Given the fact that the UvA’s medical faculties (UMC/AMC) are one of the largest and furthest removed from the regular campuses, the most interaction average UvA students have with the faculty of medicine is when they see the log-in option on canvas. But what really goes on over there? And how are the student parties working to overcome this divide and improve their faculty? YOUvA Today looks at the faculty’s two parties in the run-up to the student elections.
The First party is Leef (Dutch for live), a student party founded in 2020 by two former master students. Leef currently has five seats in the student council. Leef’s political platform emphasises sustainability and improving the education quality at the UMC. Leef’s four core principles are:
- Quality education is created for and in collaboration with students; the party focuses on transparency and direct involvement of students to improve the quality of education at the UMC.
- Student sustainability: the party defines this as both sustaining the environment, and the (mental) health at the UMC. Clear information, advanced exam notices and schedules that both make sense and aren’t too overbearing responsibility wise, for interning students.
- Blossoming student development: Leef thinks that more should be done to improve student development at the UMC. Extra-curricular activities, minors and optional courses should be emphasised.
- Looking to the future of the UMC: students should be informed about what is out there when they graduate. Leef thinks there should be done more when it comes to this. Information on alternative masters and information on what can be expected when students graduate should be improved.
The second party is MFAS. They are both a study association and a political party. MFAS emphasises the development of education and students at the UMC. Their three core principles are the following:
- Quality of education; MFAS thinks that maintaining the high standards of education at the faculty is an absolute must. Students maintain this standard so they may one day become some of the best physicians, doctors, and surgeons the world has to offer. However, this does not mean students below this level should be dropped. Students who are below par or otherwise struggling should be given ample help and tools so they may rise to the level expected of them at the UMC.
- Freedom: studying at the UMC should not just be about getting the highest grades. Students should also be enough room to develop themselves in other areas. MFAS believes that a student should essentially be given the freedom to curate courses specific to their interests.
- Safa space: MFAS believes that for the student experience to be optimal, there should be a safe and stimulating learning space. According to MFAS, tutoring, student safety and the UMC’s facilities should be improved.
Bridging the gap?
In preparation for this article repeated attempts were made by YOUvA to contact both parties so they may have best presented their stances and arguments, but these requests were left unanswered. Information has generally been hard to come by; Leef’s social media has laid dormant since the last elections and although MFAS is more active on Facebook, their Twitter has largely been a ghost town since 2016. As aforementioned, the UvA’s medical faculty and it students at the AMC are perhaps the most isolated and remote of the major faculties (the nearest faculty is the one at Science Park, 9.5 kilometres away), yet also one of the biggest. Most students at UvA will likely never encounter or build friendships with any of the students at the UMC. Except for the odd trip to the IWO-Halls for an exam or a doctor’s appointment, some might never even see UMC’S campus either. Put simply, the divide is quite large. Nevertheless, improving the relationship between the faculty of medicine and the rest of the university is not mentioned in either Leef’s or MFAS’ party manifestos.