Continued: Developing a future-proof MSc curriculum for SBE

In the last issue of Talkin’ Business, you could read about SBE investigating the development of a research-based future-proof MSc curriculum. Employers, alumni, students and SBE staff joined forces to discuss options for and share different perspectives on this development during two colloquia and following teamwork.  Much work has been done to generate ideas for further enhancement. Gaby Odekerken-Schröder, SBE’s Associate Professor in Marketing and Director of MSc Programmes, updates Talkin’ Business about the progress made.
“SBE wants to offer high-quality education to its students so that they are prepared optimally for the leading roles they will play in their working life. As higher education is constantly faced with changing demands from students, employers, government and society, SBE does its utmost to flexibly integrate the latest scientific insights, learning knowledge and practical demands in its master’s programmes. Educational programmes however typically cannot be modified overnight, due to the stringent requirements of both the university and the government. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science is now giving Dutch universities a one-time possibility to evaluate and restructure their MSc offering, without the usual bureaucratic red tape. Therefore, to get the most out of this opportunity, SBE has invited all stakeholders to participate in creating a solid recommendation for the development of our MSc curriculum, with an inside-out and outside-in view.” recapitulates Gaby Odekerken-Schröder the initial driver for change.
Recommendations sent to VSNU
“At the first colloquium – held in October – it was decided to form six task forces to further investigate the strategic options that were raised during the day. These task forces have since then worked hard to prepare a proposal for the development of the MSc portfolio. The proposal was presented to and approved by the University Council and sent to the VSNU, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands. The VSNU will analyze the proposals from all the Dutch universities, bundle the ideas they seem fit and feasible in a national and international context and send an overall recommendation to the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.” says Dr. Odekerken-Schröder
Task forces continue
Gaby Odekerken-Schröder: “It has been great to see that the enthusiastic participation of students, employees, alumni and staff has resulted in very constructive output. But work has not yet finished.” She continues: “The VSNU and the Ministry will need time to evaluate the various options. In the meantime, the taskforces will continue their work. For example, they are studying the possibilities for integrating ‘problem-based reflection’ into the MSc programmes – a suggestion made by business representatives participating in the first colloquium. If we find a way to include self-reflection into the current problem-based education we are offering, that will prepare students for self-evaluation, help them to be self-critical and choose the right role in specific situations. Other task forces are – among others – looking into the possibility of offering more flexible, more tailor-made programmes, the differentiation of admission requirements and the logical structuring of programmes and specialization tracks. Within three months, the task forces will present their recommendations for the implementation of changes into the MSc portfolio to the School’s Council. The Council will then decide which recommendations will be followed up.”
“While the first colloquium made it clear that we must be able to move away from the established, traditional lines, I am very proud to see that the initiative has been embraced by all stakeholders. The cooperation between the different parties has created a new movement, a renewed impulse to come up with creative solutions and sharpened ambitions. In the cooperation I can see that new insights and inspiration are being born, which will certainly strengthen both our corporate and internal relations.” Dr. Odekerken-Schröder concludes.

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