programs, we are still curious what the future has in store for these innovations.

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