Valedictory Speech June 20, 2019

Learning and Teaching in Critical-Democratic Citizenship Education

Wiel Veugelers

University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht, the Netherlands, 2019

In his valedictory speech as professor of education at the University of Humanistic Studies Wiel Veugelers analyses developments in theory, policy and practice of moral education and citizenship education in the past few decades. He criticises the strong focus on the individual and its adaptation to society. Instead, he argues for a stronger link of autonomy with social concern and social justice, connecting the moral and the political, and a critical and dynamic concept of democracy.

Learning should be considered as a reflective, dialogical and democratic process of meaning giving. In guiding these learning processes, teachers should include different perspectives and introduce moral values as criteria in reflection and critical thinking. Schools should be as democratic and inclusive as possible. He argues for a return to the ‘sixties’ and their combination of personal and collective emancipation, or in more contemporary concepts: the combination of autonomy and social justice.

Wiel Veugelers was professor of education at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht, the Netherlands, from 2002 to 2019.

You can download the book that includes the extended version of the valedictory speech at:

Book Education for Democratic Citizenship Education

Education for Democratic Intercultural Citizenship

Wiel Veugelers (ed.) (2019)

Leiden/Boston: Brill Sense

Education for Democratic Intercultural Citizenship (EDIC) is very relevant in contemporary societies. All citizens, but in particular teachers, curriculum developers, educational policy makers, and educational professionals in civil society (NGOs) have a crucial role in this. Seven European universities are working together in developing a curriculum to prepare their students for this important academic, social and political task (Helsinki, Tallinn, Prague, Bath Spa, Barcelona, Thessaloniki, Humanistic Studies Utrecht). (see As part of an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership they each develop a module in the area of moral, intercultural and citizenship education. All modules are international and inquiry oriented, and make links with society.    

In this book the leading scholars write the theoretical background of their module, their curriculum guidelines and goals, the concrete programmes, and the experiences of students. The universities had an annual intensive programme in which students and teachers of all universities came together to have try-outs of parts of the modules. These programmes contributed strongly to the network building of researchers, teachers and students. All these activities have given a strong stimulus to the implementation of Education for Democratic Intercultural Citizenship in the participating universities and in educational organisations worldwide. The experiences show both the necessity and the relevance of this topic and this kind of collaboration.

You can download the (open access) book ‘Education for Democratic Intercultural Citizenship’ at:

Erasmus + Strategic Partnership EDIC+

Each university has developed an EDIC+module in the area of its own expertise on moral and citizenship education. These modules are available for Master- and PhD-students specialising in the field of education. Each university will organise a national seminar to disseminate the program in May 2019. A final conference will be held in Utrecht on June 19-20, 2019.

For more information or to enrol in a module, go to or send an email to Danielle Drenth,

Education plays a central role in preparing youngsters for a democratic society, for active participation and greater social justice and tolerance in all domains of society. Given this important task for education, it is necessary to train a new generation of educational professionals that can contribute to this development.

EDIC+ is an Erasmus Strategic Partnership on education and intercultural citizenship for Master- and PhD-students from all over Europe and from outside Europe. EDIC+ is a collaboration of the University of Barcelona, Bath-Spa University, the University of Helsinki, Charles University Prague, the University of Tallinn, Aristotle University Thessaloniki and the University of Humanistic Studies Utrecht.

The programme is coordinated by Prof. Wiel Veugelers from the University of Humanistic Studies (

The main focus of this international educational programme is to establish a platform for young educators and researchers to work and learn together, to have international experiences, to create opportunities to publish and to contribute to each other?s projects for educational change.


  • University of Helsinki (29-10-2018 – 16-12-2018) Teachers Moral Competence in Pedagogical Encounters
  • Tallinn University (02-11-2018 – 14-12-2018) Educational Policy and Citizenship Education
  • Bath Spa University (14-01-2019 – 25-01-2019) Social and Educational Inclusion in Schools and their Communities
  • University of Humanist ic Studies, Utrecht (18-02-2019 – 22-02-2019) Theory and Practice of Citizenship Education: Teaching Democracy and Tolerance
  • University of Barcelona (01-04-2019 – 21-05-2019). Ethical Competences for Democratic Citizenship at School and in Families
  • Charles University, Prague (09-04-2019 – 22-04-2019). Theater of the Oppressed and Educational Activities in Civil Society
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (04-03-2019 – 31-05-2019). Multicultural/Intercultural Education

EDIC module at University of Humanistic Studies

Theory and Practice of Citizenship Education: Teaching Democracy and

How can we address moral values and citizenship in education? In this
interdisciplinary module we try to answer this question in a theoretical as well as in a practice-oriented way by comparing different international approaches derived from research and our own international classroom. Lectures of different (inter)national teachers like prof. Filimon Peonides from Aristotle University Thessaloniki and prof. Wiel Veugelers from our own university will be combined with excursions to schools and educational NGO’s. Would you like to learn more about citizenship education and specifically about democracy and tolerance in educational policy and practice?Come and join us for the week in February!
Practical information
When: 18-22 February 2019
Where: University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht
For whom: Master and PhD students
Coordinat or : Wiel Veugelers
More information:
Cont act and regist er :

Member UNESCO research group on Global Citizenship Education

The UNESCO Chair in Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education, organized February 2016 a research conference on Global Citizenship Education at the University of California, in Los Angeles (UCLA). Wiel Veugelers, professor of Education at the University of Humanistic Studies and member of the international research committee presented a paper on The Moral and the Political in Global Citizenship and Global Citizenship Education.
Global Citizenship Education (GCE) is a central target of the post-2015 education agenda for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. However, many questions remain regarding the nature and possibilities of educational initiatives that can foster GCE.The International Research Conference on Global Citizenship Education will provide a much-needed cooperative and dialogical academic space where over twenty international experts through regional perspectives and from multiple disciplines will present innovative approaches, best-practices, and critiques concerning theories, methodologies, policies, and pedagogies of GCE.


The latest Lead the Change interview with Wiel Veugelers, professor of education at the University of Humanistic Studies in Utrecht, the Netherlands, serves as an interesting read in juxtaposition to the Ehren post. Veugelers, a long time scholar of education change issues around the world, argues that we need to pay attention to the socializing function of education and the role education plays in the development of citizens. Veugelers explains, “I think a socially just global world needs to develop a strong unyielding bond between autonomy and social concern. The Western world should become more social, many other parts of the world more autonomous. Therefore, it is important that we pay attention to the purpose of educational change.” Towards the end of the interview, Veugeler shares what excites him about educational change:

…educational change is, in actual fact, thinking about what kind of world we want and how we can contribute to making it happen…it is also important to make our research really international; to make our knowledge multipolar, to paraphrase Chantal Mouffe. This means that we recognize different ideas and practices and give more credits to other visions.

Leading the Change

The SIG Educational Change of AERA (American Educational Research Association) pays in the series “Leading the Change’ each month attention to one scholar in the field.

October 2016 my work features. Read the interview



Beta-break: de universiteit wat nu

Poster-juni-2015-v2-kvoPlots was er (weer) een revolutie gaande op de UvA, compleet met bestormingen, bezettingen en bijbehorende rollende koppen. De BètaBreak bekijkt op 10 juni de gevolgen van dit revolutiejaar en stelt zich de vraag: wat is de toekomst van de universiteit? Bij de editie zijn Karen Maex, Huub Dijstelbloem en Wiel Veugelers te gast.

Decaan Karen Maex werd aangesteld midden in de storm rond de bètafusie en is inmiddels anderhalf jaar decaan van de FNWI. Hoe speelt zij in op de veranderingen die er nu gaande zijn? Wat zijn de ontwikkelingen op onze eigen faculteit? Huub Dijstelbloem is mede-initiatiefnemer van het platform Science in Transition en was meermaals aanwezig in het bezette Maagdenhuis. Wiel Veugelers is hoogleraar educatie aan de Universiteit voor Humanistiek en doet onderzoek naar hoger onderwijs en maatschappelijke verantwoordelijkheid.

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