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About the Graduate School

Graduate School of Child Development and Education
About the Graduate School


The Graduate School of Child Development and Education aims to provide high quality education to science practitioners, Research Master's students and PhD students in the pedagogical and educational sciences. Working in collaboration with the research institute, the school is seeking to become a leading national and international institute in the area of the aforementioned sciences. This ambition has both a scientific and social dimension. In scientific terms (both nationally and internationally) the institute stands out due to the high quality of its scientific researchers and advanced scientific work. In social terms (especially on a national scale), the institute stands out as a recognised authority in the area of relevant social problems and supplies highly qualified scientific practitioners who are equipped to quickly build successful careers in the professional fields of pedagogical and educational science.

Vision and strategy

The GSCDE' immediate targets centre around the academic training of pedagogues and orthopedagogues and education science professionals. As regards targets and final qualifications, the primary focus is on differentiating between the follow-up Master's on the one hand and the Research Master's programme and PhD programme on the other. Whereas the latter two focus on the training of scientific researchers, the follow-up Master's programme centres on training ‘science practitioners'. Naturally, the Research Master's programme also differs from the PhD programme, and the former should be considered a preparatory phase for the latter. There are also a number of more derivative targets: the promotion of research and the professional practice for which students of pedagogical/educational sciences are trained, and the resolution of current and future social issues. These targets translate into certain requirements as regards both the teaching programme and the intellectual climate in which staff and students collaborate. Both the academic debate and reflection on the professional practice should be anchored in the curriculum.

In concrete terms, these targets can be translated into the ambition to:

  • Offer education that is intellectually challenging to students. This will require certain quality standards in terms of the courses and training programme as a whole and the manner in which education is provided. Course materials and lectures should challenge students in terms of their ambition and dedication to the programme.
  • Create an academic community in which students feel stimulated to take part in the scientific discourse and actively reflect on social problems.
  • Offer students insight into the problems and practical machinations of the professional field. This insight should (in conjunction with the practice-oriented components of the education programme) prepare students to function adequately in the professional field after graduation.
  • Offer students the option of choosing a programme tailored to their personal learning targets and areas of interest. The realisation of this ambition will require excellent student counselling and intensive communication between lecturers and student advisers.
    In view of the diverging targets of the follow-up Master's on the one hand and Research Master's programme and PhD project on the other, joint activities will be supplemented with meetings and activities aimed specifically at both individual target groups.

The following criteria should be applied in conducting an operational assessment of these targets:

  1. The measure of student satisfaction. The objective is to achieve an average grade of four out of five;
  2. Yields. High quality education should result in a 70% yield within one year.
  3. Transfer to the PhD track. The objective here is to stimulate one-third of graduates to transfer from the Research Master's programme to the linked PhD track.
  4. Market share. A significant rise in the market share to at least 15% of the regular intake for PW and 30% for OWK (both currently stand at around 10%);
  5. Professional practice. An intensification of ties with the professional field. The current contacts (especially student research within professional institutes and guest lectures by scientists in the professional field) are to be expanded.
  6. Alumni policy. Satisfaction with the training programme must translate into more frequent interaction with alumni.