Leiden University: Three new Leiden-Delft-Erasmus minors

Leiden-Delft-Erasmus is introducing three new minors this year: Space Missions, (Re)imagining Port Cities: Understanding Space, and Living Education Lab. Marja Verstelle, Project Manager for Teaching at Leiden-Delft-Erasmus, talks about the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration for the new generation of academics who will soon be entering the labour market.

The LDE alliance began ten years ago and the first joint minor, Responsible Innovation, started in 2014. The offering has since grown to include 12 multidisciplinary minors on current societal issues, with more than 1,000 students from Leiden, Delft and Erasmus taking part each year, and the ambitionis for many more students to beneft from these opportunities.

Multidisciplinary minors
Verstelle: ‘Whenever I ask graduates what they feel was lacking from their degree programme, it is not knowledge that they answer, but how you can actually make an impact with it. A district no longer using gas? There is plenty of knowledge about what is technically possible, but how do you get people on board with the changes? What factors have an influence on this? And how do you decide what your implementation strategy should be in such a highly-pressurised field?

‘The ability to enact change – that is what we want to teach students as well. And this is exactly where the joint Leiden-Delft-Erasmus minors offer unique opportunities. You work on team assignments with students from completely different backgrounds. This makes you realise that even though you have knowledge to contribute, you also have the limitations of a single perspective.’

‘From the three universities, we can bring together a wide range of perspectives: engineers, behavioural scientists, public administration experts and economists, for instance.’

Different perspectives
‘You learn how much you need the different perspectives,’ says Verstelle. ‘Even in your later career, so you can come up with solutions that have a real impact. For example, you can replace a coal-fired power station with wind turbines, but that means an awful lot of turbines, and nobody wants them in their backyard. So how do you get people to support the idea? From the three universities, we can bring together a wide range of perspectives: engineers, behavioural scientists, public administration experts and economists, for instance.’

The three new Leiden-Delft-Erasmus minors:

(Re)Imagining Port Cities: Understanding Space, Society and Culture
Port cities and the areas around them have traditionally been places where people, goods and ideas venture into the world, and where economic development and liveability may clash or go hand in hand. Against this background, the new LDE minor ‘(Re)Imagining Port Cities: Understanding Space, Society and Culture’ offers Bachelor’s students from all kinds of fields the opportunity to learn about observing, designing, and multidisciplinary cooperation.

Space Missions
Space Missions is a new minor offered by the TU Delft Faculty of Aerospace Engineering in partnership with the Leiden Observatory and the Leiden University Faculty of Science. During this minor, students will experience the interdisciplinary relationship between the engineering and scientific domain of spaceflight through theory and challenge-based mission assignments.

Living Education Lab
Living Education lab is a new minor offered by the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for Education and Learning in partnership with ICLON Leiden and ErasmusX. During this minor, students develop into skilled educational innovators and researchers who know their way in the worlds of Education, Technology and Design.

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