What does the Tilburg Educational Profile imply for our students?
To grow into 'thinkers with character', Tilburg University prepares students both within the program and beyond for the complex issues of the 21st century. Character-building is one of the fundamental principles of this university. Students are taught to reflect critically on themselves and others, they are encouraged to show initiative and act proactively and they are shown how to act in a socially responsible manner.
Character-building in education
In many courses, the link with society and the professional field will be emphasized, for example by using cases and challenges or by inviting guest lecturers from the professional field. Moreover, every student at Tilburg University will receive philosophy courses in the bachelor's program.
Tilburg University stimulates students to participate in extracurricular activities, such as participation in the University Council or School Council, active participation in student associations and societies, in honors programs or outreaching programs, activities of Studium Generale, etc. These will enable active students to learn skills and create networks which will facilitate professional opportunities.
This will be an important means to enhance character building. Not only during their education are students invited to take responsibility for their own development; once they are graduated and function as professionals, they are required to reflect on their own role within a team, in a larger organizational context, and in society at large.
Small-scale classes and mentoring
Tilburg students are part of a learning community in which they develop and grow. Degree programs with a relatively large number of students will apply the principle of ‘small within large’. Students will be part of a smaller core group - a ‘Class’ - which is kept together during at least one year of the program and coached by a dedicated Mentor Team.
Developing 21st-Century Skills
Debating skills, presentation skills, digital knowledge, etc. are directly applicable during classes or assignments. The development of certain specific skills requires special training courses or course components.
More stories of our students
You learn that there’s nothing wrong with failing
Critically reflecting on the meaning of success in our society, learning how to cope with setbacks and talking about stress and failure with fellow students and teachers. It can help you and make you feel less alone. That is what Franziska Fröhlich, a third-year Liberal Arts and Sciences student, experienced when she participated in the Resilience Project. “It is very nice that everyone talks so openly about their failing experiences”.
We learn that despite our many differences we can actually live well together
Educating students who want to understand society and make it a better place, and who possess valuable knowledge and skills, yet never lose sight of society. That is what Tilburg University aspires to. This vision is embedded in the Online Culture Bachelor’s program in a variety of ways, as graduate Juliette Berndsen experienced first-hand. “We learned a great deal about each other’s vision and culture, and about each other’s norms and values. And precisely that adds value to Online Culture, because the program is about culture in all of its facets.”
We learn how knowledge can be applied in practice
The Tilburg Educational Profile informs the degree programs Tilburg University offers. How do the three pillars of Knowledge, Skills, and Character materialise in the Bachelor’s program in Bestuurskunde (Public Governance)? Third-year student Hiwot van Berkel shares her experiences. “I think it is very important to acquire knowledge in my studies, but also to develop my skills.”
Business ethics sounded a bit airy to me at first, but turned out to be critical
Djonah van Roosmalen (22) is a third-year Bachelor’s student of Business Law, having switched over after a year of Business Economics. “The smallness of scale, the personal attention, and the blend of regulation, legal certainty, and doing business fit me perfectly.”
It helps if you understand society when you are applying the law
For second-year Global Law student Anas A. Qazi, international law is his ‘true calling’. He explains how classes are enriched by the Tilburg Education Profile (TEP). “Anyone can read a law book, but that does not make you a good lawyer. It is about developing personal skills and social responsibility, learning to work together as well as to work independently, to communicate, and to foster leadership skills. Tilburg University has provided for that with TEP.”
For most companies, skills are more important than very good grades’
Education at Tilburg University is inspired by the Tilburg Educational Profile (TEP). What does that mean for Master’s students? “It is great to be studying at a university that encourages and supports you in your development.”
Amber and Jorine from Serve the City meet people outside their ‘student bubble’
‘Showing kindness in practical way’. That is the first sentence that pops up if you google the Dutch volunteer organization ‘Serve the City’. In Tilburg, student volunteers carry out this mission and they are committed to making a contribution to the city’s wellbeing. Board members Amber van Ginneken and Jorine van Gasteren have already meant a great deal to the homeless, the underprivileged, the elderly, children, and the lonely.
StudentinzetopSchool helps final-year pupils pass their exams
Final-year pupils were less able to prepare for their final exams this past year because of the corona measures. This led to the establishment of the national StudentinzetopSchool platform. As part of this initiative, university students offer tutoring to high-school pupils to increase their chances of passing their exams. Tilburg University students also participate in the project. ‘It is fun when you see the penny beginning to drop.’
Student Veerle Joosen is Youth Participation Promotion Officer
Veerle Joosen (21) is not at all into commerce. “Being a boss and driving a posh car, that just isn’t me.” She wants to do something useful in her future career. “To me that feels like taking responsibility. I want to contribute to society with my work.” In the public sector, where she works part-time, she sees plenty of opportunities to do so. “If I can solve problems and make people happy, I feel useful and contented.”
‘I want to get as much as possible out of my time as a student’
At the beginning of a new academic year, new boards of student parties SAM and Front are geared up to defend student interests in the University Council, the university’s participation body. An excellent moment to introduce the two presidents, Paula Schrijver (Front) and Veronique Coenen (SAM). Why did they opt to take up this managerial position? What drives them? What issues are they going to spearhead in the coming year?
I want to contribute to my country with the knowledge I have acquired
‘My dream is to mount a Research Master’s program in my country, Georgia, as soon as I have finished my thesis (on methodology) and successfully complete my studies. The knowledge I have acquired here in the past few years is so useful for me and for my country! The way social sciences in my country are taught and studied is really outdated and aimed mainly at reproduction. Methodology and statistics are not very well developed and lag behind current advances in technology, and that is where I want to make a difference.'
“By writing my Master’s thesis I am contributing to the solution of a pressing societal problem”
Marenne Gevers, Master’s student of Supply Chain Management, for the writing of her Master’s thesis decided to join COMPOSE, a multi-disciplinary research project set up to optimize transportation through collaboration. Fourteen Tilburg students, from the programs of Law, Social Psychology, and Econometrics & Supply Chain Management, are taking part in this project.
Linda Torn has better view of future prospects thanks to National ThinkTank
Linda Torn, a Master’s degree student in Econometrics, interrupted her studies to devote four months to an urgent societal problem. As one of twenty young academics from many different backgrounds she joined the National ThinkTank. Together they considered the question “How can we improve the well-being, welfare, and resilience of the middle classes?” Taking part in the ThinkTank has helped her gain a clearer perspective on her future. “My perfect job is one that allows me to combine my analytical strengths with my social skills.”
Outreaching Honors Program: help others and develop yourself
Xander de Vries and Eva Goudswaard are enrolled in different Bachelor’s degree programs – Global Law and Psychology, respectively – but both of them participated in the Outreaching Honors Program. I asked them about the program and how it relates to the three pillars of the Tilburg Educational Profile: Knowledge, Skills, and Character.
Vlog Student Sunday Heagbetus: ‘Character is the quality that defines us as human beings’
In this interview, Sunday briefly outlines his views on various content elements underlying the new Tilburg Educational Profile. His point of departure in this is the essay Exploring an Educational Vision for Tilburg University by Dean of University College Alkeline van Lenning and philosopher Herman de Regt.
Student Joshua Paas: "Students need to learn to be reflective and critical"
Every student starts their career as a student by checking out the university campus and finding out what the university has to offer. Joshua Paas was no exception in this respect. Four years ago, during the introduction week, he went to the information fair where first-year students are introduced to everything the university has to offer. It was here that he found out about the Cicero debating association, and decided to become a member at the very start of his studies in Tilburg.
Smartphone Orchestra: The Social Sorting Experiment
During Night University 2019, visitors had the opportunity to participate in ‘The Social Sorting Experiment’. In this interactive experiment, in which theater, gaming, and music come together, the participants can experience the manipulative power of digital platforms first-hand. I decided to have a go myself.
Two students about their experience with the Outreaching program10th June 2021
Hey, we are Flavia and Zainab and we joined the Outreaching program. Do you want to know why?