Chris van Klaveren awarded 500,000 euros for Comenius Leadership Fellowship for successful study plan for students with study delays

The Dutch Research Council (NWO) has awarded a Comenius Leadership Fellowship of €500.000 to Chris van Klaveren. The grant is to be used for research into successful study planning for Bachelor students who encounter delays in their second year of study.

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science provides this grant to professionals in education to give them the opportunity to demonstrate their view on education reform within their own institution. Vrije Universiteit has nominated van Klaveren for the Leadership Fellowship and he will join the Comenius Network of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. The application was written by Chris van Klaveren and Ilja Cornelisz from the Amsterdam Center for Learning Analytics, Mirella Kleijnen on behalf of the School of Business and Economics, Kirsten Bijker on behalf of the Faculty of  Behavioural and Movement Sciences, and Theo Bakker for VU Analytics.

Research ‘ VU plan for Success’
Around 50% of all Bachelor students at VU experience a delay in their studies at the start of the second year. They then generally register for first-year courses they need to catch up on, as well as for all second-year courses. The result is even higher pressure for students who have not been performing well in the first year. Additionally this way of planning often leads to more study delay. This Comenius Leadership project aims to address and improve this issue.

Student in the lead
Following a pilot project at KU Leaven, the VU will develop a tool for students and study advisors at two pilot faculties. Students can apply for this project and will gain extra insights in their study planning and whether this planning is realistic. Students will receive optimal arrangements of their courses (through a dashboard), and will discuss these with the study advisor. Consequently they can choose the arrangement that fits them best. The autonomy of the students for choosing a study arrangement will be taken into account. An important aspect of the project is to make sure the student is in the lead, and therefore (co)responsible for a successful study path. The research will last 2,5 years.

The NWO assessment committee praised the innovative character of the proposal, and the opportunities other institutions will have with this project, as well as the high quality of the project plan and project team, and the passion and experience of the applicant. The project will start immediately, and the first students and study advisors are expected to take part after the summer.

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