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Looking back on a successful FSS Education Festival

5 October 2022
Thursday 22 September was all about the FSS Education Festival "Back to the VUture!". FSS colleagues came together for an inspirational afternoon with interesting workshops and a fun party.

After two years of COVID-19 measures, it was again possible to physically organise the Education Festival this year. And we were happy about that! We started the afternoon in the Basket with an interesting keynote speech by Cristina Zaga of University of Twente. She posed the question of whether we are equipping students with the right skills for today's crises in our society. For example, she talked about their master-insert 'Shaping Responsible Futures', an additional opportunity for master students. In a transdisciplinary team, students work on current social issues. With this, the University of Twente won the Dutch Hoger Onderwijs Premie.

After that, it was time for the workshops. Maike Tietschert, Assistant Professor at the Department of Organization Sciences, was one of the workshop leaders. In round 2 she led the workshop ‘Lean back: Let students take over inside and outside academia: Designing student-led education!' She looks back on a very inspiring afternoon: "It was great to have reserved time to think about and reflect on the way we teach and share and discuss thoughts with colleagues from the faculty," she says. 

"I enjoyed the opportunity to give a workshop on letting students lead inside and outside academia. Based on design thinking principles, we discussed our hopes and wishes for teaching in ways that maximise students’ leadership in class, how we can ensure students get the space to be creative, and what assumptions may hold us back in redesigning our courses in ways that promote student leadership. We identified rethinking ways of examination as a crucial point and identified one first step to advance student leadership in our courses."

If you were inspired by the workshops or if you want to know more, feel free to reach out to the workshop leaders. All workshop leaders are very happy to help you with the first steps for implementation.

Alexandra Martin is new to FSS, having started in August as a PhD candidate and junior lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. “I truly enjoyed the Back to the VUture Festival for the thought-provoking conversations, for being able to meet new colleagues and for experiencing the enthusiasm shared by the FSS community,” she says. “As a newcomer, I was grateful to be given the opportunity to engage with colleagues across all departments, get to know their research interests and exchange ideas about my professional interests and why I joined the VU.”

“I found the workshops very informative, especially the quiz on Research Integrity. As I recently embarked on this academic endeavour, I found the insights provided by the questions and conversation really useful for my trajectory moving forward. A big shout out to the organizing team and look forward to the next editions!”

After the workshops, it was time for the FSS Education prizes! Kiara Vos won the FSS StudenTalent prize, Wiebe de Jong was awarded the FSS DocenTalent prize and Yvette Taminiau was the FSS winner and nominee for the VU-wide Van der Duijn Schouten Education Prize. More information on the award winners can be found here.

The inspiring afternoon ended with a nice dinner and live music!