RASL minor awarded at Dutch Higher Education Premium

We are proud to announce that the RASL minor ‘Re-imagining Tomorrow through Arts and Sciences’ has been awarded at the Dutch Higher Education Premium (and a cheque of no less than 500,000 euros). On the 1st of March 2021, the very first Dutch Higher Education Premium was awarded by the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Ingrid Van Engelshoven, as part of the annual ComeniusFestival.

The assessment committee expressed admiration for ‘the educational team’s ambition level’, calling the scale at which the RASL minor operates ‘unique in the context of Dutch higher education’.

Re-imagining Tomorrow through Arts and Sciences

RASL, the Rotterdam Arts and Sciences Lab, is a collaboration between Erasmus University College, Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication, the Willem de Kooning Academy (WdKA) Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and Codarts Rotterdam for joint, cross-disciplinary education and research. RASL’s aim is to arrive at an equal crosspollination between arts and science in order to address and redefine societal issues.

The RASL minor ‘Re-imagining Tomorrow through Arts and Sciences’ is an innovative educational programme in which students redefine a societal issue of their own choosing in a transdisciplinary collaboration. Teams are made up of students from EUC, ESHCC, WdKA, Codarts and other Universities.

The Higher Education Premium committee praised ‘the intensive and inspiring collaboration of the institutes involved’ and especially mentioned ‘the close and committed educational team - with the different backgrounds of its members enriching the team’.

Gabriele Jacobs, dean of Erasmus University College: “We are really proud of the RASL minor – for us it represents exactly the type of educational innovation we aim for. It is wonderful that our passionate teachers received such an encouragement. Congratulations also to the colleagues at TU Eindhoven and Utrecht University, beautiful to see such high level educational innovation!”

Premium for the development of new Bachelor and Master study programmes

This minor, which started in September 2019, is a good example of how RASL intends to work now and in the future. The generous sum of 500,000 euros will be used for the development of new Bachelor and Master programmes, based on the principles that constitute the RASL minor. In addition, RASL intends to keep developing the minor as a space for experimentation, where new forms of education can be tested and developed. Investment in young educating-researchers is indispensable in doing so.

The Higher Education Premium committee applauds ‘the future ambitions of the RASL team to extend her portfolio to a joint bachelor and master program’.

Tamara de Groot, coordinator of the RASL minor: "It has been a privilege and an incredibly enriching experience to work with so many talented educators and students to create the RASL minor together, and to have our work be recognized in this way gives us the validation and means to continue exploring the ways in which combining arts and sciences can dissolve boundaries in both the institutional and societal context, and contribute to reimagining more just futures. "

The Dutch Higher Education Premium

This new Dutch Higher Education Premium was established to endorse the high quality of education at universities and academies and to express appreciation for educational teams that perform at top level. Minister Van Engelshoven: “For 25 years now, we have the Spinoza Premium to honour top level researchers in the Netherlands. For teachers and teams of teachers such a premium was lacking and with it a way of expressing appreciation for their excellent work. This premium should change that.”

More information

More information about RASL and the minor ‘Re-imagining Tomorrow through Arts and Sciences’ can be found at rasl.nu, which also features a video about students’ experiences with the minor.