Universiteit Leiden

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'As an assessor, I am privileged to see what is going on with students'

She is the only student in the core group: Ava Bauer. In November, the assessor of the Faculty of Science was asked to help think about the new faculty strategy. An opportunity she seized with both hands, because having a student in the core group is essential, Bauer says. 'As an assessor, I have the privilege of seeing what is going on with students. It's cool to be able to apply that in the core group.'

'It feels special to be involved in the direction of the faculty,' says Bauer. 'In this role, I can see the bigger picture and question people critically. Is this the way we want it for our faculty? And where do I actually want to be myself in five years? By the way, it's not just about my opinion, but also that of all the other students.' As an example, Bauer cites the effect of policy issues on student associations. 'Those students do a lot for us. I am in close contact with them and so I have put on my heart how important their input is for the new faculty strategy.'  

'Good research does not immediately mean good teaching'

She hears from students that a pleasant study environment and nice study places are high on the list. The facilities for this are good. But the rules for activities inside our buildings should also be clear and simple. Students must feel that the faculty building really belongs to them.'   

Bauer also values teaching innovation. 'I find the balance between teaching and research at least as important. Our research groups are strong and we want students to be able to participate in them. We have to realise that good research does not immediately mean good teaching.' Moreover, Bauer thinks we should take a critical look at ourselves. That way, we can prepare students even better for the labour market. We also need to see what we can do about student workload. 'Because that is a serious issue,' says the assessor.' 

Thinking out of the box, but remaining realistic

As a member of the core group, Bauer was one of the moderators at the table discussions during the strategy sessions. 'I found that quite exciting. There were many people with their own opinions and their own backgrounds. You want people to think out of the box, but at the same time you have to remain realistic. We simply cannot realise everything.' Bauer looks back on the meetings positively. 'Everyone is so busy with studies or work. I was pleased that staff and students still took the time to provide input. That shows that it releases a lot in people.' 

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