A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Recently I had a not-so-nice incident after which I felt overwhelmed and sent an email at 5am in the morning to a student coordinator asking if they could direct me to someone to talk with and ease my mind. Next morning I had a response in my inbox with details of how to make an appointment with a counsellor and asking me to also talk to a student coordinator and inform them about the situation. Luckily I didn’t need the appointment and was feeling well the next day but I must say that I was very impressed with the quickness of the response.
I still did have a meeting with the Student Coordinator as I had to discuss some planning issues regarding how many credits I had, which classes I will take next year and when etc. Apart from the meeting itself being helpful, the coordinator was very good at directing me towards others on issues such as future planning or extending my studies.
These two are the most recent (personal) examples but I had the idea for this article for some time now. Every semester we are given forms to evaluate the courses we took, make complaints or suggestions if we have any. In my old high school these forms never changed anything. In Leiden University however this is not the case. I am a student of BA International Studies and we are a very new course, as in we will have our first graduates this year. This means that the course is still being shaped and every year changes are being made in accordance with feedback from students and tutors.
I personally had complained about an assignment for one class and had written a detailed paragraph about how it could be improved and the next year I was welcomed with a surprise, they had indeed changed the assignment and the format was way better now.
The main reason I came up with the idea for this article is a bigger improvement though. Since the course BAIS had grown faster than expected, the student body was having trouble with study spaces at The Hague Campus, there wasn’t enough space, the campus wasn’t open long enough etc. Through the Feedback Page, which was created by the Degree Committee to build a bridge between the students and the university, we expressed this problem, signed petitions etc. and our voice was heard! More study spaces were created, hours were extended and now the campus was open during the weekends too!
Nowadays once again the students of BAIS are trying to get their voices heard and keep their Russian teacher as an employee of Leiden University. You can get more detailed info and support us by signing the petition here. Let’s see if our voices will be heard this time.