University of Twente Student Theses


Learning for life in the digital age : the role of universities in promoting students’ well-being

Borgdorf, L. (2021) Learning for life in the digital age : the role of universities in promoting students’ well-being.

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Abstract:This thesis investigates the following research question: How does the deployment of digital technologies in tertiary education affect students’ well-being, and how should the tertiary educational model protect and promote students’ well-being? At first, I endorse a theory of well-being based on Aristotle’s eudaimonia and Self-Determination Theory from psychology. Following this approach, well-being consists of intrinsic aspirations, autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Secondly, using the University of Twente (UT) as an example, I reveal three underlying assumptions of the current educational model at the UT by scrutinising the digital technologies and current policies deployed at the UT. The three underlying assumptions are (1) learning is merely a means to an end, (2) disembodied learning, and (3) learning only happens in the individual which is regarded as independent of its environment. Thirdly, I analyse how these assumptions pose a risk on students’ well-being by threatening their autonomy, competence, and relatedness, and by acting rather towards extrinsic than intrinsic aspirations. Finally, I give examples for possible improvements of education from a well-being perspective by revising the three assumptions based on the previous critique. The revised assumptions are (1) self-endorsed learning, (2) embodied learning, and (3) co-constitution of the individual and their environment.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:08 philosophy
Programme:Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society MSc (60024)
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