Hogeschool van Amsterdam

HoGhent and AUAS: spotlight on occupational therapy

24 Feb 2019 13:35 | Communication

University College Ghent (HoGhent) and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS) are working to boost expertise on occupational therapy across borders. An annual international workshop and a mini-exchange offered in AUAS’ Occupational Therapy bachelor degree programme are strengthening this partnership.

International community development workshop

For the past nine years, AUAS has participated in an annual interprofessional workshop focusing on community development. It’s hosted in a different country each year – the 2018-2019 edition was recently held at HoGhent from 29-30 November 2018. The annual event attracts around 25 students each year.

This successful annual event is diverse both in terms of its content and participants. The workshop theme is analysed from various disciplines, such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, exercise therapy, social work and speech and language therapy, with lecturers sharing their professional expertise and research on community development.

The workshop is well-attended by students and lecturers from universities of applied sciences across Europe, with regular participation from the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany. It always includes a combination of lectures and field work, ensuring that participants see local community development in action. The next workshop, for the 2019-2020 academic year, will be organised at the AUAS.

“For lecturer-researchers like myself, these international workshops are very helpful in promoting teacher exchanges and connecting with fellow PhD candidates to strengthen our networks and inspire each other. U!REKA is helping us to build on the great relationship we have with HoGhent and to identify new ways of working together,” says Rieke Hengelaar, AUAS occupational therapy lecturer-researcher and PhD candidate.

Open module: Informal caregiving

The success of the international workshop and creation of U!REKA also led to the exploration of new exchange opportunities between the two institutions. This is the second consecutive year that AUAS has offered students from HoGhent the opportunity to participate in a year-two module in its Occupational Therapy bachelor degree programme.

Focusing on informal caregiving (in Dutch: mantelzorg), this four-week course examines the challenges and dynamics that caregivers experience when supporting family members. Since AUAS currently offers this programme in Dutch, it’s a perfect fit to involve students and lecturers from HoGhent, where the main language of instruction is also Dutch.

Belgian students can sign up for the course as a mini-exchange, spending a month studying at the AUAS. Guest lecturer from HoGhent, are also regularly invited to participate, ensuring that the Belgian perspective is integrated in the module.  

The module for the 2019-2020 academic year will take place in October 2019 and so far five students from HoGhent have already signed up.