What will the world look like in the future? What does it need? We don’t know exactly, but we can certainly make a prediction. What we know is that our future will be partly determined by the complex social challenges we are currently facing. In order to cope with these challenges in the broadest and most all-encompassing way possible, it is important to cooperate; to combine forces between various parties and disciplines. The Pressure Cooker endeavours to contribute to this by making students aware of that force of connecting and cooperating, and teaches them to actively look over the ‘fence’ of the University into society.
By allowing academia to intervene with companies and other socially-relevant organisations on the basis of a real issue from practice, it becomes clear to both the student and to the social partner how all these matters influence each other and the challenges. By training other skills, in addition to the general academic skills taught at university, the student gains knowledge about various methods and processes in order to be able to better serve both worlds.
The Pressure Cooker was developed by a team of lecturers from the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies in 2015 and 2016. I owe a great deal of gratitude to the lecturers and countless students who have collaborated on the development of this new teaching method. In particular, Jacintha Scheerder, Esther van Duin, Ger Post, Rutger Bults, Vincent Tijms, Anna Jorgensen, Silke van Beekum, Linda de Greef and Tim Bulters made a valuable contribution to the creation of the Pressure Cooker.
Pressure Cooker has been implemented within various degree programmes at the UvA with great satisfaction. That demands versatility from this educational activity. I hope that this handbook helps you to develop this teaching method for your students also and thus makes a successful and exciting contribution to their development.