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Erasmus Magazine

English edition 8 May 2014

INTERNATIONALS FEEL WELCOME IN ROTTERDAM Study results of ethnic minority students

Share your research with the world

Students on smart foods

Create a little Impact Give something back to Rotterdam

Have you ever thought about what the City of Rotterdam brings you every day as a student or an employee? Now is your chance to do something in return. Erasmus4Rotterdam provides a great variety of community work projects; combining contributing to society with your personal development. Visit us at Erasmus4Rotterdam

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Cover story



06 | Internationals feel welcome in Rotterdam International students feel welcomed, are happy about the international atmosphere, and the new campus also seems to contribute to the satisfaction of the internationals. As in virtually every satisfaction survey among foreign students, the greatest obstacles are housing and labour market opportunities.

Background stories


10 | Smart foods Forget Red Bull and Ritalin: these students eat their way to a smarter brain. They have super foods and have given up sugar, greasy snacks and sweets. Which doesn’t just make them feel healthier – it makes them much better students. Or so they say.

14 | Ethnic minority students: You won’t make it without a network Their presence in higher education has increased spectacularly, but even so, ethnic minority students aren’t doing as well as students of Dutch origins. As experience teaches, a good network of university friends and lecturers may be helpful.


Arts & Sciences .

18 | Open access: Share your research with the world In ten years’ time, all academic articles will be open access, free and freely accessible, if it’s up to the Dutch State Secretary Mr Sander Dekker. Is it really going to happen? And what would be the use to academics?


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Zooming in Campus Outrageous affairs Going Dutch Halfway through Top-class publication Lifestyle And finally...

Erasmus Magazine/EM is the independent opinion and information magazine of the Erasmus University Rotterdam

Editorial International students are given a warm reception by the Erasmus University. They feel welcomed, are happy with the international atmosphere, and the new campus also seems to contribute to the satisfaction of the internationals. The greatest obstacles are housing and labour market opportunities. These are some of the results of the International Student Barometer (ISB) in which current students were asked for feedback on various issues relating to the university. It appears that not all is well yet, but our university has made progress in a number of areas. Just a few years back, EM was reporting on international students having to be temporarily housed in campsite caravans; by now, sufficient housing is provided on the actual campus. Though rents are a tad steep, the facilities have improved. After its metamorphosis of the past few years, the campus itself has also made progress. Unfortunately, students themselves still feel the university is doing too little to help prepare them for the labour market and that Dutch employers – even multinationals – prefer hiring Dutch graduates to international ones. Which is a huge waste of the talent lost to the Netherlands as a result. I’m actually quite curious what would be the outcome of a similar survey among international staff. What is their opinion of the housing on offer? Do they feel welcome in Rotterdam? Perhaps the ISB survey could be extended to include them – that way, we could find out what level of employer appeal this university holds for its graduates. Wieneke Gunneweg Editor-in-chief Erasmus Magazine & EM Online


DREAM BIG! On the evening of May 1, Labour Day, the fourth edition of the IBCoM Awards was held in the Erasmus Paviljoen. This year the them was ‘dream Big’. It was the fourth time that students and lecturers from the International Bachelor in Communication and Media got together for the annually event. Dressed in beautiful gowns and smart suits IBCoM-students could witness the award ceremony, alternated with performances of student-musicians like the one of Emanuel Conte from Italy. A variety of awards were given out, including ‘Most Inspiring Teacher’ and ‘Most Ambitious Student’, followed by an after-party. GvdE (photo: Ronald van den Heerik)

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EUR students will make good money Alumni from the Erasmus University have, on average, a significantly higher starting salary than alumni from other universities. On average, they earn 3186 euros gross per month, while the national average is 2576 euros monthly. This much appears in a first analysis of the results of the WO Monitor, a large survey among recent graduates from all Dutch universities. In the research, alumni who graduated from their master’s between October 2011 and October 2012 were asked about the transfer from study to work, the preparation for the labor market and the quality of the master. The most striking finding was that graduates from the Erasmus University on average earn 600 euros gross monthly more than graduates from other universities. They also seem to find a job quicker. The alumni who are active on the job market needed on average 2,4 months to find their first job. Only graduates from the TU Eindhoven found a job sooner.

RSM-alumni earn on average the most; monthly, they earn 3453 euros gross. Graduates from the ESHCC earn 2276 gross per month. The WO Monitor is a two-yearly research from university association VSNU and the IVA (an institute from Tilburg that researches educational issues). This year, all alumni from Dutch universities who finished their master’s between October 2011 and October 2012 were approached. From the more than two thousand graduates, 444 filled out the survey. Universities will make their own analyses of the data. TF

Gross income of alumni per faculty

















Fashion on campus

From May 19 till 23 the Erasmus Paviljoen will be the setting of The Fashion Seminar Week. It’s the first time ever in the history of the Erasmus University that such a fashion even will be held. Daily – from 5 till 8 pm – there will be workshops, lectures, seminars and network events where students can meet and learn from young entrepreneurs, designers and companies from the fashion world. Not for nothing the theme of the week is ‘where fashion meets business’. “Most of the time when the students associations organize career events, the fashion industry is overlooked”, states Naysan Tofighian, Economy student and member of the pavilion committee who is organizing the fashion week. On the last day of the Fashion Seminar Week, there will be a real fashion show, for which the ladies from The New Fashion Society have selected the occasional (student-)models that will walk the catwalk. If the sun shines, the catwalk will be outside. GvdE > Visit our website:


Scientists need to leave their Ivory Tower Bringing research to the market and society, also known as valorization. The new Erasmus Centre for Valorization will help scientist to do so. On April 17th, the Centre was opened. The past few months employees of the valorization center visited all faculties of the Erasmus University to hear from the deans what the best research groups are and to look at with what research it’s possible to make some money. The company, which resides at the eleventh floor of the Science Tower at the Marconiplein, will for the time being focus on a number of ‘promising projects’ with which money can be made. But scientists can always call or visit with questions about valorization. Meanwhile, seven ideas for projects have been selected. For example, economists and philosophers will probably develop a serious game together to help CEO’s and top level officials with practice in taking difficult decisions. And with history, it will be looked at if museum curators can get additional schooling, for example in the United Arab Emirates, where there is a lot of demand for this type of knowledge, and plenty of money. An example for research that has been successfully valorized is a computer game for emergency services that the Erasmus MC had had develop last year. The basic training has been reduced in time by half and meanwhile the game is being sold to other hospitals. ‘With the money that is made by valorization, new jobs can be created for scientists’, says Linda van de Burgwal, director Business Development at the valorization center. TL

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Lisa de Schepper (20), student of Arts and Culture Studies and Chair of Histartes, which will go through life as ACE, starting May 1st. Why did the name Histartes not suffice anymore? “Firstly because the faculty is internationalizing very strongly. We have IBCoM, which is an English speaking study with a lot of international students. Additionally, next year a bachelor of Arts and Culture Studies will start in English. History will then be the only Dutch study. Besides, Histartes obviously stands for History and Art, while the faculty offers much more than just history and culture. Histartes is a nice, old-fashioned name, but for instance IBCoM students have little or no connection with it.” How did you choose the new name? “We have firstly proposed a name change at the General Members’ Assembly, and held a contest in which members could submit names. From around twenty submissions we, as the Board, quite quickly agreed which name had our preference. Also, the Executive Board of our foundation and the department heads of the faculty were enthusiastic about ACE.” It reminded us primarily of tennis or card games… “Smart of you to think of that, because not everybody sees the connection. Ace often means that you excel in something, including many card games, and indeed in tennis. The emphasis with us lies on the meaning of ace in the sense of distinguishing yourself positively and doing something extra to achieve success. If you come to our association, that is what you do: you become active in a committee, come to drinks to meet fellow students and visit our career event days. Ace you future at ACE.” Is it also an acronym of something? “No, the letters don’t stand for something else. For us, it’s mainly about the positive meaning of the word ace. And acronyms are actually fairly old-fashioned and even unpractical too, at an international university.” TF

Philosophy discussions with the Dean

In a crowded Erasmus Paviljoen, Rector Magnificus Huib Pols (r) discussed the present and future of the oldest branch of science: philosophy. On Monday April 28th, prominent EUR-philosophers F.A. Muller, Wiep van Bunge (l), Esther Keymolen and our Rector talked about the possibility of introducing philosophy classes at every EUR faculty to increase the academic depth of all programs. The event marked the start of the so-called ‘Week of the Philosophy’, which actually only lasted three days, until April 30th. MvS (photography: RvdH)


New networking club at the EUR Networking, follow training courses and sharing knowledge: with Young@EUR, the founders hope to better support the careers of young employees of the Erasmus University. “Many of my friends have a special youngster organization in their company”, so tells Sabine Reeder, one of the initiators of Young@EUR and employee at the Erasmus Programme Bureau (the still progressing projects of BV2013). “I wanted very much to have that on the university. To get to know each other means to be able to learn from one another and to better know what is going on elsewhere.’ Together with a ternary of other young employees, Reeder started Young@EUR, a network for EUR-employees up to and including the age of 35. Both scientific employees

and support staff are welcome to join. “We want to pay attention to the development of the careers of starters, develop networking skills and to jointly follow workshops,” adds Reeder. “We’re going to do so with workshops and lectures, but also with lunches and drinks. If you know each other personally, you get things done more easily. And now grants for research ask for more and more interdisciplinary research, it is convenient if PhD’s from different disciplines actually get to know each other.” In many large companies, a similar youngster department is common, but the university as of yet has no umbrella organization which connects young employees from all corners with each other. According to Reeder, the EUR can better profile itself as a good employer and bind ambitious employees to itself. EH

Your comments please! This is a special edition of Erasmus Magazine for our international students and staff. As such, it’s a next step towards an ever more international EM. More than once, we’ve been told that the EUR’s internationals find it a pity they are ‘only’ able to read EM’s three English-language pages. That’s why, in this edition, you will find articles which were published in Dutch in previous editions, but which are more than worthy of your appreciation. In the longer term, EM’s aim is to publish two identical editions: one in Dutch, one in

English. In doing so, everyone at the Erasmus University will be informed in the same way. Though this can’t be achieved overnight, this edition will give you a taste of what that might be like. In the end, it’s about what you, our international community, want. That’s why I’d like to find out what you think of this edition. Please send me any comments you may have: Have a good read! On behalf of the editorial team, Wieneke Gunneweg (Editor-in-chief)

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Captain America

> The EFR has spoiled it for everyone Do you remember that cool flyboarding exhibition on the pond next to the glass repository during the EFR Business Week this past March? That didn’t exactly come off without a hitch. After fifteen minutes, the flyboarding stunt had to be stopped because it turned out to be more of a flying water plant stunt. Flying over the water looks a lot less cool with a meter of water plants dripping and drag-

ging at your feet. EDDN recently learned that a diver jumped into the pond to see whether the 25,000 different plant species had survived Business Week. Then he could also make sure that the bottom of the pond had not suffered any damage from the stunt. After all, the heating/refrigeration for the Erasmus Pavilion is located just underneath. The good news is that the pond received very little damage, aside from a couple of dead plants here


and there. However, EDDN received some bad news: fun stuff can no longer be planned on the pond. Only a small bit, at the back, may still be used for events. That means no more rowboats during the open-air cinema, no more jumping in to cool down in the summer months and no new competition pool for Ragnar. Fortunately, a small stretch of water lies just next to the UB. We’ll just have to chase the newborn coots away from time to time.

“The only reason I’m in Hollywood is that I don’t have the moral courage to refuse the money”, said Marlon Brando. He was referring to the virtually inherent superficiality and commercialism of Hollywood films. Most of them aim to cater to as broad a public as possible and hence try to avoid critical or ‘awkward’ content. As an avid consumer of Hollywood films, I might say: ”The only reason I love to watch Hollywood films is that I don’t have the moral courage to face my childhood indoctrination”. I cannot resist seeing every new Hollywood blockbuster – whether it be the twentieth Die Hard sequel, or the twelfth Transformers or the next superhero film. I also voraciously consume film sequels that take up where they left off twenty years ago – Hollywood studios only too well how nostalgia works – such as the fourth Indiana Jones a few years back. I have an almost obsessive urge to go and see them. And pay handsomely for the privilege, especially if they are shown in 3D - yet another way film studios try squeeze an extra penny out of us. Moreover, it does not seem to matter that I do realise I will be disappointed, time after time, and – especially in the case of 3D – will walk out of the cinema with a headache. As a child of the eighties I grew up with cartoons, TV series and films full of Reaganesque bravado, which was plugged as the paragon of manhood. You name it: He-Man (pun intended?), Transformers, Rambo, Knightrider, and so on. The superior technology of American weaponry as well as the virility of the preferably muscle-bound white American hero was a requisite message for us children of the ‘free West’. Thirty years later, little seems to have changed. Commercial patriarchy and jingoism are still dominant in many Hollywoodblockbusters . For example, Captain America (Marvel Studios, 2011) is not yet a ‘real man’ at the beginning of the movie. Only when an operation transforms Captain America’s scrawny body into brawn and muscles does he become a ‘hero’. The implicit message? ‘You will not achieve anything without steroids!’ – or something along those lines. Although there seem to be more female and non-white (super)heroes in movies, they do tend to remain a side-show. The African-American War Machine is no more than Iron Man’s assistant. In Die Hard 4 (2007) Bruce Willis’ daughter is kidnapped by the bad guys. She passively remains in the background while his son takes part in the action equally valiantly in Die Hard 5 (2013). Thus, in the end, it is always the white male, nay, the white American male who saves the day. And yet I will always be keen to watch those films. Does that make me a hypocrite? Perhaps. But with my temples becoming greyer by the day and my body increasingly going to pot, returning to the sparkling days of my youth for 100 minutes is a priceless transgression. Which is why tomorrow, I’ll go see Captain America 2. In 3D. Please forgive me. Zihni Özdil is a junior lecturer and PhD candidate at Erasmus University’s Faculty of History and Arts. Currently he’s teaching courses on the history of the Middle East and North Africa.

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Internationals feel welcome in Rotterdam International students are given a warm reception by the Erasmus University. They feel welcomed, are happy about the international atmosphere, and the new campus also seems to contribute to the satisfaction of the internationals. As in virtually every satisfaction survey among foreign students, the greatest obstacles are housing and labour market opportunities. text by Tim Ficheroux photograpy by Ronald van den Heerik


wice a year, international students are asked to express their satisfaction with their host university. The International Student Barometer (ISB) compares higher education institutes from all over the world. In an extensive questionnaire administered by i-graduate, the EUR’s internationals are questioned on their arrival to their new ‘home port’, their learning experience, housing situation and support received from the university. Out of the 3,417 foreign students studying at the Erasmus University at the beginning of this academic year, 834 completed the survey. Worldwide, nearly 144 thousand students of 178 institutes in thirteen different countries participated in the survey. Eleven higher education institutes in the Netherlands are compared in the ISB.


International students are satisfied with the way they are welcomed in Rotterdam. Both the reception upon arrival and the official on-campus welcome ceremony are met with great approval from the internationals. Another 90 per cent is happy about the introduction days that are organised especially for foreign students. They do seem to have difficulty arranging a Dutch bank account and making Dutch

friends. Neither issue seems to be specific to Rotterdam – the same goes for other Dutch institutes.

New campus

The renewed campus seems to be paying off. Although satisfaction regarding campus buildings and the external campus environment is lagging quite a bit behind that of other universities, it has improved significantly compared to last year. Regarding the design and quality of the campus buildings and the surroundings, out of the eleven Dutch institutes, the EUR ranks ninth. As far as the quality of the external campus environment is concerned, the university is placed tenth. On all three indicators, however, 10 to 15 per cent more students express satisfaction than in 2012. More greenery, less concrete and no more pile-driving do seem to make for a more pleasant campus Woudestein.


A recurring item in international student dissatisfaction is housing. Though the quality of the accommodation is liked, there aren’t many satisfied customers where it concerns finding accommodation, university support in doing so, and related costs. Just over half of the respondents express satisfaction with the process of finding accommodation upon arrival to the Netherlands. A simi-

lar percentage is happy with the Accommodation Office. Satisfaction with accommodation costs is even lower. Only 38 per cent are happy – hardly surprising if you consider 40 per cent of foreign students is paying between 400 to 500 euros a month for a room, with 34 per cent even paying over 500 euros.

by lecturers, the feedback given to students and marking transparency, the EUR’s scores are also below par. Although on average, foreign students experience more satisfaction than they did last year, the figure lags behind that of the average satisfaction expressed in the Netherlands and internationally.


Labour market

There are few complaints by the internationals regarding education. Over 90 per cent express satisfaction with lecturer expertise, lecturers’ command of English, the international atmosphere, the educational spaces and the support given in improving students’ English. In contrast, class sizes do appear to be a problem. Although 77 per cent are satisfied, the average score is 88 per cent – both among internationals in other parts of Holland and at other universities worldwide. Regarding international student satisfaction with the time spent on students

Compared to other Dutch universities, the Erasmus University achieves scores that are higher than average. Nevertheless, preparation for the labour market remains a sore point at the EUR. Just over half of the respondents is happy about the careers advice given by lecturers or the opportunities to gain working experience. ‘Employees are not interested in foreign candidates’, ‘no suitable jobs available in my chosen career’, and ‘lack of information on the job market’ are among the five most quoted reasons for leaving the Netherlands.

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Smart foods Forget Red Bull and Ritalin: these students eat their way to a smarter brain. They have super foods and have given up sugar, greasy snacks and sweets. Which doesn’t just make them feel healthier – it makes them much better students. Or so they say. text by Wieneke Gunneweg photography by Ronald van den Heerik

Blueberry crisps Hiba Samri (20), third-year IBA student For better study results, eats: grapes and dried fruits Has stopped having: deep-fried foods Guilty pleasure: crème brûlée Tip: Don’t overeat. You can’t study on a full stomach.

Never skip breakfast, her mother always told her. She grew up in a French-Moroccan family which considered good food an essential part of daily life. When she turned twelve, her mother thought it was time to point out her daughter’s responsibility for her own health. Eat well, but eat healthy, the message ran. Her mother taking care of the family so well turned out to be somewhat of a disadvantage when, a couple of years ago, Hiba left Morocco to do a degree in Rotterdam. Seventeen at the time, she’d been pampered by always having had family and friends close by. She now had to get to grips with real life, which was a lot harder than she’d imagined. Studying and making new friends took up so much of her time that she didn’t take time cooking – she just wanted quick meals. She’d mostly eat ready-made foods, discovering only later that even an Albert Heijn salad or individual yoghurts don’t really make for healthy eating. Results: her bad eating habits left her feeling unwell and unable to concentrate on her studies. She was failing to structure her days properly. Around the end of her first year or beginning of the second, this changed. She went home over summer and decided to take herself in hand: she couldn’t carry on like this – she had to start taking care of herself, of her

body. She talked it over a lot with a friend who was also studying abroad. Together, they decided to make a new start. The first year had been a test, but now they felt grown up enough to be able to make sensible choices. After all, you can’t be a kid forever. She broke the vicious circle of not feeling well, so you eat badly, then you feel even worse, you eat more still, and so on. She discovered the Saturday market on Blaak and has been getting her weekly groceries there ever since. Sure, mostly because fresh fruits and veg are healthy and full of flavour, but it’s also a lot cheaper than going to Albert Heijn.That should be reason enough for any student to go to the market, she reckons. It does take a little more effort, but that’s fine with her. Apart from that, she has taken up sport. She now schedules her day around her daily visits to the sports centre. She never eats on campus, not even now there’s the new food plaza. Even if you do just get a salad, it’ll be covered in a dressing brimming with calories. It’s just beyond her. Fortunately, she lives close to the university, so she often eats lunch at home. Moreover, she just has wholemeal pasta, quinoa, and lots of seeds, which she might throw into a salad. Often as not, she will snack on fruit. And blueberries are her substitute for crisps. She rarely eats meat anymore, as having eaten it, she often feels so full that she’d rather take a nap than get back to her textbooks. Now, she will have fish instead, or something vegetarian. Together with her housemate, she prepares healthy meals lasting several days. It saves time, especially just before exams. She never touches drink-

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ing fizzy drinks anymore – they only make you hyper. She drinks tea and no coffee. Orange juice in the morning is her way of waking up, it really gives her a boost. A while ago, just before an exam, she added yet something else to her repertoire. A friend took her back powdered Peruvian coca leaves. These make a tea that supposedly helps you concentrate. A single glassful of the stuff is as strong as seven cups of coffee. She hated it and felt no effect to begin with. But after ten or twenty minutes, she felt more able to concentrate and wide awake. Recently, she had it again, half an hour before an evening exam, and it helped her focus incredibly well.

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Get creative with courgettes Michael Rabbers (22), fourth-year Law and Economics student For better study results, eats: less sugar before exams Has stopped having: packet sauces Guilty pleasure: chips and mayonnaise Tip: have fruit or carrots when studying –it’s mostly the idea you’re eating, so you might as well have something healthy.

In his final year of secondary school, he read about the dangers of sugar, which has been added to everything

and was said to affect your energy levels adversely. After eating sweet things, you’ll experience a sugar high, which quickly drops to a sugar low, making you want more sugar. He realised this was how it worked for him, too. While studying, he’d be stuffing his face with biscuits, chocolate and sugary coffees. He started delving into the subject. In Happinez, one of his mum’s mags, and an article in newspaper de Volkskrant, he read that sugar really is a habit you need to kick and having done so, you’d be able to concentrate much better. Which would come in handy, it being the year of his finals. He made a clean break, hardly an easy thing in a family with a fondness for snacking and extremely traditional eating patterns. The first two weeks were hard: tiredness and a stronge urge to grab something sweet. But he stuck to it. During bad patches, he’d have an apple. The worst of it was over after two weeks. While revising for his exams, he began to notice the difference. Maths had always been tricky for him: he’d be easily distracted, tense. Now, he’d do maths sums for five days running, no problems – with great results. His average grade having been 6.4/10, he passed his finals with 8.4/10. Then he became less strict , also because it was hard to keep it up. His boyfriend didn’t share his healthy lifestyle and he had no desire to force it on him. While watching TV in the evenings, his boyfriend liked treating him to French bread and tasty dips – and food is a sociable thing, after all. After a hard year serving on the executive committee of In Duplo – his student association – in which his relationship also ended, he felt pretty exhausted. To recover, he thought, I need to get back to basics: healthy food. That summer, he completely avoided E numbers and had lots of veg, also because his brother gave him part of what he grew in his vegetable patch. He got really creative with courgettes.

He felt better, but this fad – he admits he can be a little obsessive – passed, too. Still he tries to stick to healthy, eating lots of vegetables and as few prefab sauces as possible, but there are times when he doesn’t manage. Like the other day, when he was studying and got this craving. He looked all over for something sweet and found himself in the kitchen, eating chocolate strands by the fistful. But he does notice the ill effect straigthaway. Recently, after a busy week with just pizza, chips and burgers on the menu, he had a really bad head. His stomach was upset and he felt bloated but nevertheless hungry. By the end of that week he simply had to defrost and devour a 400-gramme package of runner beans. That made him feel better. Now he is (once again) training for the marathon, he has stocked up on frozen veg, snacks on nuts and is going without alcohol for a month. With such a clear goal in mind, he has no trouble sticking to it. He already knows he’ll be less strict afterwards. But better this than a permanently unhealthy lifestyle. He knows not paying attention to his diet will not make him feel well. And in the end, it’s all about feeling well – because that way, he will also get good marks.

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Porridge with maca powder and chia seeds MicCarlo Heijink (21), second-year Sociology student For better study results, has: raw cocoa for concentration, maca powder for energy, protein shake for muscle building. Has a weekly shot of wheat grass. Snacks on nuts, goji berries and occasionally bee pollen. Has stopped having: carbonated soft drinks Guilty pleasure: Dudok apple-pie and hot chocolate Tip: Make your own popcorn. It’s a quick hunger fix and still healthy.

It happened when he was about fifteen. He was having a good time at Parkpop watching this band perform, when his legs turned to jelly, everything went black and he couldn’t move. His body seemed to refuse to obey him. It turned out to be a thyroid condition. Although this has been effectively treated since, he has started paying more attention to his health and eating patterns. When studying for the first time in Utrecht, he and some friends took up > Visit our website:

running and sports, just for fun, at the cheapest gym. When his pals took up going to the pub instead, he stuck with running. It was a tough year, to which he now refers as an adventure. This first introduction to student life taught him a lot. Getting used to life in Utrecht was difficult and he flunked uni. When he got back home to Rotterdam everything felt familiar again. He started a Sociology degree and bit by bit turned into a running fanatic. His goal was to do a marathon and outrun everybody else. A fellow student told him about how super foods can support your performance. He started taking maca powder for increased energy. It worked for him. He began reading up on super foods in general and since then has been eating according to a fixed pattern: in the mornings, it’s porridge with maca powder and chia seeds. During the day, it’s low carb bread, and for dinner, mostly meat or fish with very little pasta or potatoes – unless he’s about to take part in a

running contest – as is the case now with the Rotterdam marathon due on 13 April. He used to be nervous quite a lot just before exams: will I remember it all? It got so bad he’d be afraid of having another blackout. In secondary school chewing gum during exams would calm him a bit. Now, he swears by raw cocoa nibs which he has in his porridge. They’re faintly reminiscent of very dark chocolate. He finds they calm him and aid his concentration. When he’s studying, they help him keep his mind on his books and get a better overview. During exams he is now better able to retrieve the information. In tutorials he is capable of listening more fully, and can put his questions forward without nerves and join in with discussions. Once a week, he’ll forget all about his strict diet, a day he calls ‘party time’, when he’ll be at his parents’. He’ll have a dessert without batting an eyelid and four or five beers and the greasy snack kapsalon when he goes out in the evening. But the effects are immediate. He will look tired and have little energy. Which is okay, he reckons, because he knows he’ll get back into his regime. Leaving off sugary things or crisps is no hardship to him, he says. It’s easy because he knows they’re bad for him. Sure, maybe there is also a certain placebo effect, but it feels right for him: he doesn’t like chaos, prefers a structured life. He is now making choices with particular goals in mind. One of these is to shortly start his own webshop selling super foods.

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Going Dutch

Name: Nadia Sakkal Age: 20 Nationality: Lebanese

What do you study? I’m in my third year doing a Bachelor’s in International Media & Communications. What do you plan on doing after graduating? I’d like to do a Master’s but I won’t be doing it at the Erasmus Uni. What job would you like to have? I’d like to be a business consultant. How many languages do you speak? Four. And I’m learning Dutch. Would you say Dutch is a hard language to learn? Since it’s my fifth language I’d say it’s not too difficult. But for people who speak fewer languages I can definitely see why it would be hard. Has knowing Dutch helped you get to know the Netherlands better? There are still quite a lot of people who don’t speak English. Some are from Morocco, so I find it pretty cool to be able to speak Dutch with them. What’s the most useful Dutch phrase? Dank u wel.

What’s your favourite area in Rotterdam? The Kralingse plas. Where do you live? In The Hague. What’s your favourite Dutch city? I’d say The Hague is, though I haven’t been to too many cities yet – but I’m working on that. What’s your favourite area in The Hague? The Haagse Bos is a beautiful area that shows itself the moment you step out of the train station. How do you find shopping in the Netherlands? Well, I normally shop in Saudi Arabia but I’ve been shopping online a lot more, which in my mind is the Dutch student way of doing things. What do you find ‘typically Dutch’? Biking and being efficient about it – say, putting a child in the front as well as back seats of a bike. Poffertjes or stroopwafels? Poffertjes. If somebody were to come to Rotterdam for a day, what should they see? ADVERTISEMENT

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Actually, I’d advise them to see The Hague instead. But the Oude haven and the cubic houses are beautiful. Why would you advise The Hague? In The Hague , you can see more in less time. What kind of culture shocks have you experienced? A very simple example happened with a roommate of mine who referred to somebody as ‘this one’, which sounded very rude to me because it’s like treating somebody as a thing. A positive experience is how much respect the Dutch have for other people: they’re very accepting and open. Jeans or a skirt? If it were too short a skirt I’d say jeans. What would you say is the biggest problem the Netherlands faces today? The weather.

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Friends, family, lecturers… you won’t make it without a network Their presence in higher education has increased spectacularly, but even so, ethnic minority students aren’t doing as well as students of Dutch origins. As experience teaches, a good network of university friends and lecturers may be helpful. text by Simone Barneveld (HOP) photography by Ronald van den Heerik


wenty-year-old Gözde Ustaoglu is a first-year studying biomedical sciences at the VU University Amsterdam. “This wasn’t my preferred choice. I really wanted to read medicine, but I failed to get a place.” Getting where she wanted to be took her a little longer. “In primary school, my teacher advised me to go to vmbo-t (preparatory secondary vocational education), but in the end, my Cito test results were so good, I was allowed to go to a transition class havo-vwo (higher secondary/pre-university education). In the end, I did vwo (pre-university education).” She did have to repeat her fourth year and failed her finals. After resitting certain of her final examinations in adult education, she still went on to university. These kinds of ups and downs often result in ethnic minority students being a little older when first going to university. This is one of the reasons why they end up dropping out more often than ethnic Dutch students do, says Rick Wolff of the research institute Risbo. Older students may already have a family of their own or completed a higher education course. “At any rate, older students are less likely to graduate within the designated time frame. And non-Western minorities often take longer doing secondary school or work their way up to university, by for instance first doing mbo (senior secondary vocational education).”


More and more non-Western ethnic minority students are going into higher education. Between 1997 and 2010, their numbers rose significantly from 7,000 to over 20,000. Yet their study performance lags behind that of ethnic Dutch students. Moreover, in ten years’ time, the performance gap has remained more or less constant. When looking into the reasons, Wolff discovered that socalled social resources play an important role. “Students who manage to accumulate social and academic capital, so who are surrounded by people that motivate and support them, are less likely to drop out. Whoever enjoys good contacts with fellow students, lecturers and tutors will be more successful. This goes for students of Dutch origins as well as ethnic minority students.” At the Hogeschool Rotterdam (university of applied sciences Rotterdam), resources such as these are organised in the form of so-called target group mentoring: senior students act as peer coaches for freshers, thus functioning as > Visit our website:

role models. Garreling Michel – supervisor at the mentor group for Antillean and Aruban students Antuba – herself owes a lot to her peer coach. “At the hogeschool, I came up against all sorts of small problems. I reckoned it’d be useful to have someone show me the way. On Curaçao, I’d done mavo (junior general secondary education) and havo (senior general secondary education). In Rotterdam, I went on to hbo (higher professional education). I had to find out stuff and arrange everything myself, as well as make new friends. People were aloof and everywhere in Rotterdam was so big. Not to mention the language... I’d thought my Dutch was fine. But everybody here talks fast, I didn’t know the idioms and if somebody spoke with an accent, I wouldn’t understand any of it. I failed my first year at university – you end up doubting yourself. But if your peer coach tells you that she had a tough time of it, too, but made it in the end, you think: if she can do it, so can I. Here at Antuba, I find that students who arrange support from their peer coaches are more motivated and do well.”

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Rules of the game

In addition to social and academic capital, students also need cultural capital. The greater the similarites between the cultural values of the students’ families and those of their educational institution, the more they will feel at home there. Ethnic minority students are more likely to be from underprivileged backgrounds and are usually the first in their families to go to university. They enter higher education not knowing the rules of the game. According to university lecturer and researcher Marieke Meeuwisse of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, family plays an important role, also in higher education. “Don’t think: they’re adults, so family doesn’t matter.” Both ethnic minority and ethnic Dutch students receive parental support. But the support given by ethnic Dutch parents seems to affect study success more, possibly because it ties in better with the student’s needs. They give advice, help with studying, and tell their children about their own experiences. Meeuwisse’s advice to hogescholen and universities is to involve students’ families and to inform them about what it takes to do a degree. “If there’s a discrepancy between home culture and the educational institution, this may lead to conflicts. A student will then be cast into two roles: one as a family member, one as a student. They will identify less with their studies, resulting in lower grades. Though this goes for all students, ethnic minority students do spend more time with their family.” Nearly all ethnic minority students are aware of the difference in background, as is apparent from interviews conducted by the Risbo’s researcher Rick Wolff. They are frequently confronted with the issue. Sometimes they feel excluded by ethnic Dutch fellow students or treated differently by lecturers.


Sinem Akten, fourth-year student media, information and

Graduated after 8 years Ethnic minority student WO

Ethnic Dutch student HBO

Ethnic minority student HBO**

Starting 1995 71




Starting 1996 71




Starting 1997 73




Starting 1998 75




Starting 1999 76




Starting 2000 79




Starting 2001 81




Starting 2002 82




Starting 2003 82




Starting 2004 83




Ethnic Dutch student WO*

*WO = university education **HBO = higher professional education

© HOP. Source: CBS (Statistics Netherlands)

communications at the Amsterdam Hogeschool, says she doesn’t really feel the difference. She quickly made new girlfriends who are a great support. “My college is ultra-white, I’m the only Turkish girl of my year. Everyone is open-minded, though. They tend to be curious. I do have to work harder to convince the lecturers of my worth. When I hand in a good piece of work, they’ll say, ‘Gosh, I didn’t expect that.’ Finding a trainee post proved a disaster. Companies see my name, that’s it – no interview. And to think that my CV is better than those of my fellow students. In the end, I did traineeships at two Turkish magazines that I’m still in touch with. You’ve got to create your own network.” What can the educational institutions do to further the chances of success of these students? According to Wolff, small-scale institutions are beneficial to the study success of ethnic minority students. Initially, it is also helpful to work with plenty of guidance as well as committed lecturers. “Providing a lot of structure, especially in the first year, creates equal opportunities for all. Compulsory attendance helps, too. Students feel more committed to their studies. If the institution lets the students work in groups, this also contributes to study success. Lecturers do need to make sure that groups circulate. Students tell me that working in groups has allowed them to get to know fellow students they’d normally never have gone up to.” It goes without saying that measures like these also promote the study success of ethnic Dutch students. In 2011, the educational institutions in the major cities received funding to further the study success of ethnic minorities. The Erasmus University Rotterdam, to which Wolff’s research institute Risbo is affiliated, has spent part of this on a measure intended for all students. Students of most faculties must pass all of their first-year exams in that single first year: 60 ECTS is the norm for the so-called binding study advice. In addition, there are now fewer options for resits, though students are allowed to compensate a 5/10 with a grade of 7/10 or higher for a different exam. This is referred to as the ‘Nominal = Normal’ system.


The thinking is that what’s right for all students should be right for ethnic minority students, too. And ethnic minority students do indeed profit by the new system. The first results show that both ethnic Dutch and minority students with a prior education in the Netherlands now move on to the next year much quicker. On top of this, the study performance gap between ethnic minority students and their ethnic Dutch counterparts has narrowed somewhat. To VU University Amsterdam student Gözde, the structure of her degree course in biomedical sciences doesn’t much matter. She goes to mass lectures with 180 students, hardly getting any support from the university itself. Though her practicals are in groups, she doesn’t really get to do any work with other students. Yet she is doing well, having so far passed all of her exams. She is still dreaming of doing medicine, hoping to get a place next year.

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> Halfway through

> Top-class publication

To get your PhD, you’ve got to go flat out. How do you keep motivated? And occasionally, when hitting rock-bottom, what’s your trick for resurfacing? EM talks to those who are halfway through to becoming a Doctor of Philosophy.

Who: Sanne Blauw, department of Econometrics. Is focusing on: Happiness, confidence and the inequality of wages. Ready by: The end of this year. What’s the focus of your research? “My thesis deals with various issues: how the use of phones affects the economic development of Uganda; happiness, confidence and the inequality of wages in Bolivia, of members of the Rotterdamsche Vrouwelijke Studenten Vereeniging – a Rotterdam sorority of which I used to be a member – as well as of students being assessed in a lab setting. Econometric methods are a fun toolbox to analyse all of this.” What are your days like? “Each day is very different. What took me most time was collecting the data. In Bolivia, for instance, I interviewed 240 people. Now I’m analysing my data – which I partly do here in Rotterdam and partly at the Tinbergen Institute at the Amsterdam Zuidas. Also, I lecture a couple of days a week. Apart from that, I’ve been to various conferences and I enrolled for a Spring School in San Diego in March.” Do you ever get stuck? “’Course I do, that’s sort of part and parcel of it. There’s no boss telling you to be at your desk by 9 a.m., so you need to be pretty self-disciplined. Getting back to work after breaks is what I find hardest.” How do you get out of a bad patch? “It helps me if I talk to people about my research. Also, every two weeks, I see my supervisor. Which is a pretty good incentive. But luckily my projects are fun, so that’s very motivating.” Is the end drawing nigh? “It is. All being well, I should be finished by the end of this year. I’m quite confident that I will.” TL > Visit our website:

The number of publications by EUR’s researchers is quite prolific. Now and again, one of these is top-class – an example being the article in Geoforum by Roy Huijsmans, university lecturer in Children & Youth Studies at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague, on the migration of young people in Laos.

Young people in Laos and research grants To find work, many Laos youngsters move to the city or to neighbouring Thailand. Huijsmans looked into which groups of young people leave and which stay – and why. One of the article’s main conclusions is that in order to find answers to these questions, concepts such as ‘household’ and ‘age’ require a more dynamic understanding than is current in the literature. In 2012, Geoforum published his article online; now it has appeared in paper form. Last December, a second article of his was published in the journal Third World Quarterly. It looks at the

cesses more fully, so I did a Master’s in Development Studies,’ he says. Colourful posters covered in curving Laotian and Thai script adorn the walls of his room at the ISS. By now, he has got years of fieldwork under his belt, carried out in a village he calls Baan Naam – water village – the true identity of which he will not reveal in his publications. He also uses pseudonyms for the villagers he has spoken with. ‘They must be protected,’ he explains. Some of them are working in Thailand illegally. The fact that Geoforum is an influential journal

‘I wanted to understand development processes more fully, so I did a Master’s in Development Studies’ > Roy Huijsmans

effects of migration on different generations within single Thai and Laotian households; at the way people deal with childcare; and at whether certain circumstances will cause them to behave in ways that are not considered age-appropriate. Huijsmans’ specialisation in South-East Asia came about by chance when he lived and taught in Laos for a year after his wife found a job there. ‘I wanted to understand development pro-

(impact factor 2.4) is ‘a welcome bonus’, as this is also taken into consideration when applying for a grant. It so happens he has got interesting research plans to look into the use of mobile phones by young people in South-East Asia. In between lecturing in and blogging on Children & Youth Studies (, he has already got started on his research, but it would be great if he were able to collect data on the spot for a few months. TL

8 May 2014 | 17


Open access: Share your research with the world In ten years’ time, all academic articles will be open access, free and freely accessible, if it’s up to the Dutch State Secretary Mr Sander Dekker. Is it really going to happen? And what would be the use to academics? text by Thessa Lageman illustrations by Bas van der Schot


hat’s it all about? Open access is free electronic access on the internet to academic publications. For the reader, that is. Authors, or their university, will actually have to pay to be published. At the moment, those wanting to read an article need to buy a subscription to a journal in which the author publishes free of charge. What are the State Secretary’s plans? Around 33,000 scholarly articles are written each year at Dutch universities and knowledge institutions. He would like to see these publicly financed articles fully available via open access by 2024 – in other words, accessible to anyone, gratis. What are his reasons? Because that way, it won’t just be researchers and students who are able to find out about research results, but all of us. A doctor, for instance, would be able to find information on new treatments more quickly and a teacher would be able to include new academic insights in his lessons. A fundamental decision, according to the State Secretary for Education, Culture and Sciences Mr Dekker.

Sounds good. It does indeed. Especially if you consider that right now, the government is paying thrice over: for the academic’s wages, for the subscription fee to the journal so other academics may read the article, and – should the article be used in a reader – also for copyright. The subscription fees now paid by libraries to publishing houses such as Elsevier and Oxford University Press are pretty steep. In total, Dutch universities are forking out around 35 million euros a year, with the Erasmus University Rotterdam spending a yearly average of 4 million euros on scholarly information, books and subscriptions to approximately 17,000 journals. Moreover, and as advocates of open access like to point out, the researchers in developing countries have less access to publications: their universities can’t afford the large numbers of pricey subscriptions. Though over the past years, some publishers have been giving certain countries discounts. So open access is cheaper? Unfortunately not. The fee due per article can be quite high, too – ranging from a few hundred to a couple of thousand euros. After all, publishing a

8 May 2014 | 18


Questionnaire on open access Like to find out what the EUR’s academics think of open access? Then please fill out this Miami University questionnaire, adapted for the EUR by Job van Exel of the Institute of Health Policy & Management: (duration 20 mins.). The results will be published in EM.

journal takes money, as peer reviews – the required refereeing by fellow academics – are needed. And even digital journals must be distributed. It ususally is the government who makes the funds required for this available to universities or research subsidising parties. Neither can we Dutch just cancel all of our subscriptions, seeing it’s an international system. This means that for quite a number of years, the universities will be paying for both the subscriptions and the articles in the open access journals. And even if we do cancel all subscriptions and start paying per article only, it may well end up being more expensive. The question, then, is how badly you want open access. So does that make the EUR opposed? No, it doesn’t. The university, too, thinks open access is a good idea. But extra funds are needed. What is already possible, according to the EUR and other universities, is the called the Green Route in officialese: publishing simultaneously in the traditional journals and on university-based institutional repositories – RePub at the Erasmus University. Direct open access, Mr Dekker’s choice, is referred to as the Golden Route. So it’s not going to happen? Oh, it is, open access is on its way up. The number of freely accessible publications is on the rise worldwide, particularly in the sciences. On the website of the Directory of Open Access Journals, no less than 9,740 open access journals are listed. Also, both the Dutch government and the European Union are trying to encourage open access publishing. All publications financed by the European programme Horizon 2020, for instance, must all be open access. How about at the EUR? Probably, not a lot of publishing in open access journals is going on here yet. As of 2011, the aca-

demics of the EUR are required to store their publications in RePub, the EUR’s online repository. By now, this contains 38,000 articles, dissertations and books, which comes to about 50 to 70 per cent of the total number of publications. Every day, no less than 10,000 articles and theses on average are downloaded from this datebase by people from all over. What can open access do for me as an academic? Publishing in high impact journals is essential to an academic career. It doesn’t matter whether the article is published in paper format, online, or both –as long as the journal in question is relevant to your ratings. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case yet with open access journals. Only if and when these journals manage to build a solid reputation will they end up in the rankings. That’s when open access publishing will become really appealing. Unless the peer review system is to be completely overhauled. Open access publishingwill of course allow more people to find out about your research results. The question remaining is: as a researcher, will you be actually willing to also publish your crude research data? Do you intend to share your information in its entirety, or would you prefer using your hard-won data for a few articles first? What can I do as an academic? When applying for a grant, you could earmark part of the finances for open access publishing. Secondly, as soon as the pre-print version of your article has been accepted, store it in your university’s repository. Finally, it makes sense not to sign each and every publisher’s contract unquestioningly. Don’t sign away all of your copyrights – make sure that at the very least, you’ll be able to publish your own article on your personal page or website. But anyway, everything will be freely available in ten years’ time?

It will be if it’s up to State Secretary Sander Dekker. In five

Open acces journal EUR Last year, associate professor Public Policy & Politics Peter Scholten founded the EUR’s only known open access journal, Comparative Migration Studies. To do so , he received funding from the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO). There’s very little point founding a non-open access journal these days, Scholten says, because libraries can do without yet another subscription. He stresses his is an independent journal with solid peer review. Three out of the four annual issues are special issues and

> Visit our website:

to publish in these, authors pay 250 euros an article. The journal is non-profit and can exist as long as there is funding. He would like to use it to lessen the influence of the impact system – the rankings of academic journals – but at the same time is hoping his journal will be in the rankings a few years from now. The predator publishers (see text box 2) are a thorn in Scholten’s flesh, because they are damaging to the reputation of open acces journals. However, peer reviewing isn’t always

done properly even at the reputable journals: also the major academic fraudsters of the past few years published their articles in these. When it comes down to it, he thinks the traditional publishers are a lot more questionable than the open access publishers, considering the steep subscription fees and equally high costs for wanting to publish an article open access, which comes to 2 to 3,000 dollars an article. In his opinion, both aspects are rather outdated.

8 May 2014 | 19

ARTS & SCIENCES Open excessen: predator publishers

Some open acces journals are abusing the system where either the academic or the university is paying for publication. These suspect publishers, also referred to as predator publishers, try and get as many scholars to publish in their journals, without peer reviews. Researcher Jasper Eshuis of the Faculty of Social Sciences has had dealings with one of these and has been a little wary of open access journals ever since. During a Glasgow conference in 2008, he presented a paper but failed to get the article published. Much to his surprise, three years later he was sent an e-mail by the Journal of Civil Engineering and Architecture saying they’d be happy to publish his article. Great, Eshuis and his co-authors thought, proceeding to send the article. In a following mail, they were told to pay 680 dollars – which they refused. The Chinese characters they detected in the e-mail roused their suspicion, as well as its being signed by ‘Shelly’ who had a Yahoo e-mail address. A year on, they were notified that the article had been accepted – no peer review having taken place – so would they please pay. They were to receive a 50 per cent discount, though eventually were told publication was to be free of charge. Eshuis’ attempts to find the article online have been fruitless. By now, he has struck it off his publication list and is glad he never paid up. Even though, like many other academics, he is critical of journals’ rankings, in the light of his career it’s still a pity if – as in this case – a journal is not included. According to him, open access is a wonderful ideal, but it does need new reviewing mechanisms.

years’ time, 60 per cent of academic articles should be freely accessible. And if things take too long, he even intends to make it compulsory in 2016 by an amendment to the Law on Higher Education and Research. Universities advocate open access, but think the State Secretary’s plans are unfeasible unless backed by extra funding. Publishers, of course, don’t want to see their revenues falling due to a new financing system. In other words, his plans are by no means certain. Comment by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sciences.

A spokesman said that for now, the ministry is standing by the plans that were unfolded November last. In ten years’ time, all publicly funded articles in the Netherlands must be open access, with no extra funding. “At the beginning of June, we will discuss this further with universities, libraries, academic organisations and publishers”, he says. “We’ve invited them for a reason, so we won’t be keeping our ears shut.” Regarding the fact that the publication system is a worldwide one, he says: “We won’t be going it alone, but if we can manage it on a European level, that’ll take us quite a long way.” In February, the State Secretary initiated a discussion of the issue with a number of ‘well-disposed countries’ that included the UK and Germany


Do you become a volunteer at a unique sport event? and get an official EUR Certificate of Recognition for this?

From July 24 to August 8, 2014, Europe’s largest multi sport event for students will be in Rotterdam! This unique event will take place on and around the campus of the Erasmus University. Some 3,000 students from more than 150 universities from around 40 countries take part in this event. They compete for the European title in 10 different sports and can enjoy an extensive side program. The European Universities Games are an event for students, by students. Therefore we are looking

for students who find it fun and interesting to gain a unique experience behind the scenes and to contribute to the organization of this unique student sports event. Are you looking for a fun volunteer position in a challenging environment and would you like to contribute to the organization of this fantastic event? Are you available for 100 hours during this period, then you may also qualify for the EUR Certificate of Recognition while volunteering for us! Sign up now via our website

8 May 2014 | 20


‘The healing qualities of music and singing are undeniable’ Egla Hajno (20) is a first year IBEB student. Shestaged a seductive performance in SG’s EP Sessions on March 27, accompanied by Robert Hoffman on the piano. Though not a professional singer, she is definitely an artist in every sense of the word. text by Nour Abdul-Hadi photography by Michel de Groot


ravel and family have been two of my biggest inspirations for singing. When travelling to Italy, I’m always struck by the reality of Rome. An ancient city standing atop at least seven other underground civilizations. It’s a world I’ve grown to associate with people I love, with the past and the future. It’s also where I got a Mocha machine that helps me wake up every morning.” “Growing up in a musical family means you also can also just find inspiration at home. For a long time, jazz was the genre I was wrapped up in most. My aunt Vikena Kamencia, who I’m very close to, has always loved jazz. Although she’s a professional opera singer, she is partly responsible for my love of jazz.” Immersed in music from a young age, Egla also took part in a regional music competition that was initiated by her school, Ti> Visit our website:

rana International School, where she won first prize. You might also want to check out a TV commercial she did at 14 singing an Albanian folk song called S’mendoja, meaning ‘I didn’t think so’.

Nina Simone Even though she is ‘just’ an amateur singer, Egla’s achievements are impressive. “It’s important to have inspiration as well as people urging you forward in different areas of your life. My siblings are the same, particularly my younger brother who has a real talent for the piano, so I encourage him to keep at it.” Her family owns a jazz club in Tirana called the Boom Boom Room where their own musical icons are celebrated on the walls, alongside mega-famous artists like Tracy Chapman. “There’s a real niche audience for jazz in Albania. The people who go there know each other and to some extent, they share a similar culture based on an affinity for soulful music. It’s a lifestyle that focuses on rhythms, the passion for jazz and for its instruments. I pine for the days when melodies came from us naturally and when we had a stronger relationship with music. There’s an endless list of musical icons who had this capacity, but I’d say my two favorites are Nina Simone and Antonio Jobim.” “The healing qualities of music and singing are undeniable. One can turn to it after a bad day or as a form of self-expression. My grandfather gave me a book

when I was sixteen with a quote that really epitomised that sentiment: ‘Be like a bird; sing after every storm’. It has been a quote I live by and it really captures how I feel towards music.” Whether she’s singing in English, Turkish, Spanish or Italian, Egla enjoys it all.

The Power of music Egla performed on 27 March at the Erasmus Pavilion’s EP Sessions. The main theme being jazz, Egla’s friends decided to put her name down without her knowing. “Of course I was nervous, but I got to pick three special songs for the event: Fever by Peggy Lee, My Big Bad Handsome


SG ERASMUS AGENDA THE INDISPENSIBLE ARMY | LECTURE The Russian occupation of Crimea, the war in Syria or the Dutch mission to Mali – these only seem to underpin the importance of the armed forces further. But are armies still contributing to the might and influence of Europe or indeed of single countries? NATO specialist Frank Majoor engages in debate with philosopher Paul Schuurman. Thursday 8 May, 7.30 - 9 p.m. Erasmus Paviljoen, Woudestein

STUDIO ERASMUS | TALKSHOW Studio Erasmus is the Erasmus University’s monthly talkshow covering arts and sciences as well as current affairs. With interviews, mini-lectures and live music. Among the guests of Tuesday 13 May 2014 are Liesbeth van Rossum and Chris Aalberts. Tuesday 13 May, start 8.30 a.m. Rotterdamse Schouwburg, Schouwburgplein

OPEN MIC NIGHT: EP SESSIONS XL | MUSIC Erasmus students and employees: hop on stage and show off your talents to the public. For this XL edition, bands are also welcome! If you fancy performing, register on our website – or drop by and just bring your applause! In collaboration with ESN-Rotterdam. Thursday 15 May, 7.30 - 9 p.m. Erasmus Paviljoen, Woudestein

> More information? or Free entry unless stated otherwise.

Man by Imelda May and All of Me by John Legend. We rehearsed three times for the EP session and though it was a lot of fun, it was also very time-consuming. I’m the type of person who pays great attention to detail and there are so many details in a performance. Your body language, your stance on the emotions you wish to evoke in your audience; these are all things to be taken into account. I aimed to give the best performance I could that evening. Certain things are out of your control but they may actually turn out well. While performing My Big Bad Handsome Man I couldn’t help but think of someone I love. The audience

feels this. Even with the distance from the stage, the way they experience your art hangs on your physical and emotional presence.” What made the evening in the Pavilion so special? “It was with people I had newly befriended this year. People are very important to me and I love to share my experiences with them, whether it’s through jokes and laughter (and I love to laugh) or a sincere musical performance. The power of music is in its inclusiveness and my aunt was probably one of the best people to teach me this. Whether I’ll do it again I don’t know, but it’s definitely something I really enjoy.”

8 May 2014 | 22



Céline used to study in Amsterdam, but decided to move to ‘010’ seven years ago. By now, she’s pretty well-known in the local night life scene. Every EM she selects – especially for you – the greatest performances, the most stunning expositions and the best parties in Rotterdam.

De Parade Summer Carnival

De Parade is a travelling theatre festival that kicks off its tour each year at the Museumpark in Rotterdam. The festival site is like a giant circus: there are brightly coloured tents, a ‘poffertjes’ (mini pancakes) stall and the famous swing carousel. Each year the various tents offer up seventy different theatrical and musical performances to see. Performances last no more than half an hour. So you can see and do more in one day. At this parade they make an act out of everything – even on your way to the toilet, artists will be performing for you. What’s more, you can eat good food, people watch and drink rosé. A tip: definitely go during the evening. All the coloured lights get turned on inside the tents when it starts to get dark. And you simply can’t go home before having had a ride in the beautiful swing carousel.

Summer is coming and that means festivals! Sunglasses on, shoes off and dancing the day away in the sun. For this special edition, I have selected the four newest or most fun festivals. The first is a new small-scale electronic music festival that features theatre and art. Lost and Sound is not as big as the famous festivals, allowing for a more intimate atmosphere. The festival will be held on Saturday, 26 July, in an undiscovered Rotterdam garden. The first artists have confirmed: Âme, Feel my Bicep, Ben UFO, Axel Boman and Tom Trago will be there to blow us all away. Tired of dancing? Take in a performance of theatre collective Macabre. The location of this secret garden will be announced later.

In the third weekend of July, a three-day festival takes over the city of during Rotterdam Unlimited. Throughout this weekend, Summer Carnival lets loose in the streets of Rotterdam. The spectacle starts on Friday with the Battle of Drums. Three brass bands start off from different locations in the city, moving and shaking all the way to the Hofplein stage. Each brass band puts on a smashing show. This determines which band will be named the Best Brass Band of the Netherlands, and be immortalized on the Golden Drum. Saturday is the street parade with Caribbean dancers, loads of feathers, decorated floats and music. On Sunday the Lloyd Multiplein hosts ‘Crazy, Sexy, Cool’, a dance party with big names like Gregor Salto, Sidney Samson, Billy the Kit, The Partysquad and Shermanology.

> When: Saturday, 26 July. Entrance: € 28,-

> When: 18, 19 and 20 July. Entrance: free. Entrance Crazy

€ 7,50. Price per performance: From € 2,- to € 10,-


Sexy Cool: € 20,- Info:


Lost & Sound

Dance Float Rotterdam has gained another big dance festival this summer. Dance Float is an electronic music festival that will be spread across the city at special locations. Five cruise ships will sail the river Maas, each with a different music style ranging from techno to eclectic house and hardstyle. Aboard the boat you sail along several dance areas that are located on the wharf. Katendrecht will be dedicated to hardstyle on that day. Techno and house will be the booming from the Parkkade near the Euromast. And everyone will be dancing

> Visit our website:

> When: 19 to 29 June in the Museumpark. Entrance:

to eclectic music at Leuvehoofd. You can buy a ticket for the boat or for the on-land locations. Big names have been invited to this festival such as DJ Chuckie, Erick E, Roog, Michel de Hey, Benny Rodrigues, Neophyte, Kevin Saunderson and Mark Knight. This is shaping up to be a large, spectacular festival so make sure to keep the next day free. You’ll need to rest after this party! > When: 5 July. Entrance: onshore for € 27,50 / offshore for € 50,Info:

LIFESTYLE COLOPHON Edition EM 06 – 31 October 2013 Year 17, 2013-2014 Erasmus University Rotterdam ISSN: 0922 – 713x Circulation: 11,500 Visiting address EM Erasmus Magazine E building, rooms ET 41-48 Burg. Oudlaan 50 3062 PA Rotterdam Postal address Erasmus Magazine Postbus 1738 3000 DR Rotterdam Telephone / e-mail 010-4081115 Em.Online EM Online brings you news and updates across the university Erasmus Magazine is also available online:


Enjoying a beer on the quayside

The Oude Haven is chock-a-block with atmospheric joints, the eyecatchers their quayside terraces. Kade (‘Quay’) 4 is one of those places where, on a hot day, you could easily lounge away the afternoon or evening. Kade 4 Spaansekade 4 Atmosphere 7/10 Pulling opportunities 6/10 Studenty-ness 9/10 Beer € 2.50

Students and the Oude Haven are like Russians and vodka: they’re inseparable. In their student days, the majority of all Rotterdam graduates must have spent a good many hours around the little old port, its historic boats contrasting so beautifully with the modernist cubic houses. It’s not usually the setting for partying ’till the wee small hours. You come here for a great lunch or, say – to coin a student phrase – a bloody good pre-boozing ‘sesh’. The same goes for Kade 4, hardly an original name for a place which is located at number 4 Spaanse Kade. In all likelihood, there weren’t many runners-up in the naming contest. Just like its neighbour Stockholm, Kade 4 looks respectable but friendly: T The menu is extremely varied and is sporting such items as the well-filled and very filling Kade burger, a classy vitello tonato (veal with tuna mayonnaise), various omelettes as well as marinated jumbo shrimps. You’ll be forking out quite a bit more for these choice morsels than you would for a normal student lunch or meal. In other words, the average poverty-stricken student will have trouble turning a Kade 4 meal into a habit. If you just want a beer or glass of wine, you’ll be all right. As a result, the place isn’t exactly short of customers. And unless appearances are deceiving – which, in our damp little country, they are only too often – sunny days seem to be heading our way. Particularly on days like that you’ll often find the terrace crammed. Though friend and foe will agree that a long summer’s eve on the terrace is as close to heaven as you’ll get, the interior of Kade 4 isn’t half bad, either. The place is in fact divided in two: at the entrance you may partake in a social drink with the masses, whereas the slightly lower-lying part with luxury lounge seats makes for a more cosy and private option for twosomes or groups. Those critically inclined may find the slightly slow service annoying, but in this beautiful spot, most customers don’t mind waiting a little longer. And whenever you’re sunning yourself on the terrace, it doesn’t really matter either way. MvS (photography: MB)

Editors Wieneke Gunneweg, editor-in-chief, Gert van der Ende, managing editor Tim Ficheroux, news and web editor Lindemarie Jongste editor Thessa Lageman science editor Nour Abdul-Hadi intern Editorial assistent José Luijpen: 010-4081115 Contributors Michel de Groot, Ronald van den Heerik, Eline Huisman, Daniël Lambrichts, Céline Maessen, Zihni Özdil, Matthijs van Schie, Bas van der Schot, Levien Willemse Translations Monique Woning, Kimberly Bredero, Thomas van Dijk Advertising EUR-ads and EM local ads in Erasmus Magazine: 010-4081115 of All other ads via Bureau van Vliet B.V., Zandvoort, tel.: 023-5714745 of Design / Lay out Unit20, Yoe San Liem, Maud van Velthoven Print De Bondt, Barendrecht HOP Erasmus Magazine is affiliated with the Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau Editorial Board Henk Volberda (chairman), Brigitte Hoogendoorn, Michael Rabbers, Arthur de Ruiter, Marcella Spoor, Pieter Kuijt. Cover Ronald van den Heerik Next edition EM EM 18 will appear 22 May 2014. Ads overview Erasmus4Rotterdam, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Dizzy, European Universities Games 2014 © Erasmus Magazine All rights reserved. Nothing from this edition may be used without written permission from the editor-in-chief.

Daniël Lambrichts


Until a few years back, Rotterdam meant no more to me and my family than an enjoyable trip. A fun day’s outing, and that’s all there was to it. In the previous millennium, I spent a team outing with my hockey friends there being seasick on the Spido boat. As a ten-year-old, I conquered my fear of heights once and for all on top of the imposing Euromast Tower. And whenever my mother really felt like a shopping spree, I’d be trailing behind her through the shopping areas Koopgoot and across Lijnbaan – there I was, not having an inkling I was one day to return in quite a different capacity, namely as a student. Once I’d got myself a place studying at the Erasmus MC, I lost no time swapping the good Brabant life in Roosendaal for the big down-to-earth port that is Rotterdam. Now, almost three years on, I’ve grown to love this city, preferring to breathe the Rijnmond air rather than that of the Brabant countryside (even though it reduces my life expectancy by about two years). The privilege of being a student in Rotterdam is uncommonly good. The city really does have everything to offer that a young person with academic inclinations could wish for. Who’d have thought I’d ever be able to spend a whole afternoon in the Kunsthal without yawning and with unfeigned interest? Or that I’d do a ten kilometer run along with thousands of others during the Rotterdam Marathon? Or be zigzagging home across Lijnbaan in the middle of the night, on my bike? Recently, I was given the opportunity to don my tails for a gala party on a boat. Sailing up and down the Maas River, the Willemsbrug, the Zwaan bridge and the Kop van Zuid passed before our eyes. With all of us blustering away aboard, our boat travelled through the docklands. Despite the free-flowing beer and the fact that next to me someone was vomiting over the railing I was experiencing a deep and meaningful moment: ‘010’ isn’t just a city where I happen to be studying – it’s become my haven. Daniël Lambrichts is a medical student

THIS IS ME Skhula Skhwakakar (20) Studies Business Administration Style? “I used to always wear heels, but a friend of mine said I should start wearing Vans. Initially I thought it was a stupid idea. Still, I got myself a pair – and ever since, it’s all I’ve been wearing. I work at Primark two days a week. It’s very hectic but fun. Primark pays well compared to other clothes shops. Probably because it’s hard work. Primark is part of an organisation that fights child labour. They also claim their clothes are produced in a responsible way. I’m rather doubtful about this, as they’re very cheap.’ Refugee. “I was born in Afghanistan, I fled the war there with my parents. When we first came to Holland, we lived in a refugee centre. After that, we got a house in a small village in Limburg where we were the only foreigners. We didn’t have residence permits then. It took ages before I got one. Now I’m living in Eindhoven and I go to university in Rotterdam. My elder brothers and sisters were already doing degrees in Rotterdam, where they joined an Afghan student association. I used to come along to the association’s parties, so doing a degree in Rotterdam was an easy choice for me because I already knew a lot of people here.”

They’ve always raised us with that in the back of their minds. My parents think it’s important that I and my brothers and sisters make something of ourselves. Now it’s my responsibility to develop myself and do something for those people in Afghanistan who haven’t got the same opportunities that I do.” Holiday plans. “Last year, I went to Mallorca with some friends. During the day, we’d go to the beach, and we’d go clubbing at night. I got sick of it after a couple of days. So I organised a cultural outing. We drove through the mountains by car and visited monuments in small villages. I really enjoyed it, but the day after, my friends just wanted to sprawl on the beach again. I’d really like to go to Afghanistan with my parents, but my mother doesn’t want to. Going by yourself is still too dangerous at the moment.” CM (photography by RvdH)

Jacket: Zara T-shirt: Zara Trousers: Zara Shoes: All Stars

World conqueror. “I’d like to conquer the world. What I mean by that is that I want to leave my mark on this world. My parents went to university in Afghanistan. They had their lives there. They fled to the Netherlands because here, there are better opportunities for their children.

INSPIRATION Trika Harms zum Spreckel, Marketing Manager at Erasmus University College “Jerry Agema, a truck driver, recently inspired me. He was fed up with politics but felt somewhat powerless to change anything. He ended up being the face of a national protest, receiving a lot of media attention. I like to remember that no action equals no effect, but whatever action you do take, it might turn into something bigger than you’d have imagined.”

“I always bring my

“The football shirt is

styling tongs. I once

an FC Barcelona shirt,

stayed the night at

“My nickname is

my favourite club. I’m

my sister’s and there

“The watch is by

Chocola. Because two

a Barcelona fan and

was a power cut. I

Michael Kors. I badly

languages are spoken

my brother backs Real

then called a girlfriend

wanted a smart

in Afghanistan, a lot

Madrid. We’re always

and went over to her

watch and I had to

of people can’t

arguing about which

place to style my hair.”

save up for ages.”

pronounce my name.”

one is better.”

Erasmus Magazine, English issue May 2014  
Erasmus Magazine, English issue May 2014  

The university magazine of the Erasmus University Rotterdam