At VU Amsterdam we do not ascribe to a central, prescriptive concept of educational theory and teaching methods. The global notion of a Community of Learners, based on three pillars: monodisciplinary and multidisciplinary knowledge acquisition and development, participation, and teaching linked to research, offers faculties both the framework and the space within which they can make their own choices.
Lecturers and Programme Directors have first responsibility for continuous educational reform, both with regard to content and as far as implementation is concerned. To this end, connections with international academic developments are indispensable. At VU Amsterdam we are of the opinion that linking teaching to research remains crucial for university education. We select our academic staff on the basis of their capability of combining teaching and research. That these two activities inspire and motivate mutually is of the utmost importance. To bring home to students, from the outset, the academic character of their studies - be it scholarly or scientific - lecturers with a pronounced affinity for research are already engaged during the first year of education.
At VU Amsterdam we set much store by deploying Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in education: enriching the learning and testing environment, varying teaching methods, more efficient feedback to students, connecting to current affairs, improving the connection between the environment and the expectations of students, improving the provision of information on education, adequate student counselling, improving knowledge of professional software, and creating the opportunity to be educated irrespective of place and time.