Dare to Think and Multiperspectivism

At Ghent University, we expect every study programme to reflect on, and pursue, an education policy that is an explicit implementation of our six strategic education objectives. One of these objectives is ‘Dare to Think and Multiperspectivism'.

University-wide Vision

Ghent University’s education strategy can be captured in two catchphrases: “Dare to think” and “Multiperspectivism”. Taken together, these catchphrases express Ghent University’s strong ambition to educate students to becoming critical thinkers with aptitude for lifelong learning, and with an open and constructive attitude towards diversity.

Applying multiperspectivism as a philosophy of education means that education at Ghent University is closely entwined with the other policy domains, and with the (inter)national societal context at large. Of Ghent University’s six strategic education objectives, multiperspectivism is the first and foundational one, from which the other five objectives logically branch off, i.e. education based on excellent research, talent development, stakeholder participation, Internationalization, and education quality.

Applying multiperspectivism as an education vision allows for the identification and cultivation of a number of key elements in education practice, i.e. a critical mind-set, change of perspective, openness, pluralism, and tolerance towards other opinions. In short, Ghent University aims for its students to become creative and critical problem-solving citizens, able to think outside the box and to tackle complex problems from different perspectives. 

Dare to think and Multiperspectivism at Study Programme level

The Programme Committee is the appropriate body for shaping the curriculum and making well-considered choices in order to implement and achieve this with regard strategic objective. It goes without saying that these choices are in line with a study programme’s specific context and individuality.  

Some study programmes are inherently multiperspectivistic in their design, their specific target audience and/or the composition of the teaching staff (e.g. international student audience, lecturers from different study programmes): such aspects can be described here.

There are many different ways for a study programme to stimulate 'Dare to Think' and 'Multiperspectivism':

  • the programme competencies contribute to a critical mind-set, change of perspective and tolerance towards other opinions, and they contain multi- and interdisciplinary elements. This is firmly anchored in Ghent University’s competency model. Study programmes/Programme Committees must ensure that the final competencies of individual course units contribute to attaining the programme competencies;
  • at curriculum level, there can be room for broadening sets of electives or minors from other study programmes/faculties;
  • multiperspectivism and critical thought can be embedded structurally in teaching practice by means of multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary course units, e.g. integration seminars, case studies, practicals, etc;
  • study programmes can offer interdisciplinary and/or socially relevant Master's dissertation topics and set up specific actions to stimulate such a choice of topic;
  • another important element is the choice of (active) teaching methods to encourage students to learn through discovery and confrontation on the one hand, and to challenge them on the other to reflect critically and exchange perspectives. This includes, for example, a work placement or professional field experience, PBL tutorials, discussion groups, group work, project work, excursions, etc.
  • the choice of assessment methods can also stimulate a critical mind-set. Think, for example, of student portfolios, peer assessment, simulation or role- play, etc.

Last modified April 12, 2022, 10:37 a.m.