Universiteit Leiden

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Pim Rusch

Deans in the lecture halls: 'I can imagine that students enjoy being here.'

Do all graduates in the humanities pursue a career in education? What does support for incoming students look like in Leiden? And what makes a language study so enjoyable? These and more questions were answered during an information session organised specially for twenty deans from West Brabant.

'I once studied French in Leiden myself,' says Marie-José Koot, dean of Cambreur College in Dongen during lunch. 'I found that incredibly enjoyable, but in recent years, I've noticed a significant decline in students opting for a similar study. I’m hoping to learn what I can tell them so they still choose that language.'

She had already received some insights that morning. 'Students often say they want to become psychologists, but one of the presentations highlighted that the focus on humanity and reflection on one's own actions might be even more central in humanities than in psychology. I will definitely take that with me, as well as the fact that only ten to twenty percent of humanities graduates go into education.'

Personal guidance

For Loes Hoff from RSG 't Rijks in Bergen op Zoom, the job market perspective was an important aspect of the day, she explained while having lunch with José Goddrie from Jan Tinbergen College in Roosendaal and Karen Kreikamp from Stedelijk Gymnasium Breda. On that score, the Career Service caught my attention. I haven't seen at any other university that you can receive guidance in finding your first job after you’ve graduated.'

'You would expect this kind of guidance more in a vocational education setting,' Goddrie agrees. 'This makes Leiden University come across as very personal. You get the sense that they genuinely think with the students about choices, such as the selection of a master's programme.'

A peek behind the scenes

Then there's the overall atmosphere of the university, which the deans were able to experience with a tour, among other things. 'Through these glimpses behind the scenes, you can tell a better story to your students,' said Kreikamp. 'You get a better understanding of the university when you've experienced the atmosphere yourself. A building like this (Arsenaal, red.) is beautiful. I can imagine that my students would enjoy being here in the future.'

This feeling was further strengthened by the speed dates they participated during the afternoon. Students from more than ten different programmes shared their study choices, their study experiences, and their student life in Leiden in five-minute intervals. Kreikamp: 'Everything was interesting and engaging, but this was the most useful.'

During the information session, the deans attended workshops and lectures by Esther op de Beek, Carmen van den Bergh, Willemijn Waal, Lettie Dorst, and Loes Nordlohne. Additionally, there was a guided tour, and the deans had the opportunity to hear about the experiences of current students during speed dates.

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