Education as it was meant to be

TEXT: KARIN VENEMA | PHOTO © THE NEW SCHOOL

At The New School, all teachers teach part-time, alongside their professional career. “We wouldn’t have it any other way,” smiles Kees Spijker, director of The New School. “We are a private university of applied sciences, so all our teachers not only teach, but also apply their expertise and know the ins and outs of the profession.”

The New School was founded in 1987 in Amsterdam as a non-profit organisation, and is an accredited HBO-institution (University of applied sciences). It offers a four-year Bachelor programme on marketing, communication, creativity and entrepreneurship. “What is different about The New School is that the classes are small: they have a maximum of 14 students,” says Spijker. “The lessons are interactive, it’s a dialogue between the students and teachers rather than a lecture. Because there are only 150 students, we all know each other and work as a team to get the most out of personal qualities. There is a strong emphasis on personal development and we guide the students through their journey of discovering their future career.”

Spijker brings up the story of a student who, for his second year of work experience, contacted several media bureaus and rode his motorcycle towards Singapore whilst blogging about the experience. Although he got stranded in Nepal, it was very educational for him to experience the slow shift from sending information out to an anonymous audience, to people starting to approach him and requesting meeting up. “He learned so much! At The New School we put great value on creativity and using initiative,” concludes Spijker. “A massive compliment came from one of the members of the accreditation committee who visited us last week, who remarked that the education that we provide, is education as it was meant to be.”

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