BUas & DTV partners in knowledge development

Breda University of Applied Sciences (BUas) and DTV Consultants have entered into a partnership, which involves both organisations working together on knowledge development in the discipline of traffic and mobility. The first projects have meanwhile been initiated.


Menno Slijboom, degree programme manager of Built Environment at BUas: ‘The discipline has seen enormous growth and has become increasingly complex. This is reflected in our degree programmes; we are teaching students to think and work from a more integrated perspective. We have also created more multidisciplinary approaches for our students to work along and we interconnect study routes where necessary, whereas we used to have the separate ‘tracks’ of Spatial Planning, Traffic Engineering, and Logistics within the Traffic Academy. This is a good thing, because the professional field is also asking for young professionals with a broad and integrated perspective. At the same time, this development means that, as an educator and knowledge institute, we have come to find ourselves in the situation where we simply cannot have in-depth expertise on each and every sub-topic. DTV Consultants does have this extensive specialist knowledge, for instance when it comes to themes such as cycling and smart mobility. At the moment, DTV Consultants is training one of our lecturers to be able to teach the subject of smart mobility.’

Developing study material

‘Drawing on each other’s qualities will enable us to open up the knowledge that the industry is asking for in an appropriate manner,’ says Willem Buijs, director of DTV Consultants. ‘Our cooperation will ensure that the material we develop complies with the quality standards for study material.’ As a practical example, Buijs mentions the knowledge clips on the theme of ‘Cycling’, which are currently being produced. ‘These clips will be useful in both the BUas degree programmes and in the courses of DTV Consultants.’

Online learning

‘In our partnership with DTV Consultants we are expecting to keep delivering value adds to both education and industry,’ Slijboom explains. ‘For instance, DTV Consultants has made huge strides in online education. The corona crisis has made it very clear just how relevant this is in our time. The approach of DTV Consultants teaches us how we can organise online learning for our students.’

Synergy instead of competition

‘Within the European project of CIVITAS ELEVATE we are now also working together on a concrete knowledge development track. In this process, we combine DTV Consultants’ knowledge of online learning with the “fresh brains” of BUas students,’ Buijs continues. ‘Additionally, we have joined forces in disseminating knowledge; BUas and DTV Consultants have set up the pillar of ‘DCE Learn’ in the Dutch Cycling Embassy, for example. ‘And we are active together in the “Academy” of the international Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) over Urban Mobility.’ Slijboom adds: ‘We want our students to take control over their own learning process. That is why we are developing learning communities around certain topics. This is also a teaching method in which we involve both internal and external knowledge. As an educator we enjoy working on challenges that the industry isn’t working on. This creates real synergy instead of competition.’

The circle is complete

The ties between the parties have also been strengthened in more day-to-day practice settings. Advisors of DTV Consultants regularly act as guest lecturers; graduates of BUas carry out research at the consultancy firm. Moreover, director Willem Buijs is an external examiner in the defence presentations of our final exam candidates. ‘Of course, there is a historical link between us,’ Buijs reports. ‘After all, in the 1980s, DTV Consultants started as a consultancy branch within what was then called NHTV. After DTV Consultants became independent, we each went our separate ways. It is great that we are now working closely together again, the circle is complete.’