13 July 2017 • by Patricia Bulsing
Nutrition and Dietetics degree programme ready for the future
In a world with a strong focus on nutrition, diets and good health, fully up-to-date and officially registered dieticians are in high demand, professionals who can create order in the chaos and express views based on research (evidence-based), not hype, and who stay abreast of developments in society. To train students to effectively face these challenges, the Nutrition and Dietetics degree programme will have an entirely new curriculum starting next academic year (2017-2018).
The updated curriculum in The Hague differs from other Nutrition and Dietetics degree programmes because it focuses on technology. During their studies, students will have the opportunity to work with the latest technologies. This includes printing food using a 3D food printer, such as safe food for people with swallowing problems, and experimenting with form and texture to prepare food that is appealing. Students may also study the influence of apps and wearables on people’s behaviour: do they actually maintain a healthier diet if they keep track of their nutritional intake using a food app? This teaches students to both use technology and conduct research.
Business aspects and collaboration
dieticians need to work extra hard to prove their worth. So students also need to learn the business side of the profession, a topic that plays a prominent role in the Nutrition and Dietetics degree programme. Entrepreneurship, networking and collaboration go hand in hand. Students taking part in the updated degree programme participate in learning communities. They learn to work together, also with students of other disciplines, which is what will be required of them in professional practice. They primarily collaborate with fellow students and older students, but also work together with doctors, professionals and students of other degree programmes.
Practice as the basis
Another major change to the curriculum is the more practice-oriented and thematic approach within the programme. Students no longer take a series of individual subjects, but hands-on experience forms the basis of the theory. This may entail examining a client with diabetes to determine whether he is maintaining a healthy diet. We will then take a closer look at the literature: what is healthy and what is not? And what does good health mean with this specific clinical picture? What happens in the body of diabetics? And how can a dietician address this with the client? What are the eating habits in different cultures and countries? A study abroad is also an option!
According to Marleen, a current Nutrition and Dietetics student who has been involved in the development of the new curriculum, the new programme is a tremendous step forward. ‘The extensive choice of options lets students make their academic career a lot more personal. This should not only motivate students more, but also improve their academic performance. And future students will also have much more contact with the professional field, enabling them to gain a lot more direct experience. This fits in perfectly with the vision of the degree programme: Get connected!’
Thanks to the new curriculum, the Nutrition and Dietetics degree programme is ready for the future. Students develop a professional, independent and creative attitude, one that is completely future-proof and exactly what the professional field needs!
Want to learn more about the curriculum? Keep track of our progress at www.vdgetconnected.com or stop by one of the lecturers’ offices in Slinger 6.62.
Right: Philippe Van Puymbroeck