About NIE


A new approach to education is needed to fully integrate the knowledge and skills from various disciplines and to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the complex problems our societies are facing, while being themselves in transition. Interdisciplinary education aims to address this demand and is being developed at universities worldwide for more than half a century. The NIE is a consortium of Dutch Universities that are developing exciting interdisciplinary education at all levels, be it courses, capstones or entire degree programs. We share experiences in developing interdisciplinary education and explore ways to stimulate research-education interlinkages, resulting in theoretically and experience driven interdisciplinary innovation.

Being one of the first of its kind worldwide, the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies (IIS) has been offering interdisciplinary bachelor’s and master’s education at the University of Amsterdam since 1996.  While preparing the 2019 Association for Interdisciplinary Studies conference in Amsterdam, the IIS in 2016 started to build an active interdisciplinary education network in the Netherlands – and the rest of the world – to combine forces to cope with the challenges that interdisciplinary education brings, and to define the standards of interdisciplinary education together. This resulted, among other things, in organizing an interdisciplinary conference for all academic universities and universities for applied sciences –HBO- in the Netherlands and Belgium. The first National Interdisciplinary Education Conference (NIEC) took place in February 2017. In 2018, I4TU.CEE followed hosted by Eindhoven University. The third edition was hosted by Utrecht University in 2019. Maastricht University will host the fourth NIE conference in June 2022. During the period of lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, five online events took place, focusing on various topics, such as Arts-Science collaborations, project-based teaching and learning and actionability.


The conferences are organised by and for higher education and research staff, who are interested in interdisciplinary learning and teaching activities, and pedagogical theory and practice. They provide room for discussion, exploration and sharing of best practices related to interdisciplinary learning, teaching activities and research-teaching interlinkages. In addition, the events contribute to the development of a professional interdisciplinary community in the Netherlands. Please see Past Conferences for more information.


We welcome feedback and informal expressions of interest for hosting a future conference (please contact us at onderwijslab-iis@uva.nl).

Prof. Teun Dekker – Maastricht University – teun.dekker@maastrichtuniversity.nl

Drs Linda de Greef – University of Amsterdam – l.degreef@uva.nl

Dr Merel van Goch – Utrecht University – m.m.vangoch@uu.nl

Dr Machiel Keestra – University of Amsterdam – M.Keestra@uva.nl

Dr Rianne van Lambalgen – Utrecht University – r.m.vanlambalgen@uu.nl

Prof.  Iris van der Tuin – Utrecht University – i.vandertuin@uu.nl


For more information, please contact us at onderwijslab-iis@uva.nl.
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