Free Online Course to Become a Student Assistant

‘Becoming a Student Assistant: Teaching and Mentoring’ is a free online course by the University of Groningen available on This course is designed for anyone with a passion for higher education.

The overall objective of this course is to learn how to be professionally involved in teaching, support and governing of higher education institutions. The course will start on April 17, 2017.

Course At A Glance

Length: 4 weeks
Effort: 5 hours pw
Subject: Teaching and Mentoring
Institution: University of Groningen and Future Learn
Languages: English
Price: Free
Certificate Available: Yes
Session: Starts on April 17, 2017

Providers’ Details

The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook, deeply rooted in Groningen, in the north of the Netherlands. Quality has had top priority for 400 years, and with success the University is currently in or around the top 100 on several influential ranking lists.

About This Course

The University of Groningen currently employs over 700 student assistants and has opened up all of its governing bodies to student participation. Students at the University of Groningen:

  • Take up teaching duties, like facilitating small group teaching sessions;
  • Take up support role functions, like running the helpdesk for the online learning environment;
  • Are involved in research and university councils;
  • Mentor first year students;
  • Assist with the production of online courses;
  • And even run facilities such as the sports centre.

Why Take This Course?

This is a free online course. This MOOC will be offered with Video Transcripts in English.  Applicants can get a verified certificate.

But how do you prepare for a job as a student assistant? What are the possibilities for you, as a student, and for the institution to be involved in the organisation of a university? How do you behave professionally involved in the organisation of a higher education institution? How do you represent the interests of peers in a meeting of a governing body? This free online course will cover these and many more questions.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this course, applicant will be able to:

  • Contribute professionally in a higher education working environment,
  • Develop a well-founded opinion of what is a good university teacher and mentor,
  • Identify the basic principles for designing a course,
  • Explore the aspects of how to teach a small group session in an interactive way while paying attention to classroom management and atmosphere,
  • Interpret constructive written feedback on assignments,
  • Reflect on challenges students participating in governing bodies face.


Ine Noben

Lead educator of the course “Students Taking Charge of Higher Education” and  educational advisor and teacher trainer at the University of Groningen

Klaas van Veen

He works as professor in educational studies and as director of the Teacher Education institute of the University of Groningen.

Robbert van Veen

As educator of the course “Students Taking Charge of Higher Education”, he helped design content about professional behaviour, mentoring and governing.

Student assistants

They are the student assistants of the course “Students taking charge of higher education”.


This course is designed for anyone with a passion for higher education. The course is specifically tailored to the needs of students and employees, who are involved in teaching, support and participation in governing bodies of higher education institutions.

How To Join This Course

  • Go to the course website link
  • Sign Up At FutureLearn
  • Select a course and Join
  • Once a course has started, applicant will be able to access the course material
  • After the start date, students will be able to access the course by following the Go To Course link on My Courses page.
  • Applicants can buy, to show that they have completed a FutureLearn course.
  • On some FutureLearn courses, learners will be able to pay to take an exam to qualify for a Statement of Attainment. (These are university-branded, printed certificates that provide proof of learning on the course topic(s)).

Apply Now

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