Foreign study advisers explore Leiden
The number of foreign bachelor’s students studying in the Netherlands is growing. A number of study advisers from secondary schools abroad recently visited Leiden to see what the University has to offer to their students. ‘Could the presentations take place during a cocktail hour?’
What will you tell your students about Leiden University? This is the question that was put to the fourteen study advisers from international schools in Europe and in Asian countries such as China and Malaysia. Their answers are crucial because they are often the first contact point for high-school students who are interested in studying abroad. Over the course of a few days, the advisers visited nine Dutch universities to get a clearer picture of the Dutch education system, and to see what the differences are between the universities. The group spent an afternoon in Leiden with a programme of presentations about the University, a Q&A hour on practical matters, a guided tour of the Academy Building and of course a social get-together.
One of the advantages mentioned by the advisers is Leiden University’s international orientation. Leiden University currently has sixty English-language master’s programmes and four English-language bachelor’s. Next year, the bachelor’s in Psychology will be added to the list. ‘In addition to factual knowledge, this kind of visit is especially useful for hearing about things that you would not usually find on a website or in a brochure,’ remarks one of the study advisers. For instance, the contact between students and lecturers, or the atmosphere of the University and the city. The visitors were very positive about these aspects.
The guests appreciated the openness, the small scale and the historical university buildings they encountered in Leiden. ‘Nearly everything is within walking distance, and Amsterdam is pleasantly close by,’ comments a guest from Malaysia. In addition, the advisers now have a better understanding of the Dutch education system. They also have suggestions for an even more interesting programme. They would like to further explore the city and attend a lecture so that they can really feel what it’s like to be a student. But that might not be possible in one afternoon. One of the advisers suggests a solution: ‘Next time, perhaps the University could give the PowerPoint presentations during a dinner or cocktail hour?’
(14 May 2013)
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