Educating for Interdisciplinary Competences: A VIVES-Framework

Elien Sabbe
VIVES University of Applied Sciences

David Wemel
VIVES University of Applied Sciences


Situating interdisciplinarity in VIVES. Nowadays professionals function in a society that is changing faster and faster. They face complex questions and challenges for which a mere (mono)disciplinary approach is no longer sufficient (Holley, 2017; Spelt, Biemans, Tobi, Luning, & Mulder, 2009). For VIVES, it is therefore both a necessity and an asset that students are equipped with solid domain specific knowledge and skills as well as with broader competences, the so-called competences for the 21st century. One of those broader competences is the competence for interdisciplinary cooperation.VIVES is investing a lot in interdisciplinarity. In our VIVES-research (VIVES, 2016), we explicitly choose for interdisciplinary centres of expertise. Also in the lab-approach of education, our make-lab, a care-lab and a simulation-lab are seen as real hubs for interdisciplinarity. In our VIVES-vision on education, we aim to prepare student for the jobs and the society of tomorrow (VIVES, 2014). That is why we so strongly stress the importance of interdisciplinary competences in our policy documents: the VIVES vision on education, the VIVES-competences for the 21st century and the VIVES-framework for quality assurance of our study programmes (VIVES, 2018). Our educational policy plan for the period 2017-2022 points out the necessity to create enough space for interdisciplinary cooperation in the curricula and demands that every study programme is cooperating interdisciplinary with at least one other study programme in at least one course (VIVES, 2017).

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