The principle of problem-based learning has wide-ranging consequences – from the group sizes and the type of supervision to the architecture.
Studying in Holland also means: Studying in small groups a lot. Of course there are bigger seminars, lectures and individual work as well. But you especially work in small groups. Teamwork is required to compile all the knowledge and experiences necessary to solve the problem.
A lot of activity is expected from the students! They have to absorb lots of subject matter; this is the same in Holland as it at other universities. But simply absorbing already available knowledge is not enough. Creativity, trial and error, learning from mistakes, asking ‘stupid’ questions, the willingness and skills to work in a team – this is required during a study in Holland. We have seen many young people who have downright thrived here!
Have you ever been to a Dutch university? You can already tell from the architecture and interior design. In Dutch universiteiten and hogescholen you can find many rooms, niches and workplaces that can be used for small work groups. Not in a secluded corner of the library but all over the core area of the building. The open construction stands out. Many open seating areas and workplaces, oftentimes equipped with PCs or notebooks.
We recommend to all prospective students, as well as university educationalists, to take a look around a Dutch university!
Individual students and study groups receive lots of support from lecturers. This generally doesn’t happen during office hours as is common practice at German universities. During seminars, work group meetings, in the lecturer’s office, in the hall, in the cafeteria – you know each other; and when something has to be discussed you can do it at any time. Just look for the lecturer at their office or make an appointment. And periodically it is the group’s or individual student’s turn to report on their work status and learning progress. On this basis it is determined how to proceed further. Especially during the first year and with the specializations of the Bachelor programmes the number of lecturers is especially big. No student will get lost here!