Project leader
prof. dr. Jan Vermunt
September 2022 - February 2024
Hospitality Management

Higher education in the Netherlands is facing a series of recent innovations in teaching and learning. These innovations require different roles for instructors. However, a solid knowledge base, rooted in research about whether, how and why different approaches work in different contexts, is lacking. The research focuses on the question whether, how and why different approaches to professional learning and teacher development work for different innovations, contexts and populations.

What is the motivation for the project?

The inventory among consortium partners revealed great practice and relevant cases. This gave rise to the question of what differences there are between innovations and their approaches, and the methods of professionalisation. It also emerged that although consortium partners evaluate their innovations, the form, manner and extent in which this takes place varies greatly, and often focuses more on the didactics or learning outcomes of students, rather than on the learning process of instructors, the support, and the connection between all the aspects mentioned.

What issue does the project address?

The focus is on the learning and professional development of HO teachers in the context of educational innovations.  

The central question on which this research focuses is therefore the following:

How and why do different professional development approaches for lecturers work in the context of educational innovations in higher education?

More specifically, the research will focus on the following questions:

  • What expertise/competencies do HO lecturers need in order to be able to learn, work and innovate in new forms of education in higher education?
  • How do HEA lecturers learn and develop professionally in the context of educational innovations, and how is this professional development influenced by personal and contextual factors?
  • How can HE lecturers be supported in their learning and professional development in the context of educational innovation?
  • What are the effects of different professionalisation approaches on teachers' expertise, professional identity, motivation and teaching practices, on student learning and on the educational organisation?

Project team

Representatives of 20 different universities of applied sciences and universities of applied sciences. The consortium consists of senior researchers, education professionals, and lecturers from 20 different universities of applied sciences. The composition of the consortium is based on substantive expertise, expertise in carrying out practice-based research, and the utilisation of research results by educational practice. The senior researchers all have doctorates and work as educational researchers at various institutes of higher education throughout the country. The partners in practice (educational professionals and instructors) are closely involved in one or more professionalisation activities within their institute.  

Preliminary and key results

We distinguish four types of intended results from our research. These results can reinforce each other in realising an optimal effect. This work package is about ways in which we can ensure that knowledge is used as effectively as possible during and after the research, through activities (workshops, learning communities, train-the-trainer, supervised experimentation, etc.) using products or instruments (toolboxes, websites, checklists, etc.). It is about value creation through research in all kinds of ways. In the course of the research, we shall examine which ways of utilising knowledge are most suitable for which target group(s); in this application we can therefore only include an estimate of which products and working methods will have the most effect.

Project partners


  • Eindhoven University of Technology; Eindhoven School of Education (ESoE)
  • Wageningen University & Research / 4TU Centre for Engineering Education
  • Utrecht University; Centre for Academic Teaching.
  • University of Groningen
  • Radboud University Nijmegen
  • Maastricht University
  • Leiden University

Universities of Applied Sciences

  • NHL University of Applied Sciences  
  • University of Applied Sciences Utrecht   
  • Hanze University Groningen
  • University of Applied Sciences, Arnhem and Nijmegen
  • Saxion University of Applied Sciences