Wageningen Bachelor’s students are to be given more guidance and training in academic skills, including presentation and reflection skills, the Board of Education has announced. The training will be integrated into existing courses in all the BSc degree programmes. The programmes have until 2024 to have this up and running.
Today’s labour market demands more than just a knowledge of your discipline. As well as the appropriate degree, employers are looking for strong ‘skills’ such as the ability to present, to collaborate and to cope with stress. Some degree programmes already integrate these kinds of skills in their courses, but not all the programmes have explicit learning goals for them. And that is something WUR wants to change.
Skills training is to become a systematic element in all BSc programmes, woven into existing courses but with specified learning goals. A list of the skills that will come in for more attention has been drawn up by the Board of Education, and includes academic writing, ethics and self-reflection. Programme committees will work out the curriculum for the various soft skills together, and determine the skills level to be aimed at. They will find out which skills are already addressed in the Bachelor’s courses, and where there is room for more training. The programmes can decide for themselves which skills they prioritize over the others, thus preserving their own character.
The plan to pay more attention to soft skills has come out of Bachelor’s student course evaluations. It was partly in response to these that skills training was included in the education vision of 2017, in which WUR described how it wanted to proceed in developing the quality of its education. Skills training is one of the three objectives in the education vision, and the first to be worked out practically. The other – more activating education and personalized trajectories for Master’s students – will follow at a later stage. Curious to know what students and teachers think? Read also the opninion article below.