Research Projects

In 2014 the successful N=N pilots where followed by a four-year research programme on the quality of education and study success. Promovendi are conducting research in the frame of this research agenda. Examples of research questions that are being discussed are the quality of compensatory testing and study success in relationship to small scale and activating education.

  • Leonor Gaitán

    Previous research has shown that studying in an international environment can enhance students’ intercultural communication competences (ICC), develop their global citizenship, and ultimately increase their ability to successfully live and work in a culturally diverse society. However, it remains unclear which conditions are conducive to the development of ICC and global citizenship, and which processes may inhibit it. Many things can come into play, such as students’ cultural background, international experiences, motivations, and coursework. Through her PhD project, Leonor aims to help the university reach its goals with regard to international education, as well as contribute to scientific understanding of intercultural competence and global citizenship among university studies.

    Leonor obtained a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Universidad del Valle de Guatemala in 2016. She later obtained an Erasmus Mundus joint master’s degree in Social and Cultural Psychology (Global-MINDS) from ISCTE – Lisbon University Institute and the University of Oslo in 2019. Her thesis focused on the influence of social media on the social identification and cross-cultural adaptation of international students. She has studies in Social Pedagogy and has worked as a researcher of human rights monitoring in the Northern Region of Central America.

  • Judith Auer

    My name is Judith and I am originally from Austria. I have completed my bachelor’s degree in educational science in Vienna, studied one semester abroad in Oslo and eventually completed my master’s degree in Rotterdam at the Erasmus University in 2018. During my study in Rotterdam I felt very welcome, enjoyed the sea so much and was finally able to pronounce the Dutch “g” that I decided to stay in the Netherlands. I started my first full time profession as a consultant at the Learning Innovation Team at the Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) end of 2018. During my studies and through side research projects I was able to gain experiences in academic research and have always highly enjoyed it. Therefore, I am more than happy to have been given the opportunity to combine my current position as LI consultant at RSM with a parttime PhD position.

    My PhD project will focus on course evaluations and more specifically on how to make them an integrated part of educational design and teacher professionalization. Issues connected to course evaluations such as low response rate, low response quality, low validity and reliability, bias, etc. are very much known practically to higher education institutions. Next to that, these problems are being handled as research topics often individually and not combined, leading to a lacking complete overview of circumstances negatively influencing course evaluations. The aim of the PhD project is to contribute to research as well as to the practical field by introducing a model that can help identifying and integrating the dynamics around course evaluations and by this offering concrete solutions for the issues mentioned above.



    Telephone: +31 (010) 408 9058

  • Pieter van Lamoen

    Lost in transition? Access and academic success of diverse students in higher education.

    During the first year in higher education, drop-out levels are relatively high as compared to following years. At Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR), first-year drop-out rates varied between 16 and 20 percent in the period 2014-2018. Moreover, research shows that this percentage is higher among students who are the first in their family to study in higher education (first-generation students) and among students with a migration background. This may be due to specific difficulties that students from these backgrounds experience during their transition into higher education, a period that many students experience as challenging. A thorough understanding of the challenges experienced by diverse students during the transition into higher education, and how these students can be supported is vital, to retain them and to positively influence their academic success.

    In his PhD-project, Pieter is therefore researching the barriers to academic success that first-generation students and students with a migration background face during various phases of the transition into higher education. In this project, he examines whether participation in a program prior to the first year at EUR (the ‘Pre-Academic Program’) increases retention among diverse students and whether this positively influences their academic success, how diverse social networks can positively impact academic success, and what the effect of the newly introduced admission procedure of EUR’s Psychology Bachelor is on diversity within the student population. Pieter works on his research at the Department of Psychology, Education, and Child Studies of the Erasmus School of Behavioral and Social Sciences.

  • Job Hudig

    An investigation into how an evidence-based goal-setting intervention closed the gender and ethnic achievement gap

    An online narrative goal-setting intervention boosted academic performance among 703 first-year Business Administration students at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam (Schippers, Scheepers, & Peterson, 2015). Findings from the intervention cohort demonstrated that the gender achievement gap closed by 98 percent after the first year and the ethnic achievement gap closed by 93 percent after the second year. While numeral suggestions have been mentioned in the goal-setting intervention studies, a definitive answer to what caused the positive intervention-effect on academic performance is still lacking. Job’s research therefore has two aims: 1) to examine a potential mechanism of the goal-setting intervention, and 2) to elucidate as to why the intervention would specifically decrease the achievement gaps. To reach these aims, Job conducts a preliminary study at baseline in which he explores several new types of motivational profiles. Subsequently, he tests his proposed mechanism of the intervention while tracking the developments within the gender and ethnic subgroups. Ultimately, on the basis of the findings that evolve from his systematic approach, he will make claims about how the goal-setting intervention closed the gender and ethnic achievement gap. Job works on his research at the Department of Psychology, Education, and Child Studies of the Erasmus School of Behaviorial and Social Sciences.

    M.C. Schippers, Ad Scheepers & J.B. Peterson (2015). A scalable goal-setting intervention closes both the gender and minority achievement gap. Palgrave Communications (online), 1, 15014. doi: 10.1057/palcomms.2015.14

Completed research

  • Rob Kickert

    Rob Kickert investigates whether students at various course programmes under N = N differ from students under the old, traditional assessment policy. First of all, students can differ in terms of academic performance, both in terms of progress and in terms of grades. In addition, Kickert investigates the differences in motivation and study behavior in order to understand what a change in assessment policy does to the students. The most important question is whether N = N motivates students to study harder and better. These results can contribute to the development of learning environments and assessment policies that optimally enable students to demonstrate their potential.

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