Utrecht University: Team Utrecht University wins Hogeronderwijspremie universities of 800.000 euros

The Mixed Classroom external linkteam of Utrecht University has won the Hogeronderwijspremie of 800.000 euros for universities, issued by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. During the online Comenius Festival on the 1st of March Minister van Engelshoven presented the prize to team member Jesse Hoffman. This new education prize is the counterpart of the Spinozapremie for research and was established to underline the high quality of education at universities and colleges.

Educational innovation
In the Mixed Classroom of the Urban Futures Studio, students and policy staff investigate together how we imagine the future and how we can do better. Maarten Hajer, professor Urban Futures and Director of the Urban Futures Studio, reacts to the news: “This feels like a great recognition. The Mixed Classroom started as an experiment to bring university closer to the world of politics and policy. But it has grown into an innovation that shows that education aimed at professionals and regular education benefit greatly from cross-pollination. The Hogeronderwijspremie allows us to introduce more students and teachers to our ‘futuring education.”

By awarding the prize to three different teams of lecturers from academic and higher professional education instead of choosing one winner or letting individual lecturers win, Minister van Engelshoven also wants to appreciate and stimulate cooperation and innovation in education. The prize also sends the message that you can make a career in higher education not only as a researcher, but also as a teacher.

Rector Magnificus Henk Kummeling is very proud: “It is great that the ministry is underlining the importance of education with this prize and is rewarding a team. That fits in perfectly with the development that universities want to go through. I think it is wonderful that the Mixed Classroom has been selected. It is a great example of educational innovation that connects science and society. Something that is characteristic for education in Utrecht. Additionally, education aimed at professionals builds bridges with the field. We present professionals with the latest insights and in return they provide us with their knowledge and experiences. I would like to congratulate the Mixed Classroom team on this national recognition!”

Bridging the outside world
The Mixed Classroom is the first product of the search for “the new classroom” that bridges the outside world. The project is an initiative of the Urban Futures Studio (UFS) in collaboration with the departments of Social Geography and Urban Planning and Sustainable Development (Copernicus Institute) of the Faculty of Geosciences.

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