University Teaching Qualification

Dutch universities within the VSNU have created a certificate of quality for lecturers. The University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) is evidence of the teaching skills of lecturers in academic education.


The UTQ programme encompasses a customised teaching development phase, culminating in the evaluation of a portfolio: lecturers are supported and guided by a senior lecturer and/or educationalist, and they learn and reflect within a community of lecturers.


The UTQ provides uniformity both in the competencies which academic lecturers must acquire and in how these competencies are tested. At the same time, there is scope for each university to put their own spin on the qualification for optimal alignment with the needs of their institution, programmes and lecturers.


More information about the UTQ can be found in:

  1. the 2018 VSNU report ‘Professionalisation of university lecturers – The UTQ and beyond'
  2. the 2016 report ‘De BKO in de praktijk (The UTQ in practice)’ of the Working Group University Education Centres (WUO) (Dutch only)

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Mutual recognition of the UTQ

In 2008, the universities agreed to mutually recognise the University Teaching Qualification. Agreements were made about the features and content of the qualification. All universities included these features in their own qualifications. This recognition meant that certified lecturers would be recognised by all participating institutions as lecturers qualified in academic education, without having to undergo further testing. In 2017, all universities as a cluster take part in a peer review of the UTQ. A national report will be published in spring 2018 with the results of this peer review.

On 23 January 2008, the 14 Dutch universities signed the mutual recognition agreement: Eindhoven University of Technology, Maastricht University, University of Twente, Radboud University, University of Groningen, Tilburg University, Delft University of Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Leiden University, VU University Amsterdam, Wageningen University and Research Centre, Utrecht University, University of Amsterdam and the Open University.

Trend followers

Other university-level higher education institutions have expressed a desire to join the mutual recognition agreement. These institutions are known as 'trend followers'. The UTQ schemes of the following institutions are recognised by the Dutch universities:











Peer review UTQ
In 2017, all universities as a cluster took part in a peer review of the UTQ. This peer review yielded rich results. All universities have learnt a lot from the insider view into each other's practices and have implemented these lessons into their own institutions.

The UTQ appears very well embedded in all institutions and is greatly appreciated, not only by the qualifying lecturers but also by the degree programmes undergoing improvement and/or innovation. Accordingly, the universities answer the question of whether mutual recognition of the UTQ is sustainable with a resounding yes. 

In addition to maintaining and safeguarding the high quality level of the UTQ, universities are becoming increasingly engaged in the development and expansion of lecturer professionalism before and after the UTQ. Embedding it in the HR policy is also a point of attention here.


Professionalisation of university lecturers


The University Teaching Qualification is ten years old. Want to know more? Watch this video!