The winners of the UU Teacher Awards 2016-2017 are Alexei Karas and Ingmar Swart. Both lecturers were nominated by members of Utrecht University's many study associations.
Economist Alexei Karas won the Outstanding Teacher Award 2016-2017. Chemistry and Physics lecturer Ingmar Swart, won the Teacher Talent Award.
Outstanding Teacher Award
Alexei Karas is Associate Professor of Economics and Head of Department at University College Roosevelt (UCR). Students commend Alexei for his passion and for the way he tailors his teaching style to address every type of student. He continues his explanation in all kinds of creative and diverse ways until eventually every student understands the subject completely.
Evidence-based vision on teaching and learning
The jury recognised that Alexei's teaching style reflects his evidence-based vision on teaching and learning. ‘Alexei keeps up with all the recent developments in pedagogy and he uses them in his constant search to improve his teaching’. The jury also commended Alexei for his use of innovations that give students control over their own learning, and for the fact that he collects data to determine whether these innovations actually improve students' learning.
The jury was particularly impressed by the fact that he makes economics 'fun' by embodying economic concepts and by including current societal issues in his teaching. For example, Alexei gets his students to simulate an economy by buying 'smiles' from each other using euros, and then subjects this student economy to an economic crisis. ‘Alexei Karas was the most formative and inspiring teacher I ever had in my life. His ability and effort to understand the needs of students is unparalleled,' says UCR student, Max Smeets.