Once a year, students at the University of Amsterdam can apply for an exchange program from a range of 350 partner universities worldwide. Last week, it was time for this year’s big reveal and to discover who was lucky enough to receive an offer. The university recently decided to implement a new exchange application procedure, in which entered students are randomly assigned to destinations through a draw. Such a lottery of chance has stirred strong emotions among the university’s students, leaving many disappointed, confused, and unmotivated by the new system. Is it fair for a university to subject their student’s fate to the luck of the draw, or should students be entitled to an application assessment based on their academic skills and credentials?
Ever since I was a child the memory of a colorful orange and red playground sticks out to me. The stomping feet of children playing tag or hide-and-go-seek with no care in the world are still vividly engrained in my mind. I can’t help but feel a joyous sensation when noticing a random playground in the wild with its vibrant and inviting colors – are we ever too old to experience the feeling of flying on a swing? As Lindsay McDonald, et al., wrote in their book titled Progress in Colour Studies: Cognition, language, and beyond, “a strong influence of experience is in line”. For me, these joyfully exhilarating colors connote the endless number of times I have played on various playgrounds with my friends.
Today is my 22nd birthday and as I woke up to face the reality of getting one year older, a wave of anxiety washed over me. What am I supposed to do with my life? Like many of my contemporaries, I constantly ask myself what I want to do with my career. Therefore, I decided to reflect on where I am today and jotted down 22 things that I have learned so far. I admit I am far from being an expert. However, I am a second-year Communication Science bachelor student with over seven years of working experience, as well as the co-founder of a business I started back in 2019. This has provided me with both interesting and surprising insights into what it means to be a young professional today.
The term “monolith” really suits UVA’s Roeterseiland campus: home to three different faculties, nearly 20,000 students and sitting on almost 50.000 square meters, nothing about Roeters- or Rec as it's more commonly known- can be described as small. Large and ever-expanding the area has grown into the UvA’s main campus. Is this something to be celebrated, however? Or has the sheer size, exacerbated by the amount of funds, led to a loss of community amongst students at the rec campus?
As students, most of what we do these days is confined to the digital realm. We read our books from PDFs, and we are assigned essays based on information we are given through screens, which we will then write out on a computer, and we’ll eventually submit online on the digital learning platform Canvas, the same platform where we can check our course progression and grades on. Why is it then that in this online world of learning every couple of exams the old pieces of paper get trotted out and the ballpoint pens dusted off? Wouldn’t the UvA do better to go fully digital? Perhaps helping save some trees and leveling the playing field for all its students along the way.
The year is 1997, and an incumbent student at the University of Groningen is run over by a truck while drunk and asleep in the grass. This was the result of a hazing ritual they signed up for in hopes of making “friends for life” only to end up dead. More than twenty years after this incident a group of students from the same university return home from a ski vacation in Tirol, a vacation that went ahead despite the rising threat of the Covid-19 virus.
The setting is the second floor of the library on a Friday night, I’m not wearing shoes and having a beer. There is a math equation being dotted on a whiteboard next to me and a group of girls are eating some Mcdonald's happy meals in the corner. No, this isn’t the average student accommodation, this is the UB at the Singel. A rock of anarchy amid an ocean of exam stress, a small student-driven world of its own.
When high school students search for their future university options, they'll most likely end up on a 'top universities' list to estimate how good their options will be compared to others. Especially since these undergraduates are usually out-of-country people who can't really make a personal guess as to how a university will turn out for them.