UM Future of Advising

Optimizing the Student Experience

With its focus on constructive, contextual, collaborative and self-directed learning, Maastricht University offers students a unique study experience. It ensures that students are active participants in small-scale education and a lively community. This project  focuses on student guidance as a fundamental aspect of that education, aiming to make it an even stronger part of the Maastricht University student experience.


What are the aims of this project?

With the aim to support students by bolstering student guidance at Maastricht University, by sharing expertise and practices, and to create more transparency for students and staff when it comes to the various types of student guidance available and how they complement each other, we will:


  1. Vision and strategic plan: staff from across the UM student guidance spectrum and students will jointly develop a shared vision about student guidance at UM, and develop strategies for transparent information and referral for students and staff, for professional development in the field of student guidance, and for creating optimal connections between UM’s educational philosophy and student guidance.
  2. Create a UM centre of expertise on academic advising that facilitates the continuing development of expertise, and feeds back new insights and practices into the UM community;
  3. Support SUMa, the current platform for student guidance at UM, closely linked to the development of the vision and sharing of expertise and best practices.


Who will benefit from this project?

Students: Adding to the many efforts of mentors, student advisers, academic advisers, career counsellors and others active in student guidance, it will expand students’ opportunities for personal and academic development. The UM CCCS pedagogy offers a framework that can, and needs to be, extended to the advising context. Constructing knowledge and plans for the future, contextualizing what is learned and linking it to one’s own future ambitions, collaborating with others while taking responsibility becoming self-directed are key elements of our pedagogy, that naturally extent into a shared approach to advising. Aligning how we reach and how we support students reinforces the efficacy of UM’s education and its CCCS pedagogy, and benefit students in a way that carries the unique UM signature.


Stronger and intentional support for students, as they integrate what they learn, and make connections in terms of their intrinsic motivation, their ambitions, and their future career is known to have a positive impact on student engagement, motivation, and self-regulated learning. Furthermore, in addition to the existing initiatives surrounding well-being, students would benefit greatly from UM addressing this issue proactively. Creating an intentional link to the UM education vision will help students develop a stronger sense of control over what and how they study.

A shared vision on student guidance can strengthen the UM educational philosophy of small-scale, self-directed education, and allow students to develop as autonomous, confident learners. 


Staff members: UM’s advanced view on Recognition and Rewards for all UM staff creates opportunities for acknowledging the work of those who support students in other than teaching roles. A diversification of professional career perspectives in the guidance needs to be articulated, along with clear paths to (further) professional development.

A shared vision on student guidance provides a basis for the Recognition and Reward for those who implement that vision, most notably student advisers, and teaching staff in a mentoring or advising role. This in turn will raise the level of support UM can offer its students. 


UM:  Articulating roles and purposes across the student guidance spectrum more clearly and coherently will, enhance the effectiveness and efficiencies of the combined effort. Unlocking and sharing ‘local’ knowledge and best practices will contribute to a joint development and strengthening of the ways in which we support students, and it will strengthen the profile of UM, as a university that cares about the learning and the well-being of its students.

A shared vision on student guidance, and a sharing of best practices and expertise, can release a stronger, UM-wide potential for engaging and supporting its students, and – complementing our educational philosophy – ad to the unique profile of our university. 

Contact the project managers

Iris Burks

Educational Development

Oscar van den Wijngaard

Educational Development