The Fourth UM Global Citizenship Education Symposium

Maastricht University has committed to developing a repertoire of activities that ensure Global Citizenship Education for bachelor and master students. There are many different views on what global citizenship education entails, however.

One perspective on GCEd is offered by UNESCO (2018): “the goal of global citizenship education is to empower learners to engage and assume active roles both locally and globally to face and resolve global challenges and, ultimately, to become proactive contributors to a more just, peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable world”.

There are many examples of how GCEd can be contextualized in education. In recent years years, we have begun to explore how we can best make GCEd fit our local context and ambitions. 

On Thursday 22 June 2023 the Fourth UM Global Citizenship Education Symposium will allow educators, students and external stakeholders to learn more about (how we can foster) global citizenship. The symposium will take place at the Faculty of Law, Bouillonstraat 1-3, 6211 LH Maastricht.



What can you expect?

This year's symposium will have a focus on intercultural conflict within and around higher education and bring fresh perspectives on challenges we are facing, including the changing tone of the internationalisation debate in The Netherlands. We will also explore how we can apply what we learn, for instance in sessions on developing soft skills, citizenship for sustainability, transdisciplinary education and student-teacher co-creation.

Keynote presenters include Eleanor Brown, a senior lecturer in Education at the Centre for Research on Education and Social Justice at the University of York, who will discuss how critical pedagogy and transformative learning inform teaching for global citizenship in higher education. She will also address questions arising from calls to decolonise education. 

Wiel Veugelers, Emeritus Professor of Education at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht, will analyse developments in theory, policy, and practice of moral education and citizenship education in the past few decades and argue for connecting the moral and the political in global citizenship. 




Opening (10.00-10.15)

Keynote Eleanor Brown (10.15-11.00)


Morning session (11.15-12.30)

1 Citizenship for sustainability

Ceren Pekdemir, Clarence Bluntz (Maastricht Sustainability Institute), Katharina Schneider (Faculty of Science and Engineering), Anna Gaidosch, Hannah Finklenburg (Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience)

How can GCEd contribute to sustainable development? Lessons learned in an interdisciplinary minor Sustainability and elsewhere at UM will help participants imagine how they might equip students with the knowledge and skills to work towards a sustainable future.

2 Decolonising the curriculum

Eleanor Brown (York University), Lauren Wagner (Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences)

Participants will explore approaches to challenging and dismantling dominant Eurocentric perspectives and narratives that have historically shaped educational systems with examples from York and Maastricht.

3 Building character strength through Improv

Annika Nübold, Eliza de Sousa Fernandes Perna (Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience)

This session shows how global citizenship attitudes and virtues can be stimulated through improvisation theatre. It allows actors to think on their feet, make quick decisions, and explore different perspectives, as it fosters resilience, creativity, and empathy.


Lunch (12.30-13.15) with opportunities to attend:

Brown bag session Woke as Science

Constance Sommerey (UM Diversity & Inclusivity Office)

Who are the real progressives and who is too ‘woke’, too conservative, unscientific, unreasonable, etc? During this brown bag session, participants can continue the discussion on progressivism within the university context that Constance and Darian started in Episode 4 of their podcast Woke as Science. So, listen to the podcast episode, and let’s discuss claims of progressivism and consequences for the classroom.


Demo VR for Intercultural awareness

Nynke de Jong (Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Science) and students Global Studies

Global Studies Bachelor students developed a 360-degree video on ‘Intercultural Awareness' to help students adapt to an international classroom. Participants can watch the video and can ask questions about the process.


Keynote Wiel Veugelers (13.15-14.00)


Afternoon session (14.00-15.30)

1 Transdisciplinary education

Rene Brauer (School of Business and Economics), Fabienne Crombach (Edlab), Anke Swanenberg, Tosca Veerbeek (Wageningen University & Research)

Teaching and learning formats for integrating knowledge and methods from multiple disciplines to address complex real-world problems are emerging rapidly. Examples from UM, the University of Technology Sydney, and Society-Based Education at Wageningen University will trigger discussion on how such initiatives can be embedded within UM programs and scaled.

2 The student-teacher relationship

Dylan Vianen (Bildung Academie)

Inspired by co-creation projects run by Bildung Academie in Dutch higher education participants explore how we should conceive the student-teacher relationship if we strive for more co-creation and shared ownership. Under what conditions can students and teachers optimally contribute to each other's formation?

3 Managing intercultural conflict and violence prevention

Jenny Schell-Leugers (University College Maastricht), Francesca Lemme

In the first part of this session, participants learn about an innovative transdisciplinary educational module that helps to equip students across all disciplines with knowledge about the causes of violence, and tools to prevent violence before it occurs by examining the problem with societal stakeholders. In the second part, participants explore how nonviolent communication can help address intercultural conflict. Nonviolent Communication (NVC) emphasizes compassionate and nonjudgmental communication that focuses on identifying and expressing feelings and needs.


Closing panel discussion (15.45-17.00)

Faculty liaisons

A closing panel discussion will highlight GCEd related developments within UM faculties, bring different threads together and invite the audience to look forward at a time when flag bearers for international education need to step up.


In between sessions, there will be plenty of time for meeting local and international experts to exchange ideas and networking. 


You can find more information on GCEd at our website and register for the symposium here.