magazine of the hague university of applied sciences
How THU is internationalising
The Queen in the Classroom The Hague University looked a lot like a CSI lab in late August as the school hosted the European Academy of Forensic Science (EAFS), a four-day conference for Crime Scene Investigators. story René Rector • image Quintin van der Blonk The ceremonial high point of the conference was a visit from Queen Beatrix, who, together with an entourage, visited the conference on the last day, spoke with the scientists about their results and attended the final keynote speech. The Hague University hosted the conference on behalf of the Dutch Forensic Institute, which organised the event.
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Content 6 How to survive your first year Second year students share their experiences from their first year. And they give practical tips for a good start. 10 THU students required to become world citizens Including a quiz: how internationally competent are you?
18 Europe vs The Netherlands The Netherlands went to the polls on 12 September, but parliamentary power in the country is crumbling.
16 Student Associations A-Z 20 Find your way around the THU maze Columns
First timers The magazine you are holding in your hands right now is pretty unique. It is the first all English magazine ever released for the whole of The Hague University of Applied Sciences. It is more or less coincidental that the main topic is the internationalisation policy at THU. Why now? Why the heck would you wait so long to do your first all English issue? Why not twenty-something years ago? Well, if you ask around, you’ll find out that there were a lot less foreign students back then, and even now, you are outnumbered ten to one at least by Dutch speakers. But I think it’s not only the numbers that count here. I like the explanation I heard from James Kennedy, an American professor of Dutch culture, a while ago. The Dutch appear to have a love-hate relationship with internationalisation. As you might have noticed, Dutch politics are obsessed with issues related to the mixing of cultures, whether it is about headscarves or about Europe and the euro. The professor explained it this way: the Dutch tend to break with their past, rather than be proud of their heritage. One of the major political discussions ten years ago was about the true face of Dutch culture, since nobody knows what that is exactly (except for clogs and tulips). Continuing our history as salesmen (in the Golden Age, when we were also ‘sails men’), Dutchies do go abroad and speak their languages well, but are, on the flip side, xenophobic. Without proper knowledge of our own past, everything from out there is a bit threatening. Not because it’s from out there, but because the Dutch have no clue on what they can or should be proud of. (Clogs and tulips are usually considered stupid and touristy)
4 Picture this: your vacation 5 On the line with… Rob – the boss - Brons
The result is ambivalence when it comes to internationalisation. Yes, we want to internationalise, but we don’t want to lose ourselves in it, whatever ‘ourselves’ might be.
9 Self-image: Hans Hoekstra 13 Legal briefs 17 Melting pot: Turkish cigars 22 Gems: get cultural tips, learn about Prince’s day and win a comic
Schoolstraat 21 2511 AW Den Haag 070 - 3 65 73 06
But not in this special issue of Link. We are releasing two of these English-language specials this year: one in September and one in February. To be kept up to date with what’s going on at THU in the meantime, you might want to tune in to our website: link-en.hhs.nl, or to keep in touch via facebook.com/thulinkonline. And for the record: we are proud of it.
René Rector Editor-in-chief
Link is published and produced by the Communication & Marketing department at The Hague University. Editors room: Ovaal 1.06 Address PO Box 13336, 2501 EH The Hague email: firstname.lastname@example.org f: 070 445 7554 i: link.hhs.nl Editors Dieuwke de Boer (070 445 8851), René Rector (070 445 8813, editor-in-chief), Martine Seijffert (070 445 8814), Youri van Vliet (070 445 8796) Student Editors Qushal Bansraj, Ilse van Beest, Esther Bliek, Martin Cok, Patty Elbersen, Ruurd de Graaf, Can Guneyli, Tim de Jong, Martina Koleva, Simone Krouwer, Paul van Leeuwen, Michael Rizkalla, Thalita da Silva Lingers Staff Charlotte Fritschy, Dave van Ginhoven, Christin Zitter Comic Margreet de Heer Images Mieke Barendse, Quintin van der Blonk, David van Dam, Kim Eijkelhof, Bas Kijzers, Anke Nobel Design Mustafa Özbek, Josean the Pie Print OBT bv, The Hague Advertisement Bureau Nassau, Achterom 100c, Hoorn PO Box 4130, 1620 HC Hoorn e: email@example.com t: 020-623 0905 f: 020-639 0846 i: www.bureaunassau.nl ISSN 2210-7983 Copyright It is not allowed to copy articles of images without permission of the editors. Link is published monthly in Dutch and twice a year in English. The next Dutch release is on October 4. The next English special is on February 14.
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In pictures At home, on the beach, or off on adventure When do we take the most pictures? On vacation, of course. The number of submissions this summer was, as a result, overwhelming. What were you up to all summer? One student may be happy with his or her well-deserved rest while another takes pictures of all the fun they’re having. Sunsets are also popular, and a large number of the submissions came from people who went looking for adventure. In order:  Lisa Diericks (International Communication Management),  Olivia Flasch (International and European Law),  David Moellers (European Studies),  Tobias Büschel (International Business and Management Studies),  Petra Marinova (International Business and Management Studies),  Sebastiaan Rijntjes (International Business and Management Studies),  Arin Sen (International Communication Management),  Alina Naimovic (International Business and Management Studies),  Marie Bantje (International Communication Management)
The 50 euro prize goes to Olivia Flasch, because we think a great vacation shot freezes a magic moment and captures it in just a fraction of a second.
Win 50 euros The start of a new school year comes with a lot of festivities. What is your favorite party picture? Send that one to firstname.lastname@example.org by e-mail. Please tell us who’s on the picture, what can be seen and who you are. Send in your picture before october 25. If your picture is winning, you’ll be rewarded with 50 euro’s.
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On the line with Rob – the boss – Brons
‘Look around and make friends’ Rob Brons has been The Hague University of Applied Sciences’ ‘big boss’ or, in other words, Chairman of the Executive Board, since March 2010. One of his tasks is to ensure that international students at The Hague University of Applied Sciences can study under the best possible conditions. Read on for an introduction. story Youri van Vliet • image Mieke Barendse
What did you want to become when you were ten?
I can’t remember actually having dreams for the future at that age. That may have something to do with the limited prospects I thought were open to me then. We lived in a working-class neighbourhood, where my father was a postman and my mother kept house. In those days you weren’t expected to stray far from where you grew up, career-wise.
Were you the first in your family to attend university? Yes. I had never set foot inside a university before then. I can still see the lecture hall now, all 1,200 seats – it was enormous! Because of my background I really empathise with first-generation students at this institution.
How important are international students to The Hague University of Applied Sciences?
These days, almost everyone goes to university, but it’s a lot less common to do a study programme abroad. You could say that the students who come here from abroad all have an enterprising spirit and provide a real impetus in terms of quality. We are hoping to double the share of international students here in future, to twenty percent.
Do you have any advice for international students? Take the time to look around you and make friends. Dare to get lost! You’ll be sure to find people who will be happy to help you. Over 130 countries are represented in our international student body, so when you return home you’ll be part of a network that spans the entire globe. Also, the best way to get your bearings in a strange city is to hop on your bike on a Sunday morning and explore while the rest of its inhabitants are still asleep!
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How to survive your The time has come. Your studies are starting. To help you get into the swing of things, your predecessors – now starting their second year, took some time to look back on their experiences last year and to give you some tips that will help you get off to a good start. Combine this with the advice offered by your teachers and your Educational Career Supervisor and you will have your own survival guide. story Dieuwke de Boer and Martine Seijffert • images Bas Kijzers
‘I needed re-sit exams to pass my first semester’ ‘I underestimated the programme at first. If I had to read twenty pages I thought, “I’ll do that quickly,” but, all of a sudden, everything seemed to be written in really difficult English. It’s a lot of work and you can’t compare it to high school, where everything is broken down for you. Here, you get a module guide and get to work. For example: I had to make a mind map, but I didn’t know what that was and I made a really nice summary instead. I didn’t know yet that you can always e-mail a teacher with a question and get an answer. I needed re-sit exams to pass the first semester. If you want to avoid that, you really have to make a schedule for everything you have to do. If you plan too flexibly, you will find room to put things off. I was a last-minute student, but now I’ve turned into a day-before person.’
Thalita da Silva Lingers (20) In her second year of European Studies (English stream)
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first year From day one Everything is new. It’s tempting to take your time to make the adjustment slowly, but you cannot afford to fall behind, because it can be difficult to catch up. If you don’t want to be part of the five per cent of students who drop out in December, make sure that, from day one, you attend your classes, even if attendance is not mandatory. Be prepared to work hard.
what will be expected of you in Higher Professional Education (HBO). That’s why it is essential that you read your course descriptions and instructions carefully. Ask your teachers what you will have to know and what you will have to be able to do to succeed in a course. And, if there are practice tests, do them: they help you get a sense of the level.
Get to know each other Time management Careful planning can help you avoid procrastination, if you are able to make a plan and stick to it. Try scheduling things backwards: identify deadlines and exam dates and work backwards to find a good starting point for preparations. Be sure to include any jobs, sports, social activities, and, if necessary, time for sleeping in your agenda. Then you can easily identify the bottlenecks, as well as the quiet periods. Keep in mind that working in project groups tends to gobble up a lot of time.
Naturally, you will have time in the introduction period to get to know your classmates, but it can be very useful and fun to continue participating in activities where you can meet more of your fellow students. If you are ‘socially integrated,’ you will feel more comfortable, and that, in turn, is good for your academic performance. Find out if your study programme has a club or a student association, for example.
Know what is expected When you start studying, there is often a gap between what you were used to at your old school and
‘I realized I wasn’t happy with studying IBMS’ ‘After my last year of high school in China, I chose IBMS. I chose to study abroad because I wanted to learn the English language and try something different. My mother did her Master in Economics and said IBMS would be very useful for me in the future. I just wanted to study abroad. Now I know that was totally wrong. After the Christmas holidays, I realized I wasn’t happy with studying IBMS, but I didn’t know what to do about it. First I was busy solving other problems: I had to find a room, get a bankcard and register for exams. In my second term I went to a student counsellor. The student counsellor gave me more information about other programmes and I also talked to the dean of Process & Food Technology. I start with this programme in September. If I could do it over, I would have made up my mind earlier.’
Jasmine Sun (21) Studied International Business and Management Studies last year, starts studying Process & Food Technology this year
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‘Being friendly makes your life easier’ ‘At my first lecture I wondered: “Am I supposed to listen or copy everything down?” Halfway through, the teacher said we could find the PowerPoint presentation on Blackboard. Now I just listen closely and I only write down the important things that the teacher says. That helps me to make my summaries. In my books, I label the things I think are important and I copy those over on paper. Then I exchange summaries with my classmates. That is refreshing. Being friendly makes your life easier because you have to work in groups a lot. Right before an exam, I go through all the PowerPoints with a friend, then we quiz each other. We even exchange our essays. I have learned not to put off writing essays, because when you do, before you know it, you’ll have to do everything at once: study for exams while writing essays.’
Filmon Mulugheta (28) In his second year of International Public Management
Seek out study buddies Not everyone is cut out for sitting at home, alone, and studying in a disciplined and concentrated manner. Studying together can help. You can go through assignments, help one another when you don’t understand something, and brainstorm. As an added benefit, it provides incentive to study and social checks and balances (you’ll have someone demanding to know, ‘where were you?’ if you don’t show up to study).
Talk out your doubts A lot of first-year students feel insecure. Can I handle this? Am I in the right place? You might not think it’s tough or cool, but it is certainly smart to talk about your doubts. Visit your Educational Career Supervisor (ECS), mentor or tutor. Together, you can find out if your expectations for your study programme are correct and, if necessary, you can get help in switching to another study. Your ECS can help you, even if your insecurities are about your own capabilities or about a personal situation. They can give you advice and, if needed, refer you to support courses, the career centre, or the student counsellor or dean.
Discover your learning style Do you like working with diagrams and summaries, or is one readthrough enough for you to understand the material? Do you want a teacher to tell you exactly what you need to know, or do you seek out your own information and apply it? It is useful to know your learning style. You can find out by doing an online learning style test (ask your ECS for help). Then you’ll know your strengths and weaknesses and it will help you in your development. Experiment and find the working style that suits you best.
Buy those books They’re expensive, and you don’t know yet what they’re worth to you, but it is still smart to buy your schoolbooks right away, at least for the first period. After that, you can always check around to see if you can borrow or copy other books. Make sure you have everything you need at the start of term so you can get right to work and get the most out of the material. Don’t wait until the last minute and remember: everyone will need their own copy during exams and are not likely to lend it out. If you don’t have your own books, you have to depend on other students, and not everyone appreciates that.
Ask questions You can expect professionalism and knowledge from your teachers, but don’t think that they are just going to tell you everything. Forget that passive approach. Get curious and critical. Dare to ask questions and tell your teachers what you really want to know. And, if you don’t understand something, point it out.
Language and Math English and mathematics can be an issue. The level at many high schools does not quite match the level at HBO. If you know that language is your weak point, or that you have a tough time with math, get on top of it and ask for support, because help is available and can save you from stress and study delays. You can request additional lessons or arrange a tutor. Keep in mind that reading, especially (quality) newspapers along side your schoolbooks will help with your language development.
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Self-image Every month in Link, one of the ‘Academy Teachers of the Year’ presents themself through a selfdrawn picture. So how does this picture represents their way of teaching?
‘In my classes I put myself in the manager’s seat’ Hans G. Hoekstra
Lecturer at the Academy of Marketing Age 55 Was Marketeer Now lectures B2B Marketing and Strategic Management Teaching style the story teller, seemingly impromptu
He is someone who doesn’t mind explaining once again what it’s all about. He brings business practice into the classroom. And he can be recognized easily by the pink shirts that he is wearing. ‘Should I win the Olive Award, then that does not automatically qualify me as the best lecturer,’ says Hans Hoekstra, 2012 Teacher of the Year in the Academy of Marketing & Commerce. story Charlotte Fritschy • images Mieke Barendse/Hans Hoekstra
So what do we see in the picture? I have put myself on top of a soap box. As in ‘soap boxing’ or ‘giving an impromptu speech’ like people did in the old days. Does that mean that I improvise while teaching? It may seem that way. I’m up there, presenting the tale that I want to tell. What I aim for is chemistry in the class room. That is what the soap bubbles in my drawing stand for. I mostly wear a suit. After all, IBMS is a management studies program. The pink shirts have become my trademark. The pointing finger is not to patronize but more a signal that what I’m saying now should be taken good notice of.
IBMS is a fully English-taught program. How is it to be lecturing in English? For me it was not a big step since I had been working in international environments before I came to THU. That is also where our students will find themselves in their professional careers. What matters is that every student attains a good command of Business English even if they are not native speakers, which most of our students indeed aren’t.
You are the 2012 Academy Teacher of the Year at Marketing & Commerce. Rightly so? To be honest, I had seen it coming. Students had been talking about it. What really matters is why a student would give his or her vote to me. For instance that I explain matters clearly. But in the end it is a popularity poll and one of the reasons that I ended up winning it may well be that I am not merely active as lecturer but also as student mentor and as Internship Coordinator. Students will see different sides of me.
How would you then describe these different sides? As a lecturer I am the story teller, but that is then my way to bring the business practice into the classroom. My own professional experiences are still quite useful since I joined HHS only some six years ago. In my mentor role I am addressing students on a more personal level. I listen, I provide assistance. And as Internship Coordinator, as indeed in the class room, I put myself in the manager’s position. ‘Pretty soon you will be a staff employee reporting to a manager, so you better get used to it’. Which means that I do assist, but I expect them to self-steer too.
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The Hague’s students to become
required world citizens
All Dutch students who begin studying at The Hague University this year will be required to incorporate international components into their studies. Like it or not, they are going to become world citizens. Why? And what does it mean for international students? story Qushal Bansraj • images Bas Kijzers/Shutterstock
n 1993, former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Gali became the first to refer to The Hague as the ‘legal capital of the world.’ With the International Criminal Court, several international tribunals, the Peace Palace and countless other globally recognised organisations, The Hague is an international city. With that in mind, The Hague University drafted new goals in 2011. The university wants to
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measure up to other schools at an international level, and wants to mould its students into world citizens. Starting this school year, all Dutch students must earn at least thirty credit points that have an international dimension, according to the university’s Internationalisation Policy plan, which goes into effect this year. ‘We have been working on Internationalisation since
Es Con say Wintest:
iPad an 3! Internationalisation: Necessity or Hobby? 2005,’ says Susana Menéndez, the member of the Board of Directors in charge of Internationalisation, ‘the new policy plan will put it into practice. We aren’t doing this as a hobby but because we believe that, especially if you live in the western part of the Netherlands, you are going to have international encounters. Every student who works in this region requires competencies in working with people from different cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. Because we want this to influence what we teach and learn, we have decided to attach thirty ECTS credits.’ Not everyone is enthusiastic about this requirement. Lecturer Herre Faber, for example, expressed his scepticism in his blog on Link online, saying: ‘a required international internship for my programme, Human Kinetic Technology? That’s fine for students who want that and around thirty per cent do, but for students who want nothing more than to develop professional skills it is obviously ridiculous to inconvenience them with this unholy plan. It is an infringement on a student’s autonomy.’ Menéndez categorically disagrees with this comment. ‘Internationalisation is so much more than traveling or speaking English. Scientific literature and knowledge nowadays is often produced or written in English. As an institute for higher education, we should implement this international knowledge in our curricula. It will enrich the content of our study programmes.’The thirty points will not come at the expense of relevant professional content, according to Menéndez. ‘It’s not something extra that will replace existing curricula,’ she says, ‘You have to integrate the thirty points into the courses and programme you already have. That way you add an international dimension to your programme that helps you to provide a broader framework for basic knowledge.’ That broader vision is the trademark of a world citizen, who ‘can function and participate everywhere.’ For any study programme that expects to be able to look the other way and let the world citizenship train pass them by, the Internationalisation plan is binding: programmes that do not incorporate thirty internationally themed study points could expect financial sanctions. However, Menéndez is less firm on this, saying: ‘We have not worked that out yet, and we almost never resort to sanctions.’
In the past few months, all the academies at THU have been working hard on plans to implement the university’s internationalisation policy. THU wants to create world citizens: people can and will live and work around the world. In a world that is getting smaller every day, international cooperation is more and more important and easier to achieve than ever before. Higher Education institutions have many reasons for international collaboration, which should contribute to the quality of their curricula and give the institutions an international, socially involved profile. It gives the institution an edge in the competition for (the best) international students and it should meet the needs and wishes of students and staff. Many managers, students and staff members feel the need for Internationalisation, but there are also those who do not think its necessary. It might be important for European Studies, but is it essential for Education in Primary Schools or Social Professions? And should it all be made mandatory? The debate is starting slowly and the arguments for and against Internationalisation are rarely brought head to head with one another. But what do you think? Participate in this essay contest from the Lectorate for International Cooperation. Describe, in a maximum of 1,000 words, what you think about Internationalisation. Back your arguments up with researched references or your own experiences. Remember: it’s an essay. Be convincing and provocative. Send your essay to Dr Jos Walenkamp (j.h.c.walenkamp@ hhs.nl) by 24 November. The essays will be judged by a jury including Dr Jos Walenkamp, the Lector for Internationalisation, René Rector, editor-in-chief of Link, Susana Menéndez, member of the board of directors, and Ineke van der Meule, director of the Centre for Lectorates and Research. The best essay will be published in Link and rewarded with an iPad 3. The jury may consider publishing a bundle of the best essays. All participants will be invited for a symposium about Internationalisation.
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internationalisation Collaborating with foreign institutions Internationalisation is not something you can do on your own. That is why THU is looking for ‘high-level collaboration’ with foreign partners. Within Europe, THU is already working together with around 150 universities and universities of applied sciences. The goal is a strong expansion of that network in 2012-2013. Recently, a new venture was started the University of Jaén in Spain, among other things. Beyond Europe, relationships have been started on every continent. In total, there are over thirty foreign universities linked to The Hague University.
Not going abroad While doing an internship abroad (for a minimum of three months!) or studying in a foreign country is a fairly obvious way to work on your cosmopolitan competencies, at the moment, less than one out of five Dutch students make such a choice. The majority of those who stay home say that it is not financially viable for them. For others, having to miss family and friends is a major obstacle. THU offers students who stay in the Netherlands two alternatives. They can participate in an English-language minor or semester taught in an International Classroom (see ‘When will I be affected?’) where at least 35 per cent of the students are international. Another option is attending a series of English guest lectures.
ing Test ur yo
rinte nal o natireness awa
Are you a talented world citizen or an international novice? Answer the questions in this questionnaire of International Communication teacher Nasrat Popal and find out.
2. In which culture it is out of the question to give something to another person with your left hand? a. Russian culture b. Chinese culture c. Arabic culture
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The University is creating International Classrooms by offering courses where over a third of the students come from other countries. In such a classroom, Dutch students learn to work with different cultures and get to practice their English, but having different cultures in a classroom does not automatically lead to more internationally competent students. Teachers must work hard to prevent bubbles, clusters of students from the same background, from forming and try to structure classes in such a way that dialog and interaction takes place between Dutch and International students. One question mark that hangs over the international classroom is whether or not there will be ‘enough’ international students. In 2011, THU had 1,100 international students. In 2015, the university hopes to have 4,000. In order to attract those students it would come in handy to make sure that the current international students are satisfied and would advise others to enrol here.
How international are you? 1. How much of our communication consists of non-verbal communication? a. between 30 and 40 per cent b. between 55 and 70 per cent c. between 20 and 30 per cent
When will I be affected?
3. In the Netherlands, it is not customary to ask someone about his/her salary and income. Which type of questions should you not ask when you’re in an Islamic country? a. questions about politics b questions about sexuality c. questions about eating habits 4. In many countries in Asia (and partly in Africa), eye contact is seen as... a. sign of respect and trust b. sign of being in love with someone c. sign of disrespect and brutality
Legal briefs Who is affected and how? ‘At the moment, every study programme is working out their plans,’ says Menéndez. Academies are free to decide for themselves how they will implement the Internationalisation plan. It is likely that the way you encounter internationalisation in a Skin Therapy programme will differ from how it’s done at a Business Management Studies programme, but the implementation of these thirty points for all students starting school in 2012 applies to all programmes. However, because much of the Internationalisation is likely to involve exchanges, placements and minors that take place after the first year, students who start this fall are not likely to notice the new international focus until the second semester.
International students are dissatisfied International students at THU are positive about the community at the university, including the people, the diversity, the culture and the atmosphere, according to a research report on ‘Internationalisation Policy at THU.’ They are, however, more critical when it comes to the level of their education, the quality of their teachers and content of the curricula. Of the 59 European schools that were compared for the study (including ten other schools in the Netherlands), The Hague University came in at 58th place. That makes it seem fairly logical that the university wants to increase the satisfaction of international students. Steps have already been taken in the area of housing, long a thorn in the side of the international student. A regular ‘strategic consultation’ between a number of THU directors and Susana Menéndez has also been created to work on the quality of Internationalisation. According to Menéndez, ‘the quality of the curriculum and the forming of the international community are on the agenda. We are asking ourselves how we, as a university of applied sciences, can offer international students something extra.’
5. Why do people in most Asian cultures say ‘We’ instead of ‘I’? a. because the word ‘I’ doesn’t exist in their vocabulary b. because they often tend to exaggerate c. because of the collectivist culture they are living in 6. In many countries, the colour black is a sign of sadness and mourning. In which country does the colour white have the same meaning: a. China b. Brazil c. Norway 7. The Netherlands is best known around the world for its: a. Tulips, wooden shoes (klompen) and windmills b. Red light districts (De Wallen in Amsterdam) c. Coffee shops for soft drugs The answers can be found on page 24
Student’s assumption of extra resits unjustified Despite Communication student T. having been granted deferment of an impending binding negative study advice due to a hand injury, the Exam Board refuses to grant him extra resits for the three first-year course subjects he still needs to complete. story Simone Krouwer
The facts Student T. enrolled in the part-time Communications study programme in February 2010. Two years later, T. had not yet successfully completed four mandatory first-year courses, resulting in a binding negative study advice. The Exam Board granted T. a grace period of eight weeks because an injury to his right hand prevented him from taking his exams. In February, T. requested but was not granted extra resits for three first-year courses. T. was ultimately issued a binding negative study advice in April 2012 and submitted an appeal against this decision.
The arguments Student T. argued that, based on the grace period he had been granted, he was entitled to extra resits. An injury to his right hand had prevented him from participating in the next available round of exams in Media Science and Corporate Communications. The relevant resits were not offered until after 1 April. His academic career counsellor had given him the wrong impression that the exams could be moved forward so that T. would still be able to obtain his first-year certificate.
The counterarguments The Exam Board indicated that in his application for deferment dated 10 January 2012, T. gave the impression that he would be able to successfully complete the remaining courses in his firstyear programme within eight weeks. He was not granted permission in February to take his exams at an earlier date, because he did not satisfy the applicable requirements. T. had not attended all the lectures and had failed to make use of earlier opportunities to take the relevant exams.
The judgment The Appeals Board stated that the Exam Board was justified in its refusal to further defer the impending binding negative study advice and provide extra resit options. Student T. was wrong to assume that deferment of the binding negative study advice would also automatically provide him fresh opportunities to take exams. Had T. been given these opportunities, he would still have been unable to complete at least two of the four subjects on time. The Appeals Board has therefore decided to reject T.’s appeal.
Do you object to a decision made by the Exam Board? There is no need to leave it at that! Check the rules and regulations on studentportal.hhs.nl/student-facilities/student-counselling-advice/ legal-protection-desk.
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abroad does not help
‘It’s expensive.’ ‘I miss my family and friends.’ ‘But I’m going to start my career in the Netherlands anyway.’ Dutch students are not all jumping at the change to go on exchange or to do an internship abroad. The Hague University, on the other hand, would really like to see them go, because experience abroad should have added value for them. story Qushal Bansraj • image Bas Kijzers
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os Walenkamp, Lector for International Cooperation at The Hague University, has no doubts about the importance of having every student develop international competencies during their studies in one way or another. ‘We are constantly confronted with global problems that can’t be solved at the national level,’ he says, ‘at the same time, production chains are no longer national either. Apple products are designed in America and made in China with materials that come from Congo. If you want to work for such a company, you need international competencies.’ (See box on the side). The idea that a semester in Africa or America would contribute to this development is popular, but less than seventeen per cent of Dutch students go on exchange or work placement abroad. Walenkamp has conducted research to determine whether or not going abroad actually helps students develop these much-needed competencies. The somewhat surprising results were published in his report: ‘The Future is International.’
Not progressing For this study, Walenkamp conducted research on two groups of students from different study programmes: a test group and a control group. The test group consisted of students who went abroad for an exchange or an internship and the control group of students who stayed in the Netherlands. These groups completed two surveys about language skills, intercultural competencies and their on-going development. After the first survey, the test group left the country to go abroad for varying periods of time. The second survey was completed upon their return. The first measurement showed that the test group was more internationally competent than the control group, but in the second survey, the difference was minimal. In other words, the students in the test group already had the international competencies that they should have developed during their foreign placement, according to several policy documents, before they left. While Walenkamp is a fervent supporter of study programmes that are structured to make sure your professional skills are useful outside the Netherlands, he concluded in his research that the foreign exchange or placement – that expensive time far away from home, friends and family – contributes almost nothing to your international competencies. It does not make students more empathetic, tolerant or open-minded. The test group appeared to have become more culturally aware and to show more social initiative, over
time, but the same thing happened with the control group. The students appeared more flexible after a study abroad, but the difference was very small.
Not worth it Experience abroad is, apparently, not a must for developing international skills, based on this study. However, Jos Walenkamp admits that it is not completely representative because of the low response rate from bo h groups. The test group is, therefore, not representative of the whole of THU. After all, it primarily consisted of students from internationally oriented study programmes, where you could expect that students were likely to have an affinity for working or studying abroad. In the control group were students who, on the other hand, did not expect to find happiness abroad.
Not going abroad Walenkamp asked the students who stayed home about their reasons not to study abroad. The largest group of students who stayed, around 32 per cent, said it was not financially viable. A quarter of them said they did not want to quit their jobs. Not being able to see family or friends was a major obstacle for 23 per cent of the control group, while many students saw the English language itself as a deterrent. It is noteworthy that 18 per cent of those who stayed said that their study programme does not stimulate them to go abroad or even makes it more difficult. ‘Some programmes report that they have nothing to do with the international arena,’ says Walenkamp, ‘they say that their students are going to end up working in the Netherlands. That is shortsighted. The workplace is getting more international. Construction students who work in a construction company, are going to get international contracts, for example.’ He acknowledges that it is difficult to realise international opportunities if only a few students from a programme want to go abroad, noting that, ‘the programme would have to create a special route for them. That requires adjusting the curriculum and more teacher supervision.’
International competencies International competencies are not only determined by knowledge. International work demands a certain attitude, motivation and specific skills. Internationalisation expert and Intercultural communication teacher Nasrat Popal offers five core skills that summarise international competencies: ¡¡ Being open-minded towards other people and situations ¡¡ Being aware of one’s own culture and habits ¡¡ Being willing to get to know and accept other cultures and habits ¡¡ Being able to not only see cultural differences, but to identify similarities ¡¡ Being able to face the unknown without fear Anyone who has these capabilities can call themself internationally competent.
Walenkamp has already begun a follow-up to his study and he has created a University-wide minor where students prepare for experiences abroad. ‘A lot more has to be done to facilitate and stimulate students who go abroad.’ He says, ‘and if they go, it has to be fruitful. You have prepare carefully, provide supervision and stimulate reflection.’
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Student Associations Are you thinking about joining a student association, but have no idea what’s out there? This overview will help you chose the association that suits you best. story Patty Elbersen and Youri van Vliet • image Mireille Schaap
In addition to the various student associations that focus on a specific study programme, The Hague and Delft boast at least twenty other associations you can join. Some have specific geographical or religious affiliations, while others cater to sports enthusiasts. Still others were created primarily for fun and festivities. The important thing to know is that all of these student associations hold an ‘open month’ for new students in The Hague. Numerous events and parties are organised in September and October, providing a perfect opportunity for you to learn more about the associations that appeal to you. The following associations offer information in English and/or are of special interest to international students.
ASUTHU Founded by African students to help them feel more at home and offer help with their studies, the African Student Union The Hague University is a pan-African, non-religious, non-party affiliated, multicultural association. One of the association’s aims is to promote African culture. Visit their Facebook page for more information.
H.S.C. INTAC van Zwijndregt INTAC is an acronym for INTer-Action, and stands for getting along with different types of people and building a sense of belonging. The association is known for its mixers, barbecues, lounges and parties. They organise all sorts of events, such as an IT weekend, a sailing weekend, sports events and gala parties. INTAC opens its doors to international students every Friday evening with ‘The Pub’, organised by the association’s Pub Crew. Address: Zieken 197-199. intac.nl
InterAccess Founded by and for the international students of The Hague, InterAccess organises activities such as lectures with prominent guest speakers, discussion seminars, presentations, festivals and trips. Various excursions, bicycle tours and other outings, poker tournaments and parties are organised at weekends. The association’s mixers are often held at The Hague University of Applied Sciences sports canteen: inter-access.nl
Papillon events Ever since Papillon Events came onto the scene, Tuesdays have become the night to go out for The Hague’s international student population. What started as an initiative for a party organised by two students at The Hague University of Applied Sciences has now become a weekly event at Club 7, known as ‘We love Tuesdays’. Papillon Events also
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Melting pot organises the ‘Student Extravaganza’ in Havana, held on Thursdays once a month: papillonevents.org
Can Güneyli, a third-year European Studies student, fixes us a traditional Turkish snack. In the Turkish culture, men are not usually to be found in the kitchen, but at Can’s house, it’s not unusual. story Thalita da Silva •
Have you always wanted to row? The Pelargos student association has its own boat shed on the Cruquiuskade, which is the quay right behind the main building. Weather permitting, the teams row on the canals or, in poor weather, train indoors. Training sessions are always followed by drinks at the association’s favourite pub, De Momfer. Information in English can be found under the ‘International’ tab under ‘Intro Sept ‘12’ on pelargos.nl
image Quintin van der Blonk
What are we eating today?
Red Cross Student Desk (The Hague Chapter) The Red Cross offers students opportunities to organise and coordinate its projects as a way to build their enthusiasm for volunteer work. Visit the Red Cross Facebook page for more information.
The HSSO Valerius Orchestra The Hague’s newest chorus and orchestra welcome all student musicians and singers in the city. For information (Dutch and English) about the association and rehearsal times, visit their website: studentenorkest.nl
wants journalistic talent
Bloggers & Student Reporters If you are skilled in observing the everyday world around you, if you have a point of view and a sharp pen, you may fit the profile for a Link blogger. Contact us if you’re interested in writing a weekly blog for Link Online. If you’re more of a serious journalist type, a post as a student journalist would be a better fit. You would, among other things, write multiple articles for the magazine and been sent out into the field to write reports and conduct interviews for the website.
Today we are eating ‘Sigara Böregi’, which literally means ‘cigar bread’. This has been my favourite snack for as long as I can remember. My mother made it especially for me when I was a kid and now, we always have a stockpile in the freezer. The thing that makes it special is how easy it is to make; you’re ready to sit down and eat within fifteen minutes. All you need is pastry dough, white Turkish cheese, egg whites and oil. I use olive oil to keep it healthy. You can adjust it to your own taste with meat or vegetables.
Does your mother do the cooking at your house? At the moment, she does, but that wasn’t always the case. My dad had a snack bar and he used to be the one who was always in the kitchen. That’s pretty special in Turkish culture. Although, I must point out that Turkish men are getting more modern and you see them in the kitchen more often.
Is Turkish food always on the menu? We do eat a lot of Turkish food, but we try other things. I made roti once and we eat lasagne frequently. I eat everything, but if I really had to choose I’d probably eat fast food. I’m going on exchange to the US for a semester, so there’ll be a lot of new food to try. To make sure that doesn’t become unhealthy, I’m going to be working out a lot.
Naturally, you will be paid and this part-time job whether as a blogger or a student editor will have added value for your CV. Interested? Send a motivation letter and a writing sample (a maximum of 400 words) to email@example.com. For more information, call our office: 070-445-8813.
Would you like to invite Link into your kitchen and tell us about your roots? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sigara Böregi Not spicy 15 minutes Around € 10 for 3 people Required cooking skills: none Vegetarian Recipe on Link Online For the recipe and a short video on how to make cigar bread, go to: http://link-en.hhs.nl
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MPs stumble over one another in a debate over the Euro Crisis. May, 2012
Sure, they voted. But what for, exactly? The Netherlands went to the polls on 12 September, but parliamentary power in the country is crumbling. Not only are more and more of the decisions being made in Europe, the Dutch government is also giving some of its tasks away. On the eve of the election, two of The Hague University’s Lectors give their interpretation on what the Dutch were actually voting for. story René Rector • image David van Dam/Hollandse Hoogte
t dominates the daily papers: there’s a crisis in Europe. Politicians are falling over each other to proclaim that Greece should be kicked out of the Euro zone and that Brussels should not have any say in what happens in our country, but how realistic is that? Jaap de Zwaan and Henno Theisens have both been conducting research recently on whether or not the Netherlands can be adequately governed now that it’s less and less clear who is actually in charge. ‘The Netherlands is now part of a worldwide economy,’ says Henno Theisens, Lector for Effective Complex Government Systems. ‘Things that used to be decided locally are now determined by global
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organisations like OESO, the UN or NATO. And I don’t think there’s any way around it. It would not make much sense, for example, to develop agricultural or environmental policies independently of the countries around you.’ Jaap de Zwaan, the Lector for European Integration, agrees and adds a historical context. ‘You can continue insisting that everything used to be better if you want, but back then, you weren’t dependent on other countries. You didn’t have a Euro, but the Dutch Guilder and the German Mark were on a fixed course. The problem with the Euro isn’t so much the Euro itself, but with the fact that there weren’t
enough control mechanisms built in.’ To provide a more contemporary context, it should be noted that in the second quarter of this year, the Dutch economy showed growth against all expectations. The cause was increased international trade compared to last year. So, everything’s alright with Europe? Well, not exactly. ‘The EU started out as a trade union, created to foster commerce between members,’ says De Zwaan. ‘That worked out well: Europe became more prosperous as a result, especially here in the Netherlands. But we have failed to turn the EU into proper political union. We have the European Commission and the European Council now, but there are too many strangers in it. The Dutch know [President of the European Council] Herman van Rompuy and [Competition Commissioner] Neelie Kroes, but beyond that… Most people are a little foggy on how people get onto the commissions and on what that commissions actually do. There isn’t a single policy area where the authority is not divided between Europe and the national governments, but the divisions are different in each area.’ De Zwaan got started as Lector last May. He wants to investigate how decisions get made in this unclear power structure and how, precisely, responsibilities are divided. ‘The funny thing is that no one seems to know that, but decisions still get made,’ he says. In short, if you have difficulty figuring out how power is divided between The Hague and Brussels, you are not alone.
What do civil servants actually do? To make matters even more complicated, it’s not just Europe that’s taking decision-making power away from the Dutch government. Even at the domestic level, tasks are being divided differently. Last winter, when it was minus twenty outside and the Dutch railway (Nederlandse Spoorwegen, abbr. NS) network was literally frozen, the discussions heated up again: wasn’t the Netherlands better off when NS was still a state-owned company, like it was up until the early 1990s? Theisens doesn’t think so, saying: ‘At the time, there were reasons for privatising or reducing the
government’s stake in NS. We wanted to work towards a smaller, more efficient government. You may want to go back to the way it was, but you have to keep in mind that society has changed
No one knows how decisions get made in Europe
since then.’ Today, we are more individualistic, for example. Look at the example of health insurance. In the Netherlands, you used to be covered by basic state insurance (Ziekenfonds) or, if you could afford it, you paid for private insurance. You didn’t have the choices you have today, and you would have to give those choices up if the privatisation of health insurance was reversed. As Theisens says: ‘At least now, when it comes to the trains, the government can keep an eye on NS to see if their service is satisfactory. If it were still a state company that would be like having the butcher evaluate his own meat.’ The question Theisens hopes to answer is: ‘what do civil servants actually do?’ He explains this by saying: ‘There are ten thousand civil servants in The Hague, but they don’t sit around writing policy documents all day. A lot of people joke about how much work civil servants do, but I’m serious.’ The starting point for Theisens’ research is the fact that the Parliament often holds debates about relatively minor issues, such as whether or not to allow religious butchering practices or the ban on burqas. Given that there are probably only a few hundred women in the Netherlands who want to wear a burqa, this can hardly be considered a ‘major’ issue. ‘Big issues go unsaid in the debates, but it is nice to know that there are civil servants who must navigate a path between a fickle parliament and the countless agencies that are needed to shape policy,’ he says. ‘I would like to know, for once, how they spend their days.’ One question remains: what did the Dutch vote for on 12 September? Apparently, they voted for representatives who will do what they think is best for the majority of Dutch people, but who are not able to decide the country’s direction for themselves because they have to share the steering wheel.
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Find your way aro Imagine this is your very first day at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. You are inside the lobby of the main building, craning your neck as you survey the different levels and stairs leading in every direction to places with strangesounding names: Ovaal (Oval), Rugzak (Backpack), Slinger (Serpentine), Strip (Strip). Use this map and in no time you’ll be directing your classmates from Slinger 3.55 to lecture hall K0.47! story Martine Seijffert • image Mieke Barendse Lobby
Dok75 Location: Ground floor of Strip (walk left in the Central Restaurant until you can go no further). What will you find here? A restaurant with a bar. Good to know, because: Facility Management students run this venue as part of their studies. They serve tasty meals at affordable prices. This is also a great place to meet someone for lunch. Opening hours: Mon.-Fri.: 9:30 a.m. - 8 p.m. Walking distance: 2 minutes and 25 seconds
Location: Downstairs, underneath the auditorium (that big chartreuse-coloured cylinder you see when you enter the hall). What will you find here? All lecture halls starting with the letter K, the entrance to the sports complex, the sports canteen where InterAccess frequently holds its mixers, and a piano. Good to know, because: It is important to know that lecture halls starting with the letter K can be accessed from the lobby. And should the urge strike you, you can play the piano. Opening hours: Mon.-Thu.: 8 a.m. - 11 p.m., Fri.: 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Walking distance: 1 minute and 17 seconds
Copyshop Location: Strip 0.76 (to the right of the Central Restaurant). What will you find here? A desk, sheaves of paper and a number of binding machines. Good to know, because: This is where you can have your thesis or work placement report bound or get a quick-binder. Opening hours: Mon.Thu.: 8:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m., Fri.: 8:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Walking distance: 2 minutes and 11 seconds
Sports Hall Location: The entrance is in the lobby. What will you find here? A sports facility with three pitches, a gym, showers, dressing rooms and the smell of sweat. Good to know, because: You can do various sports organised by the Sports Office here on weekdays. A Sports Pass entitles you to take aerobics classes, play basketball and badminton, and much more besides. Opening hours: The sports timetables are posted on the Student Portal. The gym (open to gym or combination pass holders) is open Mon.-Thu.: 11 a.m. - 10 p.m., Fri.: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Walking distance: 1 minute and 23 seconds
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Career Centre Location: Ovaal 1.68 What will you find here? An office with lots of light, containing a few desks and lots of racks with brochures and leaflets about choosing a study programme. Also the Student Psychologist’s office. Good to know, because: The staff here are always happy to answer your questions about your professional prospects and/or academic career. You can schedule an orientation meeting, map out your career path and take various aptitude tests. Opening hours: Mon./Wed./Thu.: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Tue.: 12 p.m. - 4 p.m., Fri.: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Walking distance: 1 minute and 3 seconds
Legal Protection Office Location: Ovaal 1.33 What will you find here? An office containing a few desks and a conference table. Good to know, because: This is where you can come if you believe the school made an unfair decision against you. You can submit an objection, appeal or complaint at this office. The staff will see to it that your objection reaches the right committee. Opening hours: Mon.-Fri.: 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Walking distance: 1 minute and 7 seconds
und the maze Table football Location: Study landscape, 5th floor of Slinger (near Slinger 5.03). What will you find here? A football table cleverly concealed behind a seating area and a row of computer workstations. Good to know, because: There are times when you need to reorder your thoughts. What better diversion than a rousing game of table football! Opening hours: Mon.-Thu.: 8 a.m. - 11 p.m., Fri.: 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Walking distance: 3 minutes and 1 second
IT Service Desk Location: Slinger 2.58, next to the walkway leading to Ovaal. What will you find here? A long desk manned by people working at their computers and who are ready to help you. You may find a queue sometimes. Good to know, because: This is where you can come if you have any questions or comments about the school’s IT facilities and audiovisual equipment (e.g. if the software on your school computer is not working). Opening hours: Mon.-Thu.: 8 a.m. 10 p.m., Fri.: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Walking distance: 1 minute and 35 seconds
Student Affairs Office Location: Ovaal 4.03 What will you find here? An office where two Education and Student Affairs department policy officers work. Good to know, because: This is where you can get help if you are thinking about setting up an academic or student association, get all the information you need about entitlement to financial aid (e.g. if you join a student council) or have a fun initiative you’d like to get off the ground. Opening hours: Just drop by during office hours! Walking distance: 2 minutes and 22 seconds
New canteen (still unnamed) Location: Near Slinger 3.55, between the walkways leading to Ovaal. What will you find here? A brand-new canteen catered by Eurest. Good to know, because: This outlet will be replacing the other canteens in Slinger as an alternative to the Central Restaurant on the ground floor of Ovaal. Opening hours: Mon.-Fri.: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Walking distance: 1 minute and 55 seconds
Explanatory note: • All walking distances are from the main entry • The reporter walked at a normal, steady pace, taking the shortest route (or the route she assumed was shortest) without using any of the lifts. • The Link Editorial Team cannot be held responsible if you fail to arrive at any of the above locations on time. 23 • H/LINK
Gems special offer
a signed Philosophical comic Do you enjoy thinking about Big Questions? We have good news for you. Margreet de Heer, who has been drawing the Link comics (see page 24) for two years, just published a comic with a capital C. Take a light-hearted look at western philosophy with Philosophy, A Discovery in Comics.
Robert de Niro as the megalomanical psychic Simon Silver.
Red Lights burn out in the end No, Red Lights is not about certain neighbourhoods in large (Dutch) cities. The central question asked by this thriller from writer-director Rodrigo Cortes is: is there something paranormal between heaven and earth? The theme presents a dilemma. If the film should conclude that all the sceptics are wrong, it could quickly degenerate into another cliché about ‘us against the world’ as the scientists refuse to accept the obvious. If you unmask those that believe in the paranormal as frauds, you might contradict what a lot of your audience believes and while asking them to sympathise with the scientists (something quite hard to do in this film). The film centres on professor Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver) and her assistant Tom Buckley (Cillian Murphy) as the investigate claims of paranormal activity. The way in which they expose a haunted house as a hoax at the beginning is strikingly hilarious, but the joke’s over when the big-time psychic
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Simon Silver (diabolically delivered by Robert de Niro) challenges the scientists to discredit him. An interesting effect is created by the way the camerawork becomes disorienting whenever doubt strikes. In a style reminiscient of the dogme movement we watch as Buckley completely loses his way. The acting is also solid, as you may expect from De Niro and Weaver, and that allows us to forgive Cortes for the fact that Buckley’s romance with a young student feels slightly dutiful. Inevitably, Cortes has to take a side. Are paranormal powers possible or not? The screenplay starts chasing its tail when Cortes’ camera starts looking for a solution that will satisfy sceptics and true believers at the same time. The result is an entertaining film that forgets to tie up several loose ends. My advice: go ahead and watch it, but leave the cinema when the toilet gets smashed. • RR
Red Lights Genre: thriller Now in theatres
Big names like Aristotle, Descartes and Nietzsche turn up, of course, but Ms De Heer takes on the lead role, searching for the essence of thought as she explores the caverns of her own brain. The book takes detours into the lives and histories of famous philosophers, but every road leads back to the central question: what is so special about the way we think? The book offers philosophy with a smile. Link is giving away three copies of Philosophy, A Discovery in Comics. For a chance to win one, send an e-mail to email@example.com before 1 November that answers the following question: A great philosopher answered the question of whether or not the world around us really exists, by arguing that he could verify that he, himself, existed. He was capable of thought and that meant that there had to be something that was capable of producing those thoughts. Who was it that first said: “I think, therefore I am”?
Wake up fully refreshed with the Sleep Cycle With the new academic year just started, you will want to attend your morning classes bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! Sleep Cycle can help. This app records your sleep patterns and will wake you up in the lightest sleep phase, making it easy for you to get out of bed. To use, simply slip your iPhone into place between your mattress and sheet, near your pillow, where the app will monitor your movements while you sleep. The Sleep Cycle will determine half an hour before your set alarm time when you are in a light sleep phase and cause the alarm – a friendly tune – to go off. In the morning you can even check your sleeping behaviour on a graph!• MC/TdJ Kosten: € 0,79 Compatible with: iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.
Prince’s Day: watch the hats Every year, on the third Tuesday of September (on 18 September this year), the Dutch observe the official start of the parliamentary year in The Hague. This day is called ‘Prinsjesdag’, which literally translates to: ‘the day of the little princes’. image: Schalke fotografie: Melissa Schalke | Shutterstock.com Because Queen Beatrix is head of state, she presides over the ceremony after a golden coach brings her to the Hall of Knights at the Binnenhof, the parliamentary complex in the city centre. The Queen is well known for her wide variety of hats and the female Members of Parliament follow her example by wearing their most extravagant headgear. In fact, the hats are the subject of as much discussion as the Queen’s official Troonrede, the ‘Speech from the Throne’ in which it is the Queen’s duty to describe the main features of the government’s policy plans for the coming year in a fashion similar to the American President’s State of the Union Address. Sometimes the hats themselves make political statements, and sometimes they are just silly. So, not only do you get the chance to catch a glimpse of Her Majesty on September 18, but you can also check out the hat parade. • MS
So Long Summer Lovin’ Sumera may have only made it to sixth place in the Dutch X Factor, but she’s definitely clawing her way up to the top. She has just released an EP featuring 5 songs. It’s pretty good pop music, if your summer love just came to an end. Sumera’s voice is strong and the Spanish-infused tracks add some
swing, while the familiar melodies give the songs great potential. Sumera seems especially inspired by heartbreak. Each of the tracks talks about love and loss, fighting for broken relationships and forgetting the beautiful moments. Music can build a bridge to help you get over an ex, but once you’ve moved on and forgotten all about your summer lover, you’ll probably be ready to leave this album behind as well. Hopefully, if that’s your situation, you’ll be moving on soon. • IvB
Sumera - Stop Heart Genre: Electronic Pop
... by Manuela Hernandez
While others are busy checking their Facebook page several times a day, lecturer Manuela Hernandez prefers surfing over to smithmag.net. There, she describes her daily life in six words every day and encourages others to do the same. story Martine Seijffert • image Mieke Barendse
WEBSITE > Smithmag.net This website is part of a storytelling community inspired by author Ernest Hemingway, who was famously challenged to tell a story in just six words. Anyone can join and can do so anonymously if so desired. It’s a fun way to stimulate your creativity. One example of mine: ‘Student said I’m contagious. Best compliment.’ DOCUMENTARY > Planet Earth I’m crazy about the beautiful visuals and about the man who does the voiceover for this: it’s the voice of wisdom. I also think it’s great that at the end of the documentary, they explain how it was made. Sometimes the weather was bad, other times the money ran out and you see how difficult it was. TV-SERIES > Nip/Tuck Nip/Tuck is about two plastic surgeons in Florida. The stories are pretty extreme sometimes. In one episode, for example, this criminal wants a new face and ends up getting the face of some other notorious criminal. There’s a lot of black humour and I like that. FILM > Spirited away This is an animated film by Hayao Miyazaki, a legendary Japanese filmmaker. You get sucked into a world of magic realism. A young girl who is moving with her family ends up in a strange realm full of ghosts and spirits. Miyazaki is great at depicting the scarier parts. BOOK > The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follet Since I have to read a lot for school already, in my free time I prefer to listen to audiobooks. Pillars of the Earth is so beautifully and vividly told. It’s about a man who has a dream to design a cathedral. The storytelling style is raw, down to the smallest detail: you feel the pain and see the blood spatter. I can close my eyes and see it happening.
23 • H/LINK
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The first edition of Link to be published entirely in English was published on Thursday, 13 September. Topics include THU’s drive to interna...