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Students advice security experts: 'Fantastic combination of research and practice'

Presenting a well-thought-out idea to Schiphol experts, a former ambassador or a security expert. For the third-year Security Studies bachelor students, this was a unique experience and a great opportunity. One of the experts: 'Who knows, maybe they can work for us in the future!'

For seven weeks, the students worked on the idea that they were allowed to present at the end of march in groups in front of a full auditorium for the Integrated Project 2 course. Each group had its own case, provided in advance by leading security stakeholders. These experts then came to watch and each chose their favourite idea.

‘This course is one of the most unique courses in Security Studies’, says tutor Nomita Prithviraj. ‘It brings together students with experts in various fields of security, working on exciting cases that really allow them to practice all the skills they’ve been learning so far. We read that in the feedback; students see it as one of the most exciting and challenging courses. Every year, the aim is to keep increasing their contact with various experts so they can have professional experiences that would be invaluable in the future.'


One of these experts is Johan Visser, Senior Officer Crisis Management at Schiphol Airport. Together with his colleague Annette van Loenen, he sits front row. He is delighted with the presentations. ‘The fact that they know so much about Schiphol really impresses me. They have really read up.'

Schiphol's case study: come up with a good idea for the implementation of the Entry-Exit System (EES) in Europe, scheduled for November 2024. Visser: 'Solutions came along that we had already thought of, tested and found not to work, but they are still good ideas. Who knows, maybe they can work with us in the future'. A surprise from the Schiphol duo: the winning team has been invited to come see the EES system.


Joachim Koops, professor of Security: ‘Once again this course has been a highly challenging, stimulating and rewarding occasion for students to develop their own policy ideas for a wide range of influential organisations and policy-makers in the realm of safety and security. Also the feedback from the experts was very valuable, what makes this course a unique final “rite of passage” for students and the teaching team alike.’

A full programme of two days of presentations for NATO, NCTV, police and the municipality of The Hague, among others, concluded with drinks. There the experts stayed for a while to chat with the students. So did Tom van Oorschot, former ambassador to Norway and Iceland. ‘I am participating for the third time. This is a fantastic combination of research and practice. Amazing how the students did it, because the case was a bit more complicated this year.’


One case of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: the security risks of Ukraine's admission to NATO. Van Oorschot: 'With three scenarios: if Ukraine wins, if Russia wins or a frozen conflict. The latter is now realistic. De students found it complicated. One group indicated: you have to stay in touch with civilians in every scenario, no matter the outcome of the war. I think that's a positive recommendation.’ Van Oorschot is retired, but says he would like to help the students move forward, advising them: 'About future internships at Foreign Affairs, for example.'

Joachim Koops looks back very positively on the two-day event. ‘I would in particular like to thank the fantastic tutor team for their amazing work throughout this course!’

Text: Magali van Wieren

Photo's: Arash Nikkhah & Magali van Wieren

The Integrated Project 2 course is part of the Jean Monnet Chair on Europe’s Role in Security and Global Affairs (EURISGA), co-funded by the European Commission under Grant agreement 101085789

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