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Dutch Debates – Topical Questions in Dutch Society, Culture I


Admission requirements

This course is linked to the course ‘Culture and Society of the Netherlands: An Inside View’ 5810MSCN. Combining the two courses is highly recommended for students with no prior knowledge of Dutch culture and society. Students with prior knowledge of Dutch culture and society (for example because you are Dutch) should be prepared to fill in the gaps in their knowledge.


As mentioned above, this course is strongly linked to ‘Culture and Society of the Netherlands’. In the Dutch Debates’ course, you will broaden and deepen your knowledge of the topics of that course. Each week, we will study the topic from different angles, both from the Dutch perspective and in an international context. Not only scholarly articles and reports, but also interviews with Dutch citizens are part of the varied weekly assignments that you will work on in a small group.

In class, you will report orally on the assignment you have done. In small group discussions, led by one of the group members, all the different perspectives will be heard. After the discussions, some groups will present their outcomes to the whole class. As participation of all students is essential for these discussions, active participation is required. It is expected from participants that they prepare for the classes and contribute to the discussions, both outside, and during class hours.

The final sessions are for reflection, watching a film, and for preparation for the final paper. In the final paper, you relate what they have seen of the Netherlands with what you have discussed with Dutch people and with what you have learned during the course. You will pitch your paper, have the opportunity to discuss what you struggle with, and get feedback from your peers.

Course objectives

During this course, students:

  • will learn the backgrounds of several topical subjects in the Netherlands from different perspectives

  • will read, summarize and recapitulate academic texts and place them in the debate

  • will meet with people and places in the Netherlands and experience the subjects firsthand

  • will develop their intercultural communication skills by presenting and discussing with other international students

  • will work in international groups


The timetables are avalable through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Assessment method

Assessment and Weighing

  • 10% - attendance and active participation is mandatory; absence or insufficient participation will have to be compensated with a written assignment

  • 30% - Midterm assignment: summarize and recapitulate a scholarly text

  • 60% - Final field trip, pitch and paper

  • 15-minute paper in week 12: reflection on learning in an international group (must be completed)
    The final mark for this course is established by determining the weighted average.


Students who fail the course, will get the opportunity to revise their final paper.

Inspection and feedback

Feedback on papers will be available on line.
Unsatisfactory final papers will be discussed with the student.

Reading list

Reading materials will depend on the exact program of the course ‘Culture and Society of the Netherlands’ and vary per group. A list with reading materials per group will be made available on Brightspace.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website.

Registration Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Reuvensplaats


Not applicable.