Sustainable Educational Concepts in Higher Education

The professorship (applied sciences) ‘Sustainable Educational Concepts in Higher Education’ investigates how Problem-Based Learning (PBL) can be applied in higher education, in the framework of ‘design thinking’.  

NHL Stenden University of Applied Science has been applying PBL for the past 25 years. This professorship is geared towards quality and future orientation of this educational concept, shaped by the principles of design thinking. The focus here is on deepening, renewing and professionalising, in order to ensure the on-going development of sustainable and future-oriented education.

Our job is to investigate the effectiveness of PBL as it is applied in the degree programmes at NHL Stenden. To be specific: we will research whether and how this concept helps reach the educational goals, and in what direction development should move to ensure continuity in providing sustainable education.

What do we want to achieve with PBL? 

The questions we receive, revolve around what lecturers, tutors and managers want to achieve with Problem-Based Learning. What goals do they envisage? Subsequently, can they tell whether or not the goals were achieved, and why? Based on those answers, we can conduct intervention studies and impact assessments.

Research into the applied educational concept

The professorship will research the applied educational concept, in particular in the framework of NHL Stenden’s higher education role. In addition, the research will be conducted elsewhere, in The Netherlands as well as abroad. The international character of our student and lecturer populations adds importance to the need for research beyond the borders.  

The professorship will collaborate with the educational programmes to gather research data and make it available to NHL Stenden’s educational departments.


NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences Research Group Innovation in Higher Education P.O. Box 1298 Rengerslaan 8-10 8900 CG Leeuwarden

Professor of Applied Sciences: Dr. Gerry Geitz E: T: 06 55 12 50 71

Office Manager Liaison Unit R&D Education and Research and Research Group Innovation in Higher Education: Sonja Schuil E: T: 06 19 28 13 29

Team members