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Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) offers 22 undergraduate and 77 graduate programmes in social sciences, medical sciences, behavioural sciences and humanities. In addition to degree programmes that are linked to a specific scientific discipline, EUR offers interdisciplinary and joint degrees. In the coming years, this type of courses will increase, based on the ambition to continue training students adequately for strongly changing social fields. International and interdisciplinary training is essential.

Until 2024, EUR is implementing an ambitious investment programme aimed at further development of educational quality. The ambition is to train students to be professionals who can make an impact by connecting the right people with an entrepreneurial and unbiased attitude to find solutions to complex problems. Students are offered practical challenges in their education in which they can apply their knowledge and skills. As a result, they develop a professional attitude that supports a first step in a further successful career. The student's wellbeing is a key focus. Based on research, campaigns on campus draw attention to healthy lifestyles. There is additional attention for student counselling to address challenges related to student stress and mental health issues.

Current issues

Impact learning was reinforced when the City DealIntroductions grant was awarded. This further facilitate students to work on current issues in their immediate environment. Furthermore, EUR invested in facilities in the field of E-learning. This facilitates students to work in projects with organisations outside the University. Within the European University alliance UNIC, students could learn about the challenges in other European cities, partly online because of COVID-19.

COVID-19 also had a major impact on education in 2021. Not only for EUR students, but also for pupils and students in the Rotterdam direction. In addition to many initiatives to prevent loneliness and study delays among students, EUR actively participated in an initiative to prevent learning delays in primary and secondary education.

Facts & Figures

Number of undergraduate and graduate programmes, enrolments and degrees

table 3.1

  Number of bachelor programmes Number of master programmes (including research master programmes) Number of joint degree programmes Number of post-initial master programmes
2020 22 51 5 15
2021 22 51+11 research masters 6 15

table 3.2

  Bachelor enrolments Master enrolments Pre-master enrolments
2018 19.560 10.737 -
2019 20.412 10.995 -
2020 21.783 12.431 -
2021 22.538 13.127 1.242

table 3.3

  Bachelor degrees Master degrees
2018 3.952 4.929
2019 4.160 5.164
2020 507 1.392
2021 5.655 4.453

Number of students by faculty

table 3.4

  Bachelor 2021 Master 2021 Premaster 2021
ESE 4.626 2.799 209
ESHPM 487 1.029 124
ESHCC 1.736 668 133
ESL 4.145 1.458 82
ESPhil 782 119 0
ESSB 3.586 1.856 326
EUC 660 0 0
EMC 1.936 2.031 43
RSM 4.580 3.167 325

Distribution male/female/other

table 3.5

  Male Female Other/unknown
ESE 5.231 2.394 9
ESHMP 467 1.173 0
ESHCC 724 1.810 3
ESL 2.335 3.349 1
ESPhil 514 386 1
ESBB 1.468 4.288 12
EUC 190 467 3
EMC 1.386 2.624 0
RSM 4.690 3.368 14

Distribution of students national/international

table 3.6

  Bachelor 2021   Master 2021  
  national international national international
ESE 3.319 1.273 1.923 818
ESHPM 479 7 821 186
ESHCC 929 788 337 321
ESL 4.005 59 1.276 151
ESPhil 653 102 82 36
ESSB 2.686 861 1.410 420
EUC 315 342 0 0
EMC 1.811 125 1.908 113
RSM 3.446 1.110 2.048 1.082

Educational offerings and educational quality

Development of educational offerings

EUR continuously renews its course offerings to train students who can become a new generation of leaders and positive influencers in a changing world. In 2021, for example, EUR prepared the efficiency application and New Course Assessment for the interdisciplinary master programme Societal Transitions for the interdisciplinary master programme. The programme, subject to approval, trains students to respond to issues related to transition. The CDHO's Effectiveness Committee gave Erasmus MC the green light for the Research Master Genomics in Society programme, and a request for accreditation was submitted to the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation (NVAO). Upon accreditation, students in this programme will actively explore the role genetic technology can play in solving major social issues, together with representatives in the city and region.

The NVAO also approved the Educational Master in Primary Education in 2021. The course was developed in close collaboration with the field. Students obtain their teaching license and thus contribute to reducing the lecturer shortage. The focus of the study is on teaching in large cities. The focus is mainly on complex issues, for example in the areas of opportunity inequality, diversity and inclusion.

Positive decisions accreditations education quality

EUR has its programmes accredited by NVAO. This body evaluates whether training programmes are of good quality. We are proud that in 2021, independent panels conducted a total of ten accreditations with a positive decision. The remaining applications, including again a New Course Assessment, are still pending a decision at the end of 2021. We are confident that EUR is properly securing training quality internally.

table 3.7

    CROHO Panel visit Submission date NVAO decision Type of request
Applications submitted in 2020 and honoured in 2021            
1 B History 56034 27-06-2019, 28-06-2019 05/ 1/2020 03/ 8/2021 Accreditation of existing course
2 M History 66034 27-06-2019, 28-06-2019 05/ 1/2020 01/18/2021 Accreditation of existing course
3 B General Cultural Studies 56823 28-02-2019, 01-03-2019 05/ 1/2020 03/ 1/2021 Accreditation of existing course
4 M Neuroscience (research) 60278 11/25/2019 05/ 1/2020 01/22/2021 Accreditation of existing course
5 M Mediastudies (research) 60832 01/16/2020 05/ 1/2020 03/23/2021 Accreditation of existing course
6 M Master City Developer 75066 03/ 3/2020 11/ 1/2020 05/28/2021 Accreditation of existing course
Applications submitted in 2021 and honoured in 2021            
7 B Sociology 56601 01/27/2021 03/ 1/2021 05/20/2021 Conversion of conditional accreditation to positive decision
8 M Sociology 66601 01/27/2021 03/ 1/2021 05/20/2021 Conversion of conditional accreditation to positive decision
9 M Health Sciences 75042 11/16/2020 05/ 1/2021 08/31/2021 Accreditation of existing course
10 M Tinbergen Institute Master of Philosophy in Economics (research) 60162 06/22/2021 11/ 1/2021 Decision expected March 2022 Accreditation of existing programme and protocol joint degree; request for name change
11 M Erasmus Mundus Master’s Program in Public Policy (joint degree) 75098 11/29/2021 N/a 02/14/2022 Accreditation of existing training according to European Approach
12 M Educatieve Master Primary Education 60979 09/29/2021 N/a 12/ 6/2021 Accreditation of new course (New Course Assessment)

Ensuring educational quality: interim evaluations

EUR explicitly takes responsibility for its own educational quality. An important link in EUR's quality assurance is that three years after an external approval by the NVAO, it is evaluated at the institution and programme level whether we are making sufficient steps to keep our quality of education high. In 2021, an evaluation of the functioning of quality assurance at the institutional level began. In addition to dialogues on how to develop the educational vision, a survey was conducted into the state of quality assurance among the faculties with the help of an external agency. In 2022, this will culminate in an action plan that focuses on further strengthening quality assurance.

At the request of the BoT, 45 interim course evaluations were conducted. Independent peer panels not only scrutinised basic quality; they also looked at the extent to which innovations contribute to good-quality education for students. These recurring themes are related to future-proofing of education and the role impact learning plays. Also important in this context are the final qualifications of training courses, the relationship with the strategy, the knowledge and insights acquired from the COVID-19 period, the further development of assessment and the organisation and quality assurance of assessment. The latter follows up on the project Strengthening Examination Boards.

Rotterdam School of Management

Title Programme




B  Business Administration




B International Business Administration




M Marketing Management




M Strategic Management




M Supply Chain Management




M International Management




M Finance & Investments




M Business Information Management




M Strategic Entrepreneurship




M Global Business & Sustainability




M Organisational Change & Consulting




M Management of Innovation




M Business Administration




M Human Resource Management




M Executive Master of Finance and Control




M Executive MBA




M Global Executive OneMBA




M International MBA




M Corporate Communication




M Customs and Supply Chain Compliance



Erasmus School of Social

Sciences and Behaviour

Title Programme




B Public Administration




M International Public Management and Public Policy




M Public Administration




B Pedagogical Sciences




M Pedagogy and Education




B Psychology




M Psychology




M Urban Management and Development (M.Sc.)



Erasmus School of Philosophy


Title Programme




B Philosophy




B Philosophy of a Specific Area of Science




M Philosophy




M Philosophy (research)



Erasmus Medical Centre


Title Programme




B Medicine




M Medicine



Erasmus School of Law

Title Programme


Panel visit


B Tax Law




B Law




M Law




M Financial Law




M Labour Law




M Corporate Law




M Liability and Insurance




M Togamaster




M Law of Health Care




M Commercial Law




M Tax Law




Talking about educational quality: Erasmus University's culture of quality

The question ‘What is educational quality?’ cannot be answered objectively. EUR organised an internal dialogue on this subject with all those involved in education. Students, lecturers and support staff, together with representatives of higher education institutions, reflected on how to further improve the quality of education.

University Council

The University Council create a separate working group that met 20 times in 2021 to discuss progress in improving educational quality. In addition, theme groups with representation from the University Council met every two to three weeks. These relate to online learning, assessment and student wellbeing, among other things. Staff members with substantive involvement in these topics participated. The University Council also organised two conferences on the operation of employee participation in 2021 for faculty councils and programme committees.

Faculty Councils

The student and faculty members in our participatory bodies have an important role in this conversation. They jointly engage with faculty leadership on what needs to be done in education. All faculty councils agreed to improvement plans for programmes and courses in 2021, and they agreed to apply for new programmes.

Programme Committees

Programme committees, at the level of the educational programmes for the bachelor and master degree programmes, conduct the conversation about educational quality. In 2021, the programme committees were closely involved in adjusting teaching in connection with COVID-19 and the effects of the measures implemented under the Quality Agreements.

As part of the midtermevaluation on the functioning of the quality assurance system, an EUR-wide review of the performance of the programme committees was started with the involvement of an external consultant.

The results will be reported in 2022 and will form the basis for a project proposal for further strengthening the position of EUR Programme Committees, following the example of the project examination boards from 2019-2021.

Examination Boards

Examination boards of faculties exchange experiences within the Consultation Chairs of Examination Boards (OVE) and Consultation Secretaries of Examination Boards (OSE). The programme management and the Rector Magnificus also regularly attend. As a result of COVID-19, the regular six-weekly contact between Chairs of the examination boards has been increased to weekly and, since mid-2021, bi-weekly.

In consultation with the examination boards, exams in 2021 were partly conducted through online proctoring. Supervision of online proctoring is ensured by biweekly feedback of irregularities by the examination boards to the examination organisation. Examination boards further closely monitored the quality of substitute assessments that replaced the on-campus assessments. Seven faculties participated in the two-year project Strengthening (Implementing) Assurance Tasks of examination boards, which began in 2020. The results were reported by the examination boards by the end of 2021. A recommendation on further strengthening of examination boards is expected to follow in the spring of 2022.

The learning quality culture: Communities of Practice

EUR also engages in a more informal and learning conversation about elaborating its educational vision. This happens in Communities of Practice. These are groups of lecturers, students, and support staff who meet regularly during the academic year on a voluntary basis to discuss ways to improve education.

Dr. Lonneke de Meijer – Community for personal and professional development of students

Prof.dr. Arwin van Buuren – Community for Impact learning

Dr. Maciej Szymanowski – Community for personalized and online learning

Prof.dr. Jeroen Jansz – Community for innovation capacity of our teachers

Dialogue in Communities of Practice

On 9 and 13 December, as part of a midterm evaluation, four broad dialogues took place with 140 participants from the Communities of Practice. The discussions focused on how EUR is implementing its ambition for impact learning, promoting lecturer quality, and the future-oriented design of online education.

The outcomes of the dialogues are set out in an advisory report that was presented to the vice-Deans of education. These will be used in 2022 for the conversation about continuous improvement of education with all faculties and all members of the participatory body.

The advisory notes broad support for impact learning and for the way lecturers are trained and supported by educators and mentors/tutors. Great strides have been made regarding the quality of online education. The Communitiesindicated that more overview of the outcomes of all initiatives by faculty would be welcomed. The Communitiesadvise EUR to sharpen the educational vision on a number of substantive points, specifically where it concerns having students work together on issues on a more interdisciplinary basis.

Lonneke de Meijer (Dr.): “In the conversations in our Community, we learned how important it is to speak the same language. We met online six times. We talked to students, alumni, read literature and invited people from outside EUR. In the end, we can be proud that EUR pays attention to study, academic and professional skills in every undergraduate programme. The Community of Practicewould like conversations to be about personal development more often. How do you, as a student, become solid, developing certain values based on which you can deal with other views, opinions and people later in life?"

To measure is to know: overview student satisfaction

Average rating NSE: 3.8/5

  • What goes well: Lecturer Involvement, Contact with Lecturers

  • Room for improvement: Assessment, Study Guidance

Overall, the internal evaluations within all bachelor and master programmes were fairly positive in 2021, especially in light of the COVID-19 effects. Many subjects were rated similarly to or even better than previous years. Needless to say, students are not happy with the effects of the many lockdowns. However, they indicated in internal questionnaires that they appreciate online education, as well as the improvement in its quality. There is also appreciation for the fact that exams continued and there was additional online guidance, made possible in part by funds from the Netherlands Education Programme (NPO). The latter was provided, for example, for thesis support. Students also indicated that they saw advantages in online education, for example because lectures or knowledge clips can be viewed at any time and on repeat.

12,408 EUR students participated in the National Student Survey (a response rate of 38%). This is an all-time high response rate. The NSE was held during the lockdown and thus in a period with only distance education.

A new questionnaire was used in the reporting year. This means that no pure comparisons with previous years are possible. Overall student satisfaction is a 3.8 (on a 1-5 scale). EUR students are most satisfied with the themes Lecturers and Involvement & Contact.

The scores for Assessment and Study Guidance were less positive. This led to a number of improvement actions. Faculty quality staff were asked what topics of review should be further developed. In 2022, a Community of Practice will be set up for common learning about assessment.

Attention to study support was already a subject of the programme Student Wellbeing. Based on the results of the NSE and additional internal research, this programme will emphasise a chained care approachwith, among others, student advisors, psychologists and Deans. This will be implemented in 2022 and 2023.

Overview of effects of quality agreements

Visible quality: highlights, awards and prizes

Each year, several awards are presented to outstanding researchers at EUR. Also, a number of young, talented researchers receive fellowships from EUR or at Erasmus MC. EUR and Erasmus MC recognise the in-house talent they have and express their appreciation for scholars who have made a significant contribution.

First Dutch Higher Education premium 2021

The RASL Minor 'Re-imagining Tomorrow through Arts and Sciences'won third prize in the Dutch Higher Education Award. On 1 March, Minister Van Engelshoven of OCW announced the winners. The new teaching premium was created to endorse the high quality of teaching in Universities and Universities of Applied Sciences. It is intended for lecturer teams that are achieving top performance.

The minor is part of the Rotterdam Arts and Sciences Lab (RASL), a partnership of Codarts Rotterdam, Willem de Kooning Academy (part of Hogeschool Rotterdam) and EUR. Groundbreaking joint education and research takes place within RASL. The nominated minor is an innovative educational programme in which students redefine a self-selected social problem in a trans-disciplinary collaboration. During the learning process, students relate to their own discipline, other students and disciplines, and society. They learn to reflect critically on themselves.

Comenius Scholarships 2021

The Comenius Programme enables lecturers to put their vision of education into practice. The programme offers fellowships to Teaching Fellows, Senior Fellows and Leadership Fellows. The 'Fellows'have a distinct experience and scope of impact on education. The grants fund educational innovation projects.

Winners EUR 2021:

Delia Dumitrica, Senior Fellow: Adaptive digital environments for qualitative research learning:

Karen Stegers-Jager (Dr.), Senior Fellow. Think before you act!;

Jan Nouwen (Dr.), Teaching Fellow: Global HealthEducation and International Internships at the time of a pandemic;

Katharina Bauer (Dr.), Teaching Fellow: Is less perfect just perfect?

Floor van Rosse (Dr.), Teaching Fellow. Podcasts with an insert.

Education Prize

The Education Prize is awarded annually to a lecturer who has stood out in a special way. This may be because of her or his passionate teaching style or because of an innovative teaching style. The 2021 Education Prizewent to Dr. Ana Uribe Sandoval, a lecturer in the Department of Media and Communication at the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication.

Lambers Student Excellence Award

In 2021, the second edition of the Lambers Student Excellence Award was presented to an outstanding student who has made exceptional study or research achievements during their academic career. The award went to no less than two inspiring and ambitious students: Ina Jäntgen (Philosophy and Economics) and Charlie Sewalt (Medicine). Another prize was awarded to Nikki Speklé (ESE/ ESL). She completed two bachelors and two masters in different disciplines at EUR in six years: Economics and Law (Master of Laws and Economics Programme). Both masters are completed with judicium summa cum laude. During her undergraduate studies, Nikki successfully participated in the ESE Bachelor Honours Class. She not only ranked among the top in her Honours Class,but also wrote a paper that was previously awarded the 2015 ESE Best Paper Award.

Student Societal Impact Award

The Student Societal Impact Awardwas presented to an EUR student for the first time in 2020. The prize was awarded to Max Wagenaar and Emma Peters in 2021. With their 'Erasmus Connects' initiative, they had the courage to be the gamechanger. Through their leadership, they actively connect students to major challenges in the city. They do so with great initiative, determination and leadership.

Unilever Research Prize 2021

Public administration and EUR alumnus Eleonora Kyriakou won the Unilever Research Prize 2021 with her research on compliance with EU environmental directives in the 27 member states. Her research shows that non-government environmental parties are not able to put pressure on national governments. Citizens' perceptions of the importance of environmental issues can, however, exert domestic pressure on member states' compliance with EU directives.

Rotterdam Thesis Prize for research into charging station infrastructure and consumer preferences

To encourage students to apply their scientific knowledge to Rotterdam, the City of Rotterdam and EUR have established the Rotterdam Thesis Prize. The jury looks at the relevance for Rotterdam and the scientific quality. The award consists of a certificate, a work of art by a Rotterdam artist and € 1500.

Jamila Robbeson, a master student at Erasmus School of Economics, has written an innovative and relevant thesis on consumer preferences regarding public charging infrastructure. She won the ninth Rotterdam Thesis Prize.

Profiling fund and scholarships

The regulations of the Profileringsfonds provide for financial compensation for study delays due to personal circumstances, board scholarships and exemptions. In 2021, 320 individual students and 79 boards of study and student associations received support from EUR’s profiling fund. 168 of those students received individual administrative scholarships because of being a member of the University Council, a programme committee or faculty council. In addition, financial support was provided to 35 students in force majeure situations, due to social activities or top-level sports. The remaining students received scholarships in the context of excellence or encouraging international mobility.

Promoting ‘Raising the Bar’

Rob Kickert successfully defended his dissertation on December 4 'Raising the Bar: Higher education students' sensitivity to the assessment policy'. He examined the role that exam systems can play in improving study progress and student achievement. His conclusion: the higher the standard (goal), the better the performance. Differences in performance and progress are related to higher motivation and greater self-regulation.

The discussion surrounding student achievement is currently a hot topic, particularly the binding study advice, which means Kickert's research was received with interest. An interview with him was published in NRC and he was heard on Jort Kelder’s Radio 1 programme. Parliamentary questions have also been raised in response to the thesis.

Distributions Profiling fund pertaining to Article 4, second paragraph, of the Annual financial reporting in education regulation

table 3.8

Description Number of applications Number of grants awarded Total allocations (in euros) Average amount of awards (in Euros) Average term of awards (in months)
Students in force majeure situations (illness, disability, family circumstances, providing family care or non-student programmes) 26 26 95.544,50 3.674,80 8,03
Boards of study or student associations (Board grants) 79 79 722.657,50 9.19,147 (number of applications/total amount)47 (aantal aanvragen/totaal bedrag) 79 applications received a total of 415 months = ±5 months
Individual board scholarships (participatory bodies) 171 168 194.927,40 1.160,30 3,40
Social Activities 4 4 6.014 1.503,50 5,00
Top Sports 5 5 8.332,20 1.666,40 5,40
Excellence Scholarship EER 9 5 47.764 9.553 12,00
Holland Scholarship outgoing unknown 68 85000 1250 5,00
Holland scholarship incoming unknown 32 160.000 5000  
NAHSS unknown 11 11.000 1.000 6,00
Fulbright unknown 1 15492 15492 11,00


Making impact-learning is at the heart of education at EUR. Students learn to act from an interdisciplinary, inclusive, critical, entrepreneurial and pioneering mindset. EUR cooperates with municipal institutions and with companies in the region. Various forms of collaboration are sought, regionally, nationally and internationally. Lecturers are given space to take up the challenge with students and partners in the region. Lecturers don't have to do this alone: educationalists help design the education, and relationship managers help build networks with the outside world. Here are some key initiatives that contribute to impact education.

The Europe of Erasmus: UNIC

Europe is seeking answers to the major economic, societal and climate change-related challenges it faces. In line with its mission, EUR wants to make a significant contribution, explicitly also in education. That is why EUR is the leader of a European alliance of eight universities (UNIC): Koç University Istanbul (Turkey), Ruhr University Bochum (Germany), University of Liege (Belgium), University College Cork (Ireland), University of Deusto (Spain), University of Oulo (Finland), University of Zagreb (Croatia), Erasmus University Rotterdam (Netherlands) (https://unic.eu)

Making an impact on the development of post-industrial cities

As the leader of this 'European University', EUR wants to contribute to the development of the European higher education of the future. This education focuses on revitalising post-industrial cities through inclusive education, innovative research, and fostering civic engagement. Within UNIC, joint research and education is provided so that students work together in a European context in a trans and interdisciplinary manner to solve urban problems. In 2021 we continued to build on the structure of the partnership and work on educational models that would enable UNIC to jointly provide education and 'seamless mobility' to students. This first outline of the future governance structure and the Virtual Campus' have been outlined.

A European educational proposition: 150 courses open in 2021

UNIC believes it is important that students learn to put challenges in a European perspective. UNIC therefore encourages mobility of students from participating universities within Europe. Together with partners, an offering of 150 courses was opened to students in 2021. A first draft has been prepared on how students can take a course at one of the partner universities without barriers within their curriculum. The first version was developed in 2021 and will be further optimised in 2022.

Students make impact in the region: two Rotterdam Initiatives on civic participation

At various times, Pop-up CityLabs have been organised in collaboration with UNIC researchers, students, citizens and officials of the City of Rotterdam. Students from all faculties could apply.

  • 'Pop-Up City Labs' in 2021 were about local trust, about an inclusive local economy. Researchers and students discussed how to engage migrant women in politics in particular.
  • Two student groups worked on an assignment issued by the city's Racism and Discrimination Officer and the Resilience Office around the tourism economy in Rotterdam and Bilbao. Those findings were launched with the students at the CityLab Festival in Liege, where Mark van Ostaijen, Jiska Engelberts and Marcel de La Haye facilitated two workshops with colleagues from Bilbao.

Researchers at UNIC universities are incorporating the insights and challenges raised by these students into their scientific research.

Tackling Inequalities: working towards equality

Erasmus Initiatives contribute to the interdisciplinary honours programme ‘Tackling Inequalities'. In 2021 this programme was further developed educationally with the help of educationists from Impact at the Core, Erasmus University's educational innovation programme that focuses on designing impact education so that it could be opened up to students from UNIC partners. For example, starting in 2022, a European team of students can work to think about major challenges in our region.

Jiska Engelberts (Dr.): "I am immensely pleased that our programme, which has been connecting students to social partners and issues in the city since 2019, is being opened to European students, colleagues and partners of the UNIC network. For our students, it is crucial to analyse inequality in Rotterdam in connection with other European post-industrial cities and to design possible interventions together with students. It is therefore truly unique that students, academic staff and city makers meet through Tackling Inequalities, both virtually and physically. At the same time, I am also very proud that we can now share our perspective on impact education with other European students. With impact education, students learn how to imagine and realise a more just city in collaboration with relevant stakeholders. I look forward to continuing to contribute to the sustainability of impact education at UNIC in the years to come."

European training: joint master and PhD programmes

It is important to develop sound education with a focus on (developing) solution approaches to urban challenges. It is central to three full education programmes whose development began in 2021. Dutch legislation in the field of education provides a long development time. UNIC is expected to come up with a joint range in 2023 that Dutch students can also use.

In 2021, work was done to build two joint master programmes and a joint PhD Programme. In joint programmes, lecturers of all UNIC universities work together in an educational programme in which students from all universities participate.

  • The first master programme is called 'Redesigning the Post-Industrial City' and looks at urban issues from different disciplines.
  • The master programme The Superdiverse Classroom, focusing on educational didactics, and the PhD programme Migration and Urban Diversities.
Towards a European didactic of super-diverse education at all UNIC partners

Led by Koç University, knowledge is developed and shared within the Superdiverse Academy to better prepare educational organisations for their superdiverse student population. A working group has begun publishing a state-of-the-art report 'Super Diversity in Higher Education Settings',where teaching and research experience is combined into concepts and models for the benefit of greater inclusion in higher education. The report highlights the important contribution of higher education to building citizen resilience and the sustainable development of the economy. During UNIC's first webinar, Prof. Sabine Severiens was the central speaker. The D&l Office made a major contribution to the Superdiversity Academy UNIC. The partners greatly appreciate the knowledge and expertise already built up within EUR. This was also evident in the peer review assessment held with all participating universities. This compared policy and practice around diversity and inclusion.

Collaborating internally on common goals: impact in the organisation/transformation

UNIC works with various partners within EUR to achieve its goals.

  • With the CLI, a micro-lab was developed in 2021 around Virtual Excange,
  • With the help of Erasmus X, UNIC held the first virtual CityLab/creathon.
  • With Impact at the Core, the programme Tackling Inequalities was opened up to UNIC students.

Impact learning for all EUR students

In addition to substantive initiatives in European and regional contexts, the promotion of impact learning is the common denominator of the central programme Impact at the Core. It is important that all EUR students are challenged to think about how they can contribute to and experiment with social tasks.

Programme Impact at the Core

Impact at the Core started in 2020 and aims to develop impact education. The main objective is to ensure that by 2024, every student in every EUR study programme will be offered at least one course that involves working on social issues together with direct stakeholders from outside the university. Objectives are:

  • Developing courses, didactic approaches and forms of assessment within the limits of Dutch law and appropriate to the ambitions of EUR.
  • Due to large student numbers and lecturer workload, designing this education to be affordable and feasible.
  • Researching and implementing tools in the learning environment that support impact learning and ensure the quality of education:
  1. a digital system in which companies, governments, lecturers and students carry out projects together;
  2. developing and providing lecturer professionalisation.
  3. - Knowledge sharing in a Community of Practice. Students and lecturers draw lessons from the many experiments. Lecturers are also offered an opportunity for peer review.

Impact learning, in addition to being a didactic challenge, is also an organisational and cultural challenge. Impact at the Core is actively contributing to this design and transition issue for all faculties.

Impact learning in bachelor programmes

The ambition to have at least one form of impact-driven education in every bachelor and master programme by 2024 means that the knowledge gained is already being assessed for effective upscaling. The scalability and organisational conditions are important components of this ambition and determine how it will be specified and shaped. In 2021, major steps have been taken to develop and implement education. In June 2021, the vice-Deans of all faculties agreed to develop a pilot ‘impact space’ in the third year of undergraduate courses. The goal is to facilitate each student in the third year to choose a social challenge that can be prepared during the minor and thesis phase. Students then graduate, for example, on a design or approach to an important social challenge.

Awarding City Deal Introductions grant as a driver for impact learning

The impact space makes collaborating with the outside world easier. An application for a grant within the City Deal Kennismaken was honoured with a € 100,000 grant in 2021. This will accelerate the interaction between the urban context and education in the city, and better connect the talent of the students to the tasks of the city. Two knowledge brokers organise the network. They also design a platform that links students and education to social issues together with the student initiative ‘Erasmus Verbindt’ (Erasmus Connects).

Retrieve issues from the environment

EUR retrieves issues from its immediate environment. In 2021, two 'impact education dialogues' were organised, where both individuals from the education system and stakeholders from society had a round table talk about how education better connects to social issues. The first dialogue focused on the healthcare domain and, among other things, addressed the importance of technology, ethics and interdisciplinarity. Administrators from healthcare institutions and from the Ministry of VWS (Public Health, Welfare and Sport) stressed the importance of having students work with concrete issues during their studies. In October, a dialogue was held with Medicine Students In Society (GIDS) at Erasmus MC about the importance of technology in medical education.

Impact learning in educational offerings 2021

In 2021, almost all faculties achieved a great leap forward. Eighteen projects were carried out with the help of the Impact at the Core programme. Approximately 2,000 students participated.

Overview contribution impact learning programme 'Impact at the Core'.

Rotterdam School of Management

The bachelor internship abroad I DO was offered for the second time to a group of 60 students. Former students were trained as coaches through a developed module concerning leadership. Within I DO, the stakeholder platform Riipen was also tested for the first time.

Within the master programmes, work is being done to integrate experiential learning and develop transferable skills to make a positive impact.

Outcomes contribute to impact education didactics and an affordable and viable impact learning educational model.

Erasmus School of Philosophy

The bachelor programme introduced an internship in which students are asked to find a challenge in the city/region and to make it negotiable - together with parties.

Outcomes contribute to impact education didactics and an affordable and viable impact learning educational model.

Erasmus School of Social and Behaviour Sciences

For the second year in a row, Impact at the Core evaluated how students, businesses and municipalities work together in the Design Workshop of the Public Administration Master. What does work? What doesn't work?

Answers contribute to a didactic approach to impact education.

Erasmus Medical Centre

How do you get students to design projects in the city in a challenging curriculum? Impact at the Core supervised pilot of project-based education at Erasmus MC.

Outcomes contribute to didactics for impact education.

Erasmus School of Law

Work was carried out within the Law bachelor programme to pilot an integrative course that brings together three areas of law. A clinic has been developed within the International and European Union Law master programme to be launched as a pilot project in 2022. Work has also been done to make the masters in criminology, private law and financial law more practice-oriented.

Erasmus School of Health Policy Management

At ESHPM, a better guidance and assessment model was designed with lecturers in the Technology and Innovation course of the bachelor Health Sciences programme.

Outcomes contribute to didactics for impact education.


The multidisciplinary honours programme 'Tackling Inequalities' worked on the student's reflexive skills and collaboration with social stakeholders.

In the 'Impact Space' work has been done to create new didactic interventions and to create a more open learning environment where students work on new (impact) skills.

Training for lecturers

Together with the CLI, the programme developed Impact at the Core, a micro-lab and webinar that provides a distinct introduction to impact-driven education.

Easier collaborative learning with the outside world

As the first European University, EUR purchased a stakeholder platform in 2021 in order to enable and strengthen collaboration between education and the outside world within the learning environment. After a pilot phase, this platform will be further introduced in 2022.

Personal and Professional Development of the student

EUR believes it is important that students develop skills in bachelor and master education that will enable them to contribute to the labour market in the future as academic professionals, or more broadly to contribute to finding solutions in the context of larger societal issues. The projects developed together with Impact at the Core in the context of impact learning, give students a chance to practice their skills in a real-life setting. In addition, 35 projects spread across all faculties on skills education were advanced in 2021 to focus on strengthening skills during and after graduation. These projects focus mainly on bachelor programmes.

Overview of implementations

Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Competency Development

Portfolio tool for soft skills development to be implemented in the near future.

Labour Market Skills

Redesigning courses resulted in strengthening students' interaction with their future professional practice

Erasmus Medical Centre

Competency Development

Pilot skills and competency development in project education.

Communicating ethical dilemmas through art.

Labour Market Skills

MATCH, a career development support programme for students.

Erasmus University College

Study and learning skills:

Course line in the bachelor programme.

Rotterdam School of Management

Study and learning skills

Course offerings and a platform for academic writing and research methods.

Competency Development

Personal development course line for bachelor students.

EUR Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens

Competency Development

Within the interdisciplinary honours programme Tackling Inequalities, students reflect on their values.

Erasmus School of Philosophy

Labour Market Skills

Through the philosophy workshop, students are prepared for the job market (see text box below)

Erasmus School of Law

Labour Market Skills

Within the law faculty's skills programme, MyFuture, bachelor students work on study and learning skills through e-modules and building a student community. The master focuses on personal leadership.

Erasmus School of Economics

Labour Market Skills

For students in the second and third bachelor years, a skills programme has been started that prepares students for their careers. The portfolio of skills subjects will be expanded in the coming years.

The Philosophy Workshop - a personal development programme at the Erasmus School of Philosophy

The Philosophy Workshop aims to bridge the gap between study and career prospects for philosophy students. The premise of the course is that students cannot reflect until they can relate to what ‘being a philosopher’ means in practice.

The Workshop is an ongoing programme from Bachelor-1 to Bachelor-3 in a three-step model

(1) In the workshop, students are challenged to become familiar with an academic world that is new to them, with new values and attitudes;

(2) Students are challenged to apply what they have learned in practice. This is the first step in building personal networks; crucial in their professional identity as a philosopher. Students conduct an interview with someone from outside the university about what it means to be ‘a philosopher’;

(3) Students are challenged to relate their findings to their personal development. What skills do they need to develop as future philosophers, and what role can they play as philosophers? Students reflect on how to create jobs for themselves; they receive career counselling, and training in resume writing and job interviews.


EUR aims to best prepare students for careers in which they can meet the sustainability challenges of the future. Therefore, EUR aims to embed both sustainability and the relevant transformation in its entire educational portfolio.

  • The Faculty of Law published ‘The Right to a Sustainable Future', a vision on the basis of which the faculty will give sustainability a more prominent place in its educational offerings.
  • In November 2021, as part of the implementation agenda of Strategy 2024, EUR opened the DIT(Design, Impact, Transformation) platform. This serves to enable scholars, lecturers, students and practitioners to work together on radically innovative interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary research and education, for a fair and sustainable future.
  •  A micro-lab helping lecturers make their educational offerings ‘impact and sustainability’ relevant, was improved.
table 3.9 Offerings with specific sustainability focus. For more information on sustainability in education, please refer to: https://www.eur.nl/over-de-eur/visie/duurzaamheid/onderwijs


EUR sees it as its core task to thoroughly prepare students for careers in our open, internationally oriented society and knowledge economy. This is why in 2021, EUR worked on the specification of its Internationalisation Policy 2021-2024.

An international university

In 2021, more international students were enrolled at EUR (9,088) than in 2020 (8,068). This is an increasing proportion relative to the total student population (25% in 2021 compared with 22% in 2020). This is related to a decrease in the number of Dutch students (27,963 in 2021 compared with 28,092 in 2020).

In 2020-2021, the qualitative intake of students was further developed. More attention was paid to English language skills. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions, this did not lead to a decrease in the number of international students in 2021.


table 3.10

Enrolles 2018   2019   2020   2021  
Internat. student Initial post-initial Initial post-initial Initial post-initial Initial post-initial
International 5.625 1.382 5.941 1.379 6.750 1.318 7.794 1.294
National 24.672 730 25.465 707 27.463 629 27.448 515
Total 32.409   33.492   36.160   37.051  


table 3.11

  2016 Total 2016 Dutch 2016 Dutch % 2016 non-Dutch 2016 non-Dutch % 2021 Total 2021 Dutch 2021 Dutch % 2021 non-Dutch 2021 non-Dutch %
all staff 4558 3527 77% 1031 23% 6280 4606 73% 1674 27%
employed 2.740 2.242 1 498 0 3.487 2.725 1 762 22%
hospitality agreement 1.818 1285 1 533 0 2793 1.881 67% 912 33%
employed WP 1.416 1081 1 335 0 1694 1.205 71% 489 29%
employed PhD 342 216 63% 126 37% 382 208 54% 174 46%
employed OBP 982 945 96% 37 4% 1411 1312 93% 99 7%
GVO - WP* 117 61 52% 56 48% 65 53 82% 12 18%
GVO - PhD 322 138 43% 185 57% 453 188 42% 265 58%
GVO - OBP 411 390 95% 21 5% 253 246 97% 7 3%

International education offerings

In de tabel hieronder is het huidige onderwijsaanbod weergegeven. Ten opzichte van van 2020 is een groei te zien van programma’s die Engelstalig of tweetalig worden aangeboden.

table 3.12

Type of programme Dutch only English only Both Dutch and English Total
Bachelor 17 5 6 28
Master* 9 34 10 53
Total 26 39 16 81

Education at Erasmus University is embedded in international context

EUR used to have mainly faculty-based collaboration agreements, but last year it changed its partner policy to aims for institution-wide contracts where possible. Several EUR-wide contracts have already been concluded, some of them within the UNIC alliance.


table 3.13

Current contracts 471
New contracts concluded in 2021 22
Contracts expiring in 2021 70

Brexit led to the inability of the British to participate in the Erasmus+ programme.

Erasmus University participated in the following major alliances:

- Platform for International Education (PIE) www.pieonline.nl

- European Alliance of Social Sciences and Humanities (EASSH) www.eassh.eu

- European University Association (EUA) https://eua.eu

- The European University Foundation (EUF) https://uni-foundation.eu

- European Association of International Education (EAIE) www.eaie.org

- ScienceBusiness www.sciencebusiness.net

- The Magna Charta Observatory www.magna-charta.org

European cooperation is paramount (Erasmus+)

In 2021, the European Universities Initiative UNIC received additional funding for research. The projects are in full swing. The first outlines of study programmes being developed jointly are emerging and several international online meetings have been organised.

Few new Erasmus+ project applications were submitted in 2021. This is due to the very late start of the new 2021-2027 policy programme, with some grant components not yet opened.

In 2021, due to the COVID pandemic, the student and lecturer mobility budget was not fully utilised and mobility decreased. Only six employees and 39 students made use of the E+ mobility grant within the European Economic Area (EEA); another 490 students put E+ funds to use for their studies (the E+ KA103 grant). Because travel outside Europe was not possible due to the pandemic, only five students and two staff members used mobility outside the EU (the E+ KA107 grant). The available budget could not be fully used up and was partially returned or carried forward to 2022.

table 3.14

Mobiliteit 2021 binnen EU/EER landen (E+ KA103) buiten EER (E+ KA107)
Studenten 39 5
Staf 6 2

International and inclusive

For specific target groups, EUR develops equally specific offerings while aiming for diversity and inclusion. HR International introduces a Soft Landing programme for international staff. The International Office is currently working on policies aimed at inclusive mobility and encourages the use of the Erasmus+ app and the European Student Card. Development and results of the ‘Erasmus Without Papers’ project are closely monitored. The IO Soft Landing Programme provides administrative support and introduces students to facilities, services and the Erasmus Student Network.

Orange Knowledge Programme

In 2021, 29 students received scholarships from the Orange Knowledge Programme of the International Cooperation budget through Nuffic. The number of students using this scholarship has decreased. For many students from low and middle income countries, the scholarship is one of the few opportunities for financial aid to participate in education at ISS.

Refugee Students

In 2021, eleven refugees participated in an educational programme that prepares students for a course in higher education: Preparatory Year Erasmus. Due to COVID measures, the course size was smaller compared to previous course years. It is too early at this stage to indicate how many trainees will advance to a higher vocational or university course. In addition, the Language & Training Centre offers intensive language lessons for highly qualified refugees in preparation for an education or job that does justice to the capabilities of the integrating person.

Inclusive Education

EUR aims to offer inclusive education. A changing world demands much from students both cognitively and mentally. Therefore, the university actively supports students from the moment studies begin and sometimes even before. EUR pays particular attention to an inclusive learning environment and to students who are the first in their families to study at a university. EUR helps students focus on their personal goals and does so with courses on and guidance in personal and professional skills.

There is also an offering in the area of career orientation. In addition, the university is committed to developing students' personal and mental resilience. This is based on an offer concerning personal and professional development of the student and attention to personal wellbeing.

The policy is specified in two projects to be implemented as part of the quality agreements (Student Wellbeing and Personal and Professional Student Development). The D&l Office develops activities that further strengthen inclusion.

Diversity and inclusion at EUR

D&l@EUR creates purposeful and effective policies for a safe learning and working environment and social justice for all. The office works with the faculties on inclusive education and focuses on developing educational offerings and didactics that are responsive to the diversity of students. Since 2020, this focus has been expanded to include a major outreach and onboarding programme.

Outreach: connecting our future

‘Connecting Our Future’ is EUR’s outreach programme that was launched in 2021. This programme aims to promote equality and opportunity within higher education and the path towards higher education. With this programme, EUR commits to removing structural barriers during the study career and stimulate a sense of belonging in higher education.

In 2021, the outreach programme connected with more than thirty stakeholders, such as community organisations, social entrepreneurs, the City of Rotterdam and the Education Board. In small and larger meetings, at EUR or elsewhere in the city, common goals and aspirations for joint city outreach activities were discussed.

One concrete collaboration with the City was EUR's participation in the 'Tutors for Language and Mathematics' project, part of the municipal National Programme for Education (NPO) Rotterdam. This concerns a collaboration between the City of Rotterdam, higher education institutions in Rotterdam and primary and secondary schools in Rotterdam. It consisted of deploying trained working students in primary and secondary schools in Rotterdam. Dozens of EUR students worked on this project, supporting Rotterdam students with language and/or math.

Another collaboration took place in the context of the development of the new interdisciplinary course RASL (Rotterdam Arts and Sciences Lab). In a summer studio with the theme Hidden Talent, ten students from different programmes collectively considered this theme. They developed interventions, games and workshops directly relevant to the outreach programme. This way, they contribute to innovative solutions to promote equality in education.

The first connections were also made in the field of research in 2021: an interdisciplinary D&l /outreach research group was started, bringing together PhD students and post-doc students from different faculties. They present studies and share research findings in the areas of diversity and inclusion, and equity in opportunities in particular.

Building New Blocks

With the grant programme Building New Blocks, the outreach programme funds innovative project proposals of EUR students and EUR staff that are designed to promote equity in educational opportunities. Six project proposals were honoured in the 2021 grant round. The six projects will be implemented and evaluated in the coming years.

Pre Academic Programme (PAP)

Over the summer, 581 first-year students participated in the online 'Pre Academic Programme'. That's 500 less than in 2020, but still double the 2019 number. Due to COVID-19, the programme was offered in hybrid form.

Using digital lectures, assignments, Zoom meetings and a campus day consisting of lectures, workshops and assignments on personal leadership, students made a solid start to their studies. Participants went through five modules: introduction, knowledge, capital, opportunity and direction. In those modules, they learned how to do their best, how to set goals, and how to motivate themselves and others. They also gained insight into their own performance and were given tools to improve their performance. In this way, they were in charge of their own studies. Thanks to this programme, these students started their studies with a strong connection to their fellow students, the programme and the university. They begin their college years extra well prepared and motivated.

Inclusive education developed in 2021

Erasmus School of History and Communication

167 first-year students participated in an innovative intercultural communication module. Students learned to reflect on their cultural background and how to use competencies to communicate cross-culturally.

Erasmus Medical Centre

90 master students participated in an innovative module on intercultural communication. Students learned to reflect on their cultural background and how to use competencies to communicate cross-culturally.

Implement guidelines for preparing cross-cultural case histories and sign a manifesto on inclusive education with DISCO, the inclusion student committee.

Develop new learning objectives for new master curriculum.

Erasmus School of Law

  Nina Holvast (Dr.) and Willem-Jan Kortleven (Dr.) started the CLI Fellowship 'Beyond deficit thinking: towards a more inclusive education and diversity policy at Erasmus School of Law.

Erasmus Medical Centre

The project 'Diversity and Inclusiveness for the Erasmus Physician' is working on education to teach a new generation of students the relevance and importance of D&l in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes.

Erasmus School of Law

In 2021, a collaboration

was launched: the 'Platform on Inclusion and Diversity' of the Bar Association and the Bridges Network Foundation, with the goal of supporting diversity in the legal profession. The Bridges Foundation organised several student work visits to the legal profession. Legal specialists with a diverse background participated in the Moot Courts organised by the faculty.

Training and Development

  • In 2021, a D&l training was developed for lecturers to teach them the relevance of D&l and to provide concrete tools to make lessons more inclusive.
  • The library has developed a number of short tutorials on how to use the ReadSpeaker web reader, a tool for making website texts more accessible.

Establishment of a student advisory council

In addition to all these activities in the lecture halls and during work groups, engaging and including students outside of these is also important. This is why the D&l Office established the Student Council Equity Diversity Inclusion (SCEDI). Within SCEDI, seven students from historically underrepresented groups give input about D&l policies, activities and events. There was also a meeting with students and staff on Diversity Day, 4 October 2021. During a so-called townhall meeting, staff and students talked about sexual health and giving and asking for consent. The meeting was used to gain input into the action plan against sexual violence among students. The action plan has now been approved by the Board of Trustees and will be implemented in 2022. The reason for the plan is a report by Amnesty International.

Student wellbeing as a starting point

EUR is committed to the personal wellbeing and development of each student, in addition to ensuring they achieve good study results. This is conducive to transforming study success into student success. There is room for students from diverse backgrounds and with diverse challenges. Based on a vision plan in 2019, the Student Wellbeing programme was established in 2020 with the following six projects: 

Student Living Room

The Student Living Room was launched in November 2020. In 2021, it continued to offer students a low-threshold, non-commercial place to socialise and participate in wellbeing activities. During the lockdown that started in November 2021, it was necessary to shift back to online activities, such as yoga, game and movie nights, and various buddy initiatives. The Living Room still managed to reach 1,600 students in 2021.

At the end of 2021, the Living Room opened its doors again in a central location on Woudestein campus and greeted 1,400 students in a matter of weeks. A survey of 134 students indicated that they highly value the Living Room and that this location has a positive impact on their wellbeing.

Wellbeing Platform and Helpline

The wellbeing platform at MyEur continued to be a central hub for student wellbeing initiatives in 2021, for psycho-education and low-threshold access to professional and peer support. In 2021, the platform was visited 34,000 times. This shows that the platform meets a clear need. The peer-to-peer chat service 'Fresh Thoughts' is part of the platform. In 2021, this service was used by one hundred students.

Strengthening support to students

In 2021, 19 focus group discussions were held with lecturers, student advisors, psychologists and students to evaluate together what services could be better organised and specified for students in what ways. The outcomes will be translated into lecturer training and support services in 2022. A short animated film was also developed on how to keep your life in balance as a student and work on your studies with motivation. This animation will be used at the start of lectures in mid-2022. The animation refers to a clear overview of the complete support offering of EUR. This ranges from prevention offers (e.g. workshops on dealing with stress or procrastination) to peer-to-peer support or online coaching by a student psychologist or an external professional.

Wellbeing in the news: Making Mental Wellbeing open for discussion

There is a high threshold for discussing stress and failure. Therefore, several events were organised in 2021. In 2021, the mission relating to student wellbeing was disseminated through social media and the press, the Wellbeing Platform, and through campaigns such as Eureka Week (August 2021), and 'Student Wellbeing Weeks' (June and November 2021). At the end of the year, for the first time in a long time, we were able to organise wellbeing weeks live on campus again, reaching as many as 9,700 students.

Need to make mental wellbeing negotiable

In terms of data collection, EUR Student Wellbeing Monitor was conducted in early 2021. Respondents (n=4000) scored above average on stress (67%), anxiety (70%) and depression (50%). The results of the second measurement at the end of 2021 are not yet known. EUR also participated in the national Student Wellbeing Monitor (RIVM/Trimbos/GGD-GHOR) in 2021. The results of EUR and the national monitor are consistent, and even within the national monitor there were no notable differences between EUR and the other universities in terms of student wellbeing.

New ways for early detection: the digital tool.

In 2021, a website developer was selected in a European tender to develop a digital tool to enhance students' personal growth and resilience. This tool also contributes to the prevention of mental problems based on interactive use by students. Students actively participate in focus groups. For further development of the digital tool, affiliation was sought with the partnership Caring Universities. This consists of a number of universities that focus on developing interventions and research in the area of student wellbeing.

Student wellbeing weeks 

For the first time in a long time, the EUR wellbeing weeks could take place live on campus again in 2021. The organisers pulled out all the stops. In a large tent in the middle of campus was a pop-up Living Room. The atmosphere in the tent was different than in the campus buildings. This was due to soft couches and music, lots of plants, massage chairs and games like foosball and air-hockey. It turned out to be a great success: students were enthusiastic about this location and indicated that it contributes to their wellbeing. Students could also participate in activities such as kickboxing, self-defence, cooking workshops in the Foodlab and ecstatic dance. A total of 9,700 students visited the tent during this week.

Erasmus X: Experimenting with collaborations

Erasmus X is the lab for innovation experiments. In collaboration with the City of Rotterdam and Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and Expertise Centre for Social Innovations (EMI), a physical pop-up location was acquired in 2021. This venue allows EUR and HR students to work with the neighbourhood on social innovations. This location next to Hefpark helps EUR stakeholders in their mission to create a positive social impact.

By housing EUR students and academics at a physical location in the heart of society, ErasmusX aims to bridge the gap between the academic world and the outside world. The site is used for forms of education such as community service or challenge-based learning. This is done in collaboration with various stakeholders and the population of Rotterdam-Zuid. At this location, ErasmusX and EMI (Expertise Centre for Social Impact) have joined forces, working together to create new ways to connect with the community.

The project ErasmusX Redefining the Classroomis working on structuring and programming activities at this location. Several stakeholders with concrete plans have already been invited to co-create in this space: UNIC (city labs), AlPact (Aicon project) and Healthy start with SYNC lab/YoungXperts, MovezLab, and Resilient Delta. External stakeholders include the City of Rotterdam and various local youth organisations such as Momentum, and the foundations Chance to Influenceand IkBenWij.

Erasmus X

In addition to the activities within the Community for Learning and Innovation,EUR offers plenty of space for disruptive innovations. These are preferably developed together with or by students under the inspiring leadership of ErasmusX.

ErasmusX is EUR’s innovation lab that develops new approaches for the organisation. Together with the Science Exchange, the VO-HO network, ESSB and the Community for Personal Professional Development,ErasmusX developed a mobile application to (1) facilitate the connection VO-HO and (2) support pupils and students in acquiring skills. In the application, students in VO and students in HO/WO are given the opportunity to acquire skills in their own time and at their own pace. These include skills they will need both for their studies and beyond. The app encourages building habits; setting short-term and long-term goals; planning; monitoring and reflecting.

ErasmusX works on future-oriented education. This means that education takes place in an environment that suits the personal preferences of the students. Co-creation occupies an important place in future-oriented education, as does the use of emerging technologies.

ErasmusX has three main goals: the use and further development of EdTech (Education and Technology), complex innovations design with external stakeholders, and collaborative design with students (co-creation). All projects place a strong emphasis on the capacity to set goals, reflect and develop. A personalised learning approach is encouraged.

In addition to driving education-related innovations, EUR is committed to promoting an innovative organisational culture.

A safe space for experimentation is a prerequisite for an innovative organisational culture. Such a space not only has physical aspects, like the new physical location at Nassaukade in Rotterdam-Zuid, but also mental aspects. This would include a specific mindset in which failure and resilience are considered essential elements of the learning process. An example is Fail Fast Forward.

Fail Fast Forward: the importance of failure and resilience

The fact that failure is equally informative and can also help in the pursuit of excellence and high performance is often disregarded. To engage with lecturers and students about failure and resilience, ErasmusX has launched a series of workshops focusing on these themes. The workshops were held five times in 2021. The workshop engages student lecturers and the academic community in conversation about failure and resilience, and participants share practical tips. By 2022, this workshop will be provided at least once a month in collaboration with factulties. In addition, ErasmusX, in collaboration with ESL and EUC, is designing a track on failure and recovery within faculties with the relevant tutor training for the tutors and study advisors/coaches involved.

Community for Learning and Innovation (CLI)

The Community for Learning & Innovation (CLI) is a networking organisation of the faculties. The CLI is the engine in realising future-oriented education at EUR. In collaboration with faculties, the CLI develops educational innovations that enable students to combine critical and creative thinking with solid academic knowledge and skills. The CLI provides connection and knowledge sharing, stimulating and facilitating educational innovations.

The CLI is working on three themes:

1. Professional development of lecturers

2. Educational innovation and digitisation

3. Evaluation and research of educational innovation

The CLI is aimed at lecturers, students and educational support staff who want to go the extra mile in improving and innovating education. For more information, continue reading at www.eur.nl/cli.

Working together on education during corona

During the COVID-19 crisis, educational innovation gained momentum. Teaching and assessment had to be brought online at a rapid pace. The CLI has made a significant contribution to this. Collaboration with faculties and professional services has intensified and led to, among other things:

  • preparing policy and action plan for ‘the five-feet university’, in which EUR chose a hybrid online-based model with on-campus elements where possible;
  • the rapid realisation of a facility for remote testing through digital assessment and online proctoring to ensure that examinations could go ahead;
  • providing didactic support for online and teaching and assessment through the CLI teams.

The results were always coordinated with the Chairs of examination boards, education directors, and the Board of Trustees.

Unfortunately, due to COVID measures, much less use could be made of the Education Lab. Through tools such as MS Teams and Zoom, coordination still took place in digital form, including during a weekly EUR-wide management meeting.

Innovation capacity of lecturers

Erasmus University helps lecturers develop into educational leaders: inspiring team players surrounded by interdisciplinary learning teams composed of teaching professionals, learning technicians and content specialists. All of this is supported by advanced technology.

Lecturers' innovation capacity is supported by the CLI within the theme 'Professional Development of Lecturers’. By permanently training lecturers in a stimulating, inspiring way, they are and remain continuously engaged in strengthening the quality and innovation of their education. They can also continuously adapt it to social changes, new didactic insights from science and practice, and new technological possibilities.

Lecturers at EUR can participate in the standard courses Basic Qualification (BKO) and Specialist Qualification (SKO). The CLI awarded 108 BKO certificates and 26 SKO certificates. No leadership certificates (LOL) were offered due to COVID.

26 different MicroLabs were conducted in 2021. MicroLabs are short how-to modules for EUR lecturers on specific educational issues. A total of 934 lecturers participated. During the COVID crisis, all MicroLabs converted to a fully online variant very quickly. Two new MicroLabs were realised, namely 'How to encourage societal impact in your course' and ‘How to supervise students'. For a complete overview with all MicroLabs, please refer to www.eur.nl/microlabs.

Further work has been done to enable a Basic Qualification Examination (BKE) certificate to be awarded after completing three of the four MicroLabs regarding assessment. A Senior Qualification Examination (SKE) has also been established. There were eleven participants.

The following additional materials were developed during the COVID crisis:

  • Instructional materials on online teaching and assessment have been made available online to provide lecturers with quick information.
  • The online design tool for lecturers, teach EUR, has been delivered.
  • Several interactive webinars were provided, such as the 'Online interaction and tool experience' and 'Online assessment'. 191 lecturers participated.

Evaluation and research of educational innovations

With the CLI theme Erasmus Education Research, EUR is presenting itself as a university that is committed not only to innovation of education, but also to the empirical evaluation of the effects of such innovations. Strengthening educational research contributes to educational knowledge and thus to the quality of education at EUR.

In 2021, two doctoral tracks were still active that were covered by the Quality and Student Success Research Agenda. Under the guidance of an academic sponsor, a new research agenda was established and recruitment for three PhD positions began. Under the leadership of an ambassador, an interesting series of research lunches were organised. Both PhD students and CLI fellows are actively involved and asked to present their work.

The CLI organises a network of fellows. They will have the opportunity to spend one or two years being active in educational innovation by conducting educational innovation projects and/or research projects on educational innovations. There were two rounds in which fellow applications could be submitted. After a positive decision, they will be given one day a week to carry out their project. During the term, the fellow maintains contact with the CLI and the other fellows. Examples, lessons learned and results are shared with the community, for example during the fellow connect meetings where fellows present their work. The goal was to complete 60 fellowships by the end of [YEAR]. A total of 19 fellowships were completed by the end of 2021; 8 fellowship processes are in the final phase and 11 are still in the research phase. The Fellows' research focused primarily on skills education, motivation, and student wellbeing.

The Fellows' research is primarily focused on online and blended education, student motivation and wellbeing, and skills education. One example is the creation of six digital modules for qualitative methodology courses, which combined literature with videos featuring experts and practical analysis. Students often struggle with this data analysis. Other faculties can benefit from this project. A large number of students found the modules effective, enjoyable and useful. Other examples include studies of the effect of goal setting on study success or the role of co-regulation in developing self-regulation skills in students.

Please find more about the Fellows and their work at www.eur.nl/fellowships.

Future-oriented education in an online environment

Erasmus University is investing in new technologies to motivate and engage students in an online learning environment. Expectations about personalisation and flexibilisation are evolving rapidly. The ambition is to provide space for students' own learning paths and to explore what online tools help students feel at home at EUR and self-consciously build their knowledge and competencies. Many development projects currently still focus on developing asynchronous learning, where students can decide for themselves at what time they want to undertake which activities.

Educational Innovation Projects

By the end of 2021, the CLI has helped faculties implement 80 projects, mostly at the request of the lecturers and the Learning Innovation teams who want to redesign an educational component. A fine example is the development of the online version of the Master in Employment Law (ESL) and the MOOC sustainable Finance of RSM. Educational videos, podcasts, and games have been created for many subjects. Please find more examples of innovation projects on this website.

Digitisation projects

The CLI is working on digitisation projects that require a great deal of expertise, time, and money. This requires us to share the investment with the faculties. On digitisation projects, the CLI collaborates with the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and his team. This collaboration extended to twelve digitisation projects in 2021. This was designed to set up a stable and sustainable facility for digital assessment and proctoring. The digital learning environment is enriched with functionalities of FeedbackFruits and statistics practice software. Work has been done on gamification, the virtual classroom and learning analytics. Please find more examples on this website.

Student Projects

Co-creation with students is an important part of Erasmus University's innovation approach. For this purpose, the CLI supports Students-for-Students. The following partnerships and initiatives were supported in 2021:

Erasmus Tech Community, Rethinking Economics NL, Turing Society, ECE Students, Enactus EUR, Erasmus Sustainability Hub, Culture Calling, Happy Students, Psychedelic Science Collective, Dutch Student Entrepreneurs. These organisations contribute to the enrichment of EUR education in a variety of ways. A great example is LifeVersity. Students organise online skills courses for students. In 2021, 725 students participated in courses focused on personal effectiveness, impact skills, among others. For more information: www.eur.nl/s4s.

ErasmusU Online: working on future-oriented education

The preparation of projects in the context of ErasmusU_Onlinewas started in 2021. The Board of Trustees asked CLI to develop this initiative as an integral part of Strategy24. ErasmusU_Online increases the accessibility of education and does so through online programmes that complement regular education. The programmes are designed for students who cannot come to campus due to distance (in the Netherlands and internationally) or lack of time due to combining work and family.

ErasmusU_Onlinefocuses on pre-master and master degree programmes based on experiences of leading universities in this market. The innovations developed for online education will also benefit the flexibility of education for regular students by allowing them to take asynchronous online electives and minors. Together with the faculties, Academic Affairs and Professional Services, concrete steps were taken in 2021 aimed at launching ErasmusU_Online in September 2022 with a small number of courses.

In 2021, the COVID-19 pandemic still had a major impact on education in general and ErasmusX projects in particular. Projects with strong co-creation that required physical presence were dropped. The ErasmusX team proved to be very flexible and innovative, developing new projects in a short period of time, focused on dealing with the effects of COVID-19. By using ErasmusX, students were still able to be part of a community and able to collaborate with ErasmusX to create and implement new solutions for their education.


In 2021, the Utrecht School of the Arts (HKU), lecturers from the Erasmus School of Lawand educational entrepreneurs of ErasmusX for the new subject Tech*Legal (BA Erasmus School of Law) developed a completely new online learning environment, based on game-based learning. The 1,500 (both full-time and part-time) students can either follow and complete the course in small groups in online virtual escape rooms or individually through Canvas. This project was developed and implemented in co-creation with lecturers, the Ll team of ESL, full-time and part-time students and EUR’s IT department. The outcomes and impacts of the project are being studied and will be published in mid-2022.

Following the experiment in the 2020-2021 academic year, the framework for programmatic assessment in the ‘Future Learning with EdTech’ Minor was further developed. In programmatic assessment, students receive more feedback and the emphasis is more on guiding and assessing student development.

The Minecraft campus is an online virtual campus. It was developed in 2020, allowing students to engage in social and learning activities during the lockdowns. In 2021, the concept was adopted by TU Delft and a number of universities of applied sciences in the Netherlands. ErasmusX further developed the platform for EUR. Students learned to develop problem-solving skills in a game. In 2021, 1,200 sessions were organised. The average user walked no less than an hour across this online campus. In November 2021, ErasmusX 'The Best in Class'received the award for the best virtual campus.

Currently, ErasmusX is conducting research on the impact of game-basedlearning on student motivation and the effect on learning and the impact of a virtual learning environment on 'sense of belonging'.


The enthusiasm of lecturers to design game-basededucation is a key objective of ErasmusX. ErasmusX organised several learning meetings at the Community for Learning and Innovation and the partnership between Erasmus University, TU Delft and Leiden University. A total of 22 lecturers participated. Many more activities are scheduled to follow in 2022.

Fail Fast Forward: the importance of failure and resilience 

  Students are challenged to perform well, often strive for excellence and are afraid to fail. Yet they also learn from a project that does not lead to a successful outcome. ErasmusX developed a workshop to develop resilience when success fails to materialise, inviting both students and lecturers to learn about success and failure. This workshop will be provided every month for all faculties in 2022.

In conversation with graduates: Alumni Policy

EUR has a community of nearly 160,000 alumni. Almost a quarter of them live outside the Netherlands. Creating and maintaining a good relationship with alumni is one of the important goals of Strategy 2024 and contributes to a positive social impact.

Since its inception in 2020, the Erasmus Alumni Relations Team has been expanding the alumni policy. It was also professionalised. Because live events were often not an option in 2021, the team used a series of online events and an extensive digital content programme to improve the visibility of EUR among its alumni. This was always focused on creating a positive social impact. The Instagram channel @EURalumni was established and has over 5,000 followers. EUR Alumni Linkedln page has also been launched. By the end of 2021, there were more than a thousand followers. A monthly newsletter also ensures regular contact.

Relationships with the various faculties have improved and expanded. The student-alumni mentoring programme MentorMeis one example. After successful pilots, it was expanded to several faculties and institutes. Alumni are also involved in Lifelong Learning. This is a project that brings the various programmes and courses of the business units and institutes of EUR Holding BV to the attention of alumni and external stakeholders. Alumni outside the Netherlands are actively used as volunteers in international chapters. The first have now been established in Shanghai, Israel and Berlin.

Finally, great strides have been made in managing the alumni data system. The system has been modernised. Contact information for more than 3,200 alumni has been restored. An action related to the managing email preferences led to substantial growth in the number of subscribers to the above-mentioned newsletter and other communication tools. This has delighted alumni, who, through a feedback system, rated the digital communication as positive in 93% of cases.

Next chapter: 4. Research

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