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Academic Skills and seminar

An academic degree programme at a university involves more than attending lectures and taking exams.
Lectures, seminars, and exams are only tools. It is not about us telling you what to learn from a book and then you reproducing this in your exam. We want you to become an independent thinker. To help you with this, we provide you with all kinds of input.

In addition to following lectures, you will also train skills such as writing, presenting, planning, and others that we refer to as 'academic skills'. This may seem like a rather vague concept, but it encompasses a wide range of competences such as the ability to carry out research, take a systematic, academic approach to solving problems, reflect critically, feel responsibility for your field, recognize ethical issues, and communicate with other academics.

In all theoretical courses you follow, in all lab courses you take, and in all your extracurricular activities, you will acquire skills, get to know yourself and your potential, and discover your weaknesses. This, combined with the expert knowledge you acquire in your study programme, will turn you into a university graduate and an academic (researcher) in a scientific field.

When faced with choices within your degree programme (theoretical internship or practical internship, more or less physics or biology, research or teacher training programme?), you could make your decisions on the basis of your grades for certain courses. It would be better, however, to also include other competences in your decision-making. If you’re bad at speaking in front of a group and have been unable to develop this skill, perhaps you may want to reconsider your wish to be a teacher. If you’re very active in your study association and a successful organiser, that tells you something about your potential to develop as a manager, entrepreneur or university professor.

Career orientation
An important element of a university education is ensuring that you are well-prepared for the future. What can I do? What do I want? What skills do I need in my future profession? How do I choose a career? In the course Academic Skills you will hear stories from graduates about their choices and current professions. This will already start at the end of the first year during the concluding symposium.

MW Seminar (Wed. 12:30-13:15 in HG00.307)
The seminar series for this year:

Wed 10 October - Stijn van Dongen - Patent attorney
Wed 14 November - Wim van der Zanden - was university prof, now ASML
Wed 12 December - Michael Fouraux - Clinical Chemist
Wed 13 February
Wed 13 March
Wed 10 April
Wed 15 May

Student portfolio

All students at the Faculty of Science keep a portfolio of some kind in which they store things like reports, presentations, and papers, but also personal critical reflections, study planning and separate portfolio assignments. The portfolio is meant to help you actively and consciously focus on your programme, your performance and future. You take stock at least once a year: What have I learned? What still needs work? Am I on the right track? Do I already know in which direction I want to go? You will discuss these reflections with your mentor.

At the end of your Bachelor’s you will receive 3 ec for the completion of the course Academic Skills, NWI-MOL086.