Research Economics and Management

With our research we focus on the themes of labor markets, aging, sustainability, innovation, market governance, banking, financial markets, entrepreneurship, marketing, and consumer behavior.

Astrid Kramer

Academic Director Business Economics

"It is important to get the best out of our students by offering education that meets individual needs."

What does your job involve?

Researcher portrait TiSEM Astrid Kramer

As the academic director Business Economics I am responsible for the content and quality of the program. Around 1000 students are enrolled in the program, with a yearly inflow of 375 students. Of course, I am not alone in this venture and closely cooperate with the academic coordinator, Natascha van Enckevort. In addition we have frequently contact with course coordinators, teachers, students, the education committee, sounding boards, MAK, Asset, the faculty management team and other academic directors. Around 100 colleagues are directly involved in the program and the majority is teaching staff. The aim is to offer students an attractive and challenging BSc program that prepares for a career in business.

Next to academic director, I conduct research in the area of family business and entrepreneurship and teach two courses in the BSc Business Economics. In these two course my colleague Mirande Stienstra and I put “strategy into practice” meaning that in one course students apply strategic management tools to existing companies who are invited to come to university and tell the students about their company, their strategy and its implications. Based on the information from the companies students apply strategic tools to the company and based on their results they advise the company. In the other course students play a simulation game and act as owners of a shoe company. The simulation game makes it possible for students to experience and learn how strategic decisions turn out in “practice” which is a highly competitive market.

What is important to you in teaching?

It is important to get the best out of our students by offering education that meets individual needs. Students have different learning styles and it is important to offer them teaching and learning forms that suit their learning style. I believe in “customized” education and we are more and more able to offer that in smart and efficient ways. Some examples:
  • Recording lectures makes it possible for student to review the lectures. In Business Economics we recorded this semester all lectures from eight courses in year 1 and 2. Analytics show that in some courses the total time watched is 3600 hours by 300 users.
  • Offer intensive and extensive tutorials. This way of giving tutorials is developed by Peter de Goeij and adopted by other courses in the program. Intensive tutorials are in small groups (25) and interactive. Extensive tutorials are is large groups with less interaction, but the same learning goals are achieved. Students can choose the type of tutorial that suits them best.
  • The i-STAR methods developed by Bob van den Brand is also a good method to put students to work.

I would like to continue to develop the program by offering the same content to students in different ways that fits their way of learning and I am full of ideas……

What is your main motivation?

In education my drive is to facilitate students to prepare them for their future career. That means that we need to educate them in the major fields of Business Economics and related disciplines and offer a place where students can develop themselves. Creating such a place is a continuous process.

Who is your role model?

I do not have a specific role model. However I would like to learn from others. I would like to know and learn from students how they think we could improve education and I would like to learn from colleagues how a paper, presentation or course could be improved.

See also: Expert & Expertise