Balancing tradition and change

University education has changed significantly in recent decades, and continues to do so, as the expectations of students, stakeholders and society towards universities evolve. This process is further influenced by universities’ diverse historical, disciplinary and regional backgrounds. The 2020 European Learning & Teaching Forum explores how institutions balance tried and trusted practices and innovative approaches to learning and teaching in a dynamic and increasingly digital and international environment.


Through a mix of plenary and parallel sessions, the Forum provides a platform for discussion on how universities enhance learning and teaching, while also presenting the work of the 2019 EUA Learning & Teaching Thematic Peer Groups. The Forum is an ideal event for vice-rectors for academic affairs, deans, and management involved in learning and teaching. It also welcomes students, policy-makers and other stakeholders in higher education.

For updates, look out for #EUALearnTeach on Twitter and/or join the LinkedIn group Learning & Teaching in European Higher Education.  

Hosted by

logo utrecht university








Foto Henk KummelingWhile Utrecht University is known as a strong research university, we are proud of our long-standing tradition of investing in educational innovation. At many universities across the globe, the balance between research and education has been distorted: often, research is being valued over education in academic careers. Utrecht University understands that to refine this balance, a gradual organisational change is needed. At our university, a strong educational policy helps to ensure that education and educational innovation are anchored in the institution.

Utrecht University realises that major societal changes require the university to take on a new role. We give substance to this change by making the university permeable and to ensure interaction between the university and society. With initiatives such as Meet the Professor, where professors come into contact with primary school pupils, we open the university up to the outside world. Our strong focus on Community Service Learning is another example of how we encourage the intertwining of university and society at large.

To encourage educational innovation at our university, it is key that teaching staff feels empowered and in control of their teaching. Our vision is that our academic teaching staff is pivotal in the innovation of teaching at Utrecht University. The Utrecht Educational Model, the basis for the organisation of education, encourages this by providing a clear framework of teaching qualifications (such as the University Teaching Qualification, introduced by Utrecht University), while simultaneously leaving room for personal choice and development for teachers.

Utrecht University strongly believes in step-wise development. We aim to take measures that challenge people to step outside their comfort zone and learn. Finding the right balance is crucial in this. Good policy requires both a vision for the future of the university, as well as consistency: a dot on the horizon that allows for the slow and adaptive culture change that is needed to alter the system.

Henk Kummeling,  Rector Magnificus, Utrecht University

©Dick Boetekees



Founded in 1636 and located in the heart of the Netherlands, Utrecht University is one of Europe's leading research universities. The university is located in one of the most competitive regions in Europe and was shortlisted for the Global Teaching Excellence Award 2017. The university conducts fundamental and societally relevant research into a vast array of disciplines that inspires multidisciplinary research inside and outside the university. But the university is not only recognised internationally for its high-quality research, it is also known for its outstanding, innovative and inclusive education. Utrecht University has always been at the forefront of excellent and pioneering education. At the university, teaching is embedded in a vision based on the Utrecht Educational Model. This results in outstanding academic outcomes for our over 30,000 students, studying at our 45 bachelor's programmes and 140 master's programmes.

Utrecht University brings a range of ideas, experiences and good practices to the European Learning & Teaching Forum series. We would like to share these practices with colleagues from all over Europe. At Utrecht University we are also constantly looking for ideas to develop our own education and we are very interested in learning from the projects of partner institutions across Europe. Furthermore, we believe that hosting the Forum for partner institutions of higher education will improve and help deepen existing partnerships and exchange and foster new ones. Interaction and discussion with international colleagues, while working on similar educational themes, will have a positive impact and improve the quality of academic education.

This video gives a short impression of Utrecht University.


Photo Utrecht City credits Ivar Pel resizedUtrecht, a lively student city in the heart of the Netherlands, can be easily reached by air (50 minutes by train from Amsterdam Schiphol airport), train and car. Utrecht provides a beautiful and inspiring urban setting for nurturing talent and creativity. It is a dynamic, growing city that is characterised by a personal, human scale. Utrecht has a rich history going back almost 2,000 years and an architectural legacy that reflects both its medieval and modern history. The original city centre remains largely intact, and the Dom Tower, a symbol of Utrecht, rises high above the city, surrounded by picturesque canals, elegant parks and its central shopping district. Cafes and restaurants offering cuisines from around the world, cinemas, clubs, boutiques and cultural venues give Utrecht its unique vitality and atmosphere. Most of Utrecht University’s students live off-campus in the city itself, contributing to Utrecht’s youthful and dynamic energy. The bustling student community includes more than 150 different student organisations and societies. Utrecht uses innovation and sustainable initiatives to meet new challenges and achieve its ambitions. Thanks to the help of a young, talented workforce and a citywide programme to create a sustainable society, Utrecht was recently voted the most competitive region in Europe.


Photo © Ivar Pel

Forum Venues

Forum sessions on Thursday 13 and 14 February 

Utrecht University
University Hall
Domplein 29
3512 JE Utrecht

Forum dinner on Thursday 13 February

De Utrechter
Vredenburg 40
3511 BD Utrecht
A map with the location of the different venues and hotels (see Accommodation tab) can be consulted here.

Social Programme

De Utrechter outside credits Algemeen Dagblad
The Forum dinner will take place at De Utrechter on Thursday 13 February at 19:30. - The restaurant is situated on the ground floor of a historic building in the centre of Utrecht. It is a lively spot, interweaving the history of the site with a contemporary menu, mainly using local produce. De Utrechter is located at a 10 minute-walking distance from the Forum venue.


For more information on how to get to the venue and practicalities for the Forum, please consult both documents below:


© Algemeen Dagblad

The primary target of the Forum are vice-rectors for academic affairs, deans, programme directors, academic staff, and researchers interested in learning and teaching. The Forum also welcomes the participation of students, policy-makers and other stakeholders in higher education.

EUA aims to ensure participation of all members who wish to attend EUA events. However, each event has a limited capacity, and to guarantee a fair balance amongst countries and institutions, EUA may have to restrict attendance. As a result, EUA reserves the right to refuse registrations if there are too many participants from any one institution. Priority will be given to those who register early. We will not be able to accept additional registrations once the event is full, even if this occurs before the registration deadline. 

The early registration deadline is 8 January 2020

The overall deadline for registration is 29 January 2020.

newregister button



Registration fees


 (up to 8 January)

 (after 8 January) 

 EUA members



 Non-members (Academic/Public sector)*



 Non-members (Industry/Private sector)






*This category includes higher education institutions, public authorities and NGOs.
**to benefit from this fee, please contact the EUA Events Team, who will provide you with an “EUA Student Certificate form”, which has to be signed and stamped by your institution’s secretariat.

Please note that by filling in the registration form for an event you agree to full payment of registration fees.

The registration fee (members, non-members and students) includes attendance at the Forum, all documentation, coffee breaks, lunches and the Forum dinner on Thursday 13 February 2020.

Participant fees do not cover travel and accommodation expenses or post-Forum programmes.

Please note that by filling in the registration form for an event you agree to full payment of registration fees. Your registration will be confirmed by email. Please wait for your confirmation before making any further arrangements.

Registrations will not be processed without payment. Payment has to be made upon confirmation and prior to the event by bank transfer or by credit card. The participant assumes full responsibility for paying all bank charges associated with the payment. Please bring the payment confirmation with you to the Forum for presentation at the registration desk.

If a cancellation is received on or before 15 January 2020 an administration charge of 30% of the registration fee remains due. Any refunds will be made after the Forum. Participants who cancel after 15 January 2020 or fail to attend, will be liable to pay the entire registration fee. Substitutes will be accepted at any time provided that EUA is informed of the change. 

Cancellations or changes must be sent in writing to the following email address:


Neither EUA nor Utrecht University will be liable for any losses, accidents or damage to persons or objects, regardless of the cause. Participants and companions attend the Forum and all related events at their own risk and responsibility.

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the EUA events team at


EUA Coordination team
For enquiries regarding the programme, please contact:

Helene Peterbauer
Policy & Project Officer
Tel: +32 2 230 55 44

For enquiries regarding registrationsvisa applications, and general coordination, please contact:

Sabien De Hanscutter
Events Manager
Tel: +32 2 230 55 44

Arianna Palomba
Events & Marketing Officer
Tel: +32 2 230 55 44

Coordination at Utrecht University

For enquiries regarding payments, please contact:

Sarah Gresnigt
Event Manager


The call for contributions for the 2020 European Learning & Teaching Forum is now closed. 

Authors will be informed in November whether their contribution has been selected for presentation at the Forum.


Block reservations for participants have been made at special rates in hotels of different categories for the period of the Forum.

Hotels are to be booked by the participant directly on a first-come, first-served basis. Please note that rates are only valid for reservations directly made through the respective links below. Participants are advised to make their hotel reservations as soon as possible.

Please find here the map with the location of the Forum venues and the hotels that are listed below.

Vredenburg 14, 3511 BA Utrecht

Double room €120 (breakfast included)
Reservation deadline: 15 January
Reservation via booking link

Ariënslaan 1, 3573 PT Utrecht

Deluxe Room €88,50
Superior Room €93,50
Superior Room+ €105,50
Breakfast excluded (€17,50)                     

Reservation deadline: 2 January
Reservation via booking form and email to

Jaarbeursplein 24, 3511 EC Utrecht
Standard Double €155 (breakfast included)

Reservation deadline: 16 January
Reservation via booking link

Smakkelaarshoek 24, 3511 EC Utrecht

City Room €149 (breakfast included)
City XL €159 (breakfast included)

Reservation deadline: 12 January 
Reservation via booking link

Boven Catharijnepoort 4, 3511 WN Utrecht, Netherlands
Hilton Hotel offers the lowest rate in the city. Click here to book, using the Group Code UNU’                        

Reservation deadline: 15 January
Reservation via booking link

Westplein 50, 3531 BL Utrecht

Superior room: € 129 (breakfast included)
Reservation deadline: 15 January
Reservation via booking link


Get involved

Previous Events

  • 2019 European Learning & Teaching Forum

    Towards successful learning: Controversies and common ground

    14 - 15 Feb 2019 Conference University of Warsaw

    The 2019 European Learning & Teaching Forum ‘Towards successful learning: Controversies and common ground’ builds on the recognition that there is no...

    Read more
  • 1st European Learning & Teaching Forum

    Meeting Challenges Together

    28 - 29 Sep 2017 Conference University Pierre and Marie Curie (UPMC)

    The European Learning & Teaching Forum facilitated the exchange of experience on learning and teaching in changing learning landscapes. The European...

    Read more
Comfortable read mode Normal mode X