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february 2013

28 magazine of the hague university of applied sciences

Catering test Learn more about your Dutch lover

House Hunting in The Hague Including 8 tips to find your way

English edition

Southern Europeans surviving the crisis

ESAA Erasmus School of Accounting & Assurance Opleiding tot Registeraccountant of Registercontroller Afgestudeerd HBO-BE of HBO-AC? U kunt via een toegespitst deeltijd schakelprogramma* instromen in het Master of Science programma Accounting, Auditing & Control. Vervolgens kunt u doorstromen naar de postinitiële opleiding Accountancy of de postinitiële Masteropleiding Registercontroller.** Heeft u de wetenschappelijke minor gedaan? Dan hoeft u geen schakelprogramma te volgen om in het Master of Science programma Accounting, Auditing & Control in te stromen. Voor informatie: 010-408 21 73 of * Let op: soms is vooraf een wiskundetoets vereist ** Aanvullende eis voor de RC-opleiding is dat u beschikt over minimaal twee jaar relevante praktijkervaring.

Certified Management Controlling (CMC) Afgestudeerd HBO? De opleiding Certified Management Controlling is een parttime controllersopleiding. Zij leidt financieel-administratieve kenniswerkers op HBO-niveau op tot professionals die beschikken over actuele kennis op het gebied van besluitvorming en beheersing van organisaties. Kenmerken van de opleiding zijn praktische focus op het werkveld en de rollen van de moderne controller, actuele kennis en inzichten op het gebied van management control en onderwijs in advanced workshops van maximaal 25 personen. CMC is een tweejarige post-experience opleiding. Voor informatie: 010-408 14 92 of

Voorlichtingsavond: Woensdag 6 maart 2013. Bezoek onze website voor meer informatie:

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THU library. Where else? 2

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Personal support

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Content 6  Taste test THU switched to Eurest catering. Revamped restaurants and a restyled coffee corner are the result. What do students think about the flavors of the food court? 10 How to find a house in The Hague Link investigated the housing situation of international students and visited two in search for suggestions. Including 8 tips. 14 Surviving the Euro Crisis An exchange student from Greece and a student from Italy talk about the situation back home and a brighter future in The Hague.

8 Reduce the drop-out rate; stop pampering 16 Getting the IT Department in order 18 Prize-winning essay about internationalization at THU Columns 4 Valentine’s Day in pictures 5 On the line with… Jolanda Lütteke about Enactus 17 Melting pot: dancing around the fire on Aruba 20 Gems: where to go out in The Hague, learn more about Dutch lovers and win a Piranha 3DD DVD Schoolstraat 21 2511 AW Den Haag 070 - 3 65 73 06

about link

Backpacking If you travel on the metro in Amsterdam, you might notice a decorative sign at the Nieuwmarkt station that says ‘A place to live is a right, not a privilege’ and a fake sledgehammer that’s been put next to the tracks for dramatic effect. These are reminders of protests that were held in the area during the 1960s, when the city of Amsterdam wanted to demolish the houses around Nieuwmarkt to make room for four-lane, quick connection to Amsterdam Central Station. The neighbourhood is still standing, and the road the city wanted now ends at Waterlooplein. Housing is a right. That’s for sure, but space is limited in the Netherlands and the demand is great. And, despite all of the wellintended plans, student housing remains scarce. My advice is to look at things differently. Try thinking of the hardships associated with student housing the way you would think about the (mis) adventures you’d have while backpacking. A backpacking trip to India, for example, is only truly complete if you have spent at least one day in a bus full of chickens, isn’t it? That’s the moment when a vacation becomes a journey, a true experience. My own ‘backpacking’ adventures involved, among other things: illegally adding a wall so that my roommate wouldn’t have to sleep in the kitchen – (the remaining kitchen was roughly the same size as the toilet, but only a real complainer notices such things); trying to cook dinner in student housing after picking up a whole chicken (to save money) only to discover that the closest thing to a knife in their kitchen was a potato peeler and deep, intimate kissing with a classmate at the bottom of the stairs in an effort to irritate her oversuspicious landlady. You see? It’s just like backpacking. You can’t expect to take a luxurious cruise in Rajasthan. It’s not going to happen, but if you were expecting overcrowded buses you may find that your tiny student apartment is actually paradise. Try to enjoy those hot showers that come to an abrupt end when someone else turns on the tap, and enjoy the sudden visits of desperate lodgers who were thrown out by their shady landlords, because they make the journey more memorable.

22 Self-image: Lee Harris 23 Spotlight: Gemeentemuseum by night

René Rector Editor-in-chief

Link is published and produced by the Communication & Marketing department at The Hague University. Editors room: Ovaal 1.02 Address PO Box 13336, 2501 EH The Hague email: f: 070 445 7554 i: Editors Dieuwke de Boer (070 445 8851), René Rector (070 445 8813, hoofdredacteur), Martine Seijffert (070 445 8814), Youri van Vliet (070 445 8796), Lotte Hoes (070 445 8796, intern) Student Editors Yvonne Bal, Anjani Bhairosingh, Ilse van Beest, Esther Bliek, Martin Cok, Patty Elbersen, Can Guneyli, Kerttu Henriksson, Tim de Jong, Stefan van Klink, Martina Koleva, Simone Krouwer, Laura van Langen, Paul van Leeuwen, Yvonne Rijff Staff Dave van Ginhoven, Martine Zeijlstra, Christin Zitter Comic Margreet de Heer Images Mieke Barendse, Quintin van der Blonk, Kim Eijkelhof, Thirjeet Gurwara, Bas Kijzers Design Mustafa Özbek, Josean the Pie Print OBT bv, The Hague Advertisement Bureau Nassau, Achterom 100c, Hoorn PO Box 4130, 1620 HC Hoorn e: t: 020-623 0905 f: 020-639 0846 i: 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.

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In pictures Valentine’s Day Wow! The lovely images submitted this month are heart-warming. Information Services & Management (IS&M) student Jeske Woudstra [1] – with a rose – found that romantic boyfriends do exist. PABO (Education in Primary Schools) staffer Marie Hijmans [2] enjoyed a romantic ballet moment. European Studies student Tomas Miko asks the question: ‘why should Link feature Monika Dimitrova’ [3] and provides the answer: ‘because she is beautiful and I love her!’ Fellow ES student Noelia Caro delivers an ode to her boyfriend Kris [4] who she says is, without a doubt, ‘the cutest and sweetest man in the world.’ Ingrid van Ruyven, also from ES, has only known Laurens [5] a year, but she’s sure they’ll be together for a long time. Lisanne Fioole from Human Kinetic Technology [6] had just been dumped when she met Roel, and they’ve been ‘super happy’ for two months. Bram van der Linden from Marketing is ‘secretly in love’ with all his girlfriends [7] but Denise (at the bottom) is his favourite. Maike Mak (IS&M) will be skipping Valentine’s Day because her boyfriend [8] is living in Macedonia and only after a six-month separation was she able to see him on New Years. But, the prize for the most charming embrace goes to Amber Swensen from PABO and her boyfriend Robbert van Putten [9]. ‘We’ve been together for 9 years and we’re still smitten,’ she writes, and it certainly looks that way.


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[1] [2]




On the line with Jolanda Lütteke [3]


‘Enactus: a win-win situation’ Improving the quality of life: that’s the goal of Enactus. Last year the organisation was called SIFE (Students In Free Enterprise). Former European Studies student Jolanda Lütteke is the driving force behind Enactus at The Hague University of Applied Sciences.  story Lotte Hoes • image Quintin van der Blonk

[5] [6]

Enactus has been in place at THU for about twenty months. What have you achieved so far? We initiated a project to help an Armenian woman start her own business as a music teacher. Although the project was successful it didn’t last long, because she returned to Armenia. We are currently organising a job interview workshop for young people from the lowincome Schilderswijk area and we’re involved in a project to promote affordable childcare in the Laak district. The idea is that this should give mothers more time to work; in return, we ask them occasionally to act as host parent and babysit other people’s children.

What prompted you to change your name? SIFE didn’t express our ambitions clearly enough. Enactus is an acronym for Entrepreneurial Action Us, which is a much more effective illustration of what we do. ‘Entrepreneurial’ means that students identify opportunities to use their talents and put them to use; with ‘Action’ we mean that students are prepared to take action and the ‘Us’ reflects the sense among our members of being part of a larger whole.

Win 50 euros Computers have become an integral part of our daily lives and are an essential part of your studies. Link is curious about what your desktop looks like (and we forbid you from cleaning it up first). Is your wallpaper a beautiful nature scene, or do you spend your days looking into the eyes of a boy/girlfriend on your desktop as you work? Is it neat and tidy or chock full of documents and files? Send us a screenshot by Tuesday, 26 February at Let us know who you are and be sure to describe the image to us. The best screenshot will win 50 euros.

What are your plans for 2013? The first thing we want to do is recruit more members so that we can launch more projects. We are considering setting up a project with the school’s catering facilities to enable young people with a disability to gain employment experience here. What’s good about Enactus is that it gives students an opportunity to help other people, and because we join forces with leading partners such as Schiphol and Ahold this will add points to your CV. It’s a win-win situation!

If you would like more information about Enactus at THU or want to join, send an e-mail to You can also attend an information meeting on 21 February from 4 to 7 p.m. in OV.k.53.

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Taste test

At the start of the new academic year, many students were pleasantly surprised by the revamped restaurants and restyled coffee corner. Both are the result of a five-year contract between The Hague University of Applied Sciences and new caterer Eurest. So what are the initial reactions?   story Martine Seijffert / Kerttu Henriksson • images Bas Kijzers


nyone entering the building for the first time this year would probably never guess that the central restaurant in the atrium looked completely different last year. The same goes for the Beans coffee corner just inside the main entrance, which has undergone a metamorphosis, with its tattered red leather chairs making way for a sleek new design. On the third floor of Slinger, a whole new canteen (food outlet) was realised last summer. And at the new vending machines you can even get a fresh-brewed cup of coffee. All of these changes are the result of a new catering policy and two new suppliers. From the 2012-2013 academic year, THU switched to Eurest after having employed the services of Sodexo for many years. Furthermore, vending machine specialist Selecta is the new contractor for the institute’s snack and drinkdispensing machines. So what do students think about the changes? To find out, the Facility Management Services Department (FB) put out a survey in early December which students could complete on the online portal. A total of 1,220 students and staff members took part. René den Dulk of the FB expressed satisfaction at both the number of respondents and the results. ‘Last year we also surveyed satisfaction and we’ve seen a clear improvement in the scores. For

Mitchell Horsford 23, Aruba International Public Management, 1st year

I rarely eat at school, but if I do, I always eat the great tuna sandwich from the canteen. Also the pasta from the restaurant is very good for its price. In general, I think that the food is better than last year and the prices are reasonable. I don’t find anything especially missing. For me, the variety is fine for a school restaurant. 6

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the restaurants, respondents gave an overall score of 6.5 this year, compared to 5.7 last year [on a scale of 1 to 10, ed.].’ The higher scores seem connected particularly to the factors of hygiene and tidiness, the availability of hot drinks from the vending machines and the freshness and quality of the products. Respondents were also positive about the new option to pay by switch card in addition to paying by chip card. But there is criticism, too. Since paying by switch card takes more time, the queues have also gotten longer. Nonetheless, Den Dulk believes things are moving in the right direction. ‘We’re now past the rush of the start of the academic year.’ The next step will be to follow up on the survey results, Den Dulk emphasises. ‘We’ve asked our suppliers to develop an action plan based on these results, and when we conduct the survey again next year we expect to see higher scores.’ One of the aspects surveyed that offers little room for improvement, according to Den Dulk, is that of ‘price’, which scored just under passing at 5.6. ‘If you simply ask about prices and nothing else, the response will always be that they’re too high – even if you’re only charging 1 euro for a sandwich,’ he explains. ‘In fact, the most expensive sandwiches are our bestsellers.’ Den Dulk also points out that prices have not gone up since the new caterer took over. ‘Actually, overall, they’re lower.’ The new coffee corner has taken on the considerable challenge of filling the shoes left by the trusted MockaMore, while also contending with competition from the fresh-ground coffee vending machines. MockaMore offered a wide range of coffee flavours, which students miss at the new Beans coffee corner. On the plus side, you get a complimentary biscuit with your coffee or tea. And if it’s your birthday and you can prove it, you can even get a free cup of coffee and a muffin.

International Until last year, international students were most critical about the catering services. European students scored these facilities with a 4.9, and students from outside Europe slightly higher at 5.2. But as the latest survey shows, things have improved, with scores of 6.6 and 6.4, respectively, from a total of 141 international student respondents. Among the measures taken since last year is the labelling of products in English in addition to Dutch.

Veronika Bendulova 19, Slovakia International and European law, 1st year

I’m eating a chicken sandwich, which is one of my favourites. I think they are very tasty! In Slovakia, we only have a proper lunch served, but here I can also just grab a snack. They also offer healthy products; different salads and juices, for example. The prices are more expensive than in Slovakia, but then again, so is everything else. For a school canteen, I think the prices are reasonable. 28 • H/LINK


Study succes

No more

pampering For years, The Hague University has invested in a series of projects related to study success, with the hope of reducing the number of drop-outs, getting more students on track in their progress and getting more students to graduate on time. In fact, they seem to have the opposite effect. Study success is a tough nut to crack. story Dieuwke de Boer • image Bas Kijzers


e’re here to challenge students to get to the next level,’ declared Alma Clayton-Pederson, while speaking at the Study Success conference on 14 December. Unfortunately, the latest statistics show that, since the start of the Study Success Programme in 2009, the university has actually seen fewer students making it to that next level. The number of first-year diplomas (called propedeuses in Dutch) that students have earned on time, for instance, has fallen by five per cent since 2009, instead of rising by thirteen per cent as desired. Meanwhile, the university has made new agreements with the Minister of Education that are less ambitious in nature. Now, it is hoped that the number of dropouts, the number of students who switch studies and number of students who graduate within four years will remain stable. The question is: how do you make sure that happens?

Too loose According to Programme Director Bieke de Mol and Senior Researcher Wâtte Zijlstra, ‘there is no single answer’ and ‘it depends on the situation.’ The efforts made during the past few years were not in vain, they say. ‘Now we understand that this is a complex problem that requires a comprehensive approach,’ says Zijlstra. In his eyes, many of the measures taken in recent years were ‘too loose’. One thing that seems clear is that it is difficult to reach the right students with non-committal projects.


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Statistical analysis of academic results indicate that factors like gender, previous education and ethnic background are important study success indicators, but in order to offer equal opportunities and avoid discrimination, it was decided in 2009 that many of the measures would be opened up to all students. As a result, ‘when it comes to things like tutoring, we see the more ambitious students taking advantage while the students who really need the help are less likely to go after it,’ according to Bieke de Mol. This begs the question: ‘What are we going to do about it?’ Zijlstra says: ‘I don’t want to discriminate, but it is true that we need improvement in certain groups of students more than others. If you take a generic approach, you dilute the effect.’

Problem analysis According to a recent report on the results of the Study Success Programme, THU staff think that, so far, the programme has taken a scattershot approach that is too broad and ineffective. There are no clear explanations for the continued lack of study success, but THU staffers have suggested a number of possibilities. Many think that the level of the university’s incoming students is lower than it used to be. Others suggest that students are simply not putting enough into their studies. Teachers interviewed for the study said another major problem is the lack of a clear understanding of the reasons why students fall behind or drop out, a factor they think

could have been addressed if a better problem analysis had been conducted at the start of the programme. The desired problem analysis may now be available, thanks to recent research by Hans Siebers, a professor at the University of Tilburg. Last year, he investigated the link between ethnic differences and study success and related study success issues at The Hague University. He concluded, based on questionnaire data, that THU students have the right characteristics to be successful in their studies. Siebers’ research attempts to explain why THU hasn’t managed to take the favourable factors in the student body and turn them in to study success. Along the way, he rules out the factors that are most often seen as the cause of disappointing results, including student motivation, work habits and investment in terms of time and study skills. In exonerating the ‘usual suspects’, Siebers implicitly casts a reasonable doubt on the approach taken by the Study Success Programme, which mainly focused on interventions intended to improve student study skills.

Pampering If, indeed, none of the factors above are the cause for the lack of study success, what else could it possibly be? According to Siebers, the real culprit is the fact that students are not being stimulated or challenged at THU. ‘Do you want to pamper your students, or treat them like adults?’ he asked, critically, while presenting his findings during the conference. He thinks, for example, that teachers are far too accessible for students. He says that because teachers try so hard to be there for students, ‘students don’t have the faintest idea how hard their teachers actually work and it takes away the incentive for students to make an effort to perform for their teachers.’ His recommendation is to make education about achievement and restore the authority of teachers, as well as a professional distance between them and their students. Siebers’ study is but one of dozens of research projects conducted on the subject of study success. A new workgroup is going to have to go through every report in the pile and analyse the data within. In March, they will report to the Board of Directors with recommendations.

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Housing ‘I don’t have a lot of privacy with my bedroom being in the kitchen’ Gap Vivasitburi (29), is studying for a Master in International Communication Management. He is from Thailand and moved to the Netherlands in August 2012. ‘A friend of mine studied in Groningen and was really excited about his time there. Because of him I also signed up for a Master abroad in the Netherlands. When I enrolled at THU, they sent me to Duwo. I asked whether I could get a studio or an apartment for myself, but that wasn’t possible. So they just assigned me to this room. I live in an apartment on the 19th floor of the Stamkartplein tower. I share this apartment with one roommate. My bedroom is in the same space as the kitchen, my roommate has a separate bedroom. I would have preferred my own apartment or at least my own place to sleep. I don’t have a lot of privacy here. Although it took me some time to get adjusted, I’ve managed to make myself feel at home here. I have the Thai flag and a picture of the king of Thailand here. I also have a picture of my family on my desk.’


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House Hunting

in The Hague

It’s not easy to find a place to live in The Hague. For international students, it can be even harder, especially when they are confronted with a strange city and confounded by regulations and information that is usually all in Dutch. Link investigated the situation of international students and visited two in search of suggestions.  story Martine Seijffert / Yvonne Rijff • images Mieke Barendse

To be fair, May might not have gone about things in the best way, but this is just one example of the kinds of hopeless situations that some international students find themselves in when they arrive in The

Hague, especially if they aren’t properly prepared. First-year students who register with Duwo on time are guaranteed Short Stay Housing for a year, but what if you weren’t able to register on time, or if the year is over and you have to move out? And what, for that matter, do you do if you have to find a place on your own? The best advice is to start looking sooner rather than later, because space is limited. Back in 2010, it was discovered that The Hague has a vast shortage of student housing. At least three thousand new places were needed. The municipal government said in its Housing and Spatial Development Plan that it aims to end this shortage by 2020. This year will see the completion of the ‘Rode Dorp’ (Red





You can find everything you need to know about finding a place to live, in English, at

If you’re too late to register for the towers on the Waldorpstraat, keep a close eye on www., because it’s possible that some of the students who are moving to the Waldopstraat are leaving older Duwo rooms empty and available.

The Hague’s Student Union has published a booklet full of housing tips. You can request it, and request assistance at

Check the website, where students who are going abroad for a while, often sub-let their rooms to other (international) students. This is particularly ideal for exchange students.



t’s a rainy day in August. May arrives at The Hague University of Applied Sciences from China with two large, pink suitcases. She had only just decided on attending THU in July and, as a result, she was too late to register for housing with the Duwo housing agency. Now she’s here, standing in the Dutch rain with no place to live. Luckily, she meets another student from China who does have housing. The other student takes May home, where she will spend the first few months of her studies sleeping on the couch.

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Village), a project by Staedion, in the Schilderswijk neighbourhood. Duwo has already realised two new towers on the Waldorpstraat and Rob Brons, head of THU’s Board of Directors, is in talks with the owners of the old Tax Service (Belastingdienst) building just across from the front entrance to Den Haag Hollands Spoor station. ‘It hasn’t been finalised yet,’ he says, ‘but we have a terrific plan to create accommodation for 300 students.’ These construction projects are creating new possibilities, but Qushal Bansraj, chairman of The Hague’s Student Union (Haagse Studentenvakbond) is still worried. ‘I’m not convinced that things are moving fast enough,’ he says, ‘Granted, 2020 is a

We have a terrific plan to create accommodation for 300 students ways off and the 3,000 places that were promised may be coming, but The Hague University is trying to attract more and more international students and I am not convinced that 3,000 homes will be enough.’ Rob Brons, on the other hand, is optimistic about the efforts made by both City Hall and the housing corporations to address the shortage. ‘We have close contact with the municipality of The Hague and I’m familiar with their plans,’ he says, ‘and they are heading towards 4,000 new homes.’ He also sees new opportunities for student housing in some of The Hague’s empty office buildings. ‘A quarter of the offices in The Hague are unoccupied at the moment. So far it hasn’t been possible to convert them into student housing because of regulations and red tape, but thanks to the pressure on the housing market, that will probably change,’ he says.


Arrange your own student house. A house with 1,200 euros rent may seem out of reach at first, but if you can fit four people into a house, the costs aren’t bad. Look at expat websites like www., or


Investigate whether or not you qualify for rent subsidies at You have to meet certain conditions (like an independent living situation). Go through this information with someone who speaks Dutch, because a lot of important information isn’t mentioned on the English version of the site.


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The current housing shortage is not the only problem facing international students. There is also a shortage of clear information, which creates a gap between the expectations of incoming students and the reality of available housing. In particular, internationals are often disappointed about the costs. Duwo is another subject that isn’t always popular (see the story about Gap on page 10), even though the housing organisation has been trying, in a combined effort with THU, to improve things since 2011. Students no longer have to pay a year’s rent to THU in advance, for example. Another change is the possibility to use Duwo’s reservation system to look at available homes. Gijsbert Mul, director of the local Duwo office in The Hague, has noticed a decline in the number of complaints. At the same time, he points out that, starting this summer, many older Short Stay facilities will be replaced by spaces in the new tower across from the Megastores on the Waldorpstraat. This will reduce the number of shared rooms – a positive development given that few students favour living, eating and sleeping all in one room, together with someone else. ‘This way, there are more choices and students will only have to room together if they choose to do so,’ says Mul. International students who want to rent a room after their Short Stay period ends will still have to take care of that themselves, though. Mul advises that, as soon as students arrive, they should register at The Hague University is also trying to help students manage their expectations, which can be a little too high at times. The university’s website even goes so far as to say that finding a place to live is both difficult and expensive. However, Rob Brons is keen to point out that THU is here to provide access to education and research, not housing, saying that, ‘If you choose to come and live here, you do have to take some of the responsibility.’


You might find a place to live through squatting prevention initiatives (what the Dutch call Anti-Kraak). You don’t have the security of other rental agreements, but you usually get an attractive price. You may want to check out, which arranges these rentals, but one of their conditions is that you have to be referred to them by someone already renting a home from their organisation.


Check the Facebook pages for your study programme, many of which can be found on the THU Facebook page, as well as the bulletin boards at school where people post requests and offers for housing.

‘I’m more than happy with this living situation’

Aleksander Aleksandrov (24) studies International Communication Management at The Hague University. He is from Bulgaria and moved to the Netherlands in September of 2011. ‘A friend told me about this great apartment for rent at the housing agency Ocean Blue. I moved in within a week. My roommate Petar and I share a spacious living room of approximately forty square meters. We spend most of our time in there, as it’s very comfortable and cosy. To remind me of Bulgaria, I have the Bulgarian flag and a lot of photos from home. I always keep holy water in the house, as this is a family tradition. When I moved here, I used the water to bless every room. I’m more than happy with this living situation. We pay approximately 460 euros each, including gas, electricity, water and internet. I would advise students looking for a house to come to The Hague at least one month before the semester starts. You’ll have enough time to find a home and there are more places available than in September.’

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Escaping The Euro Crisis has hit students from Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal hard. Cutbacks on education and high unemployment have encouraged them to pack their study books for some time abroad. Link talked to Eva Kavaliotou, an exchange student from Greece, and Mihailo Jovetic, from Italy about their situation back home and a brighter future in The Hague.  story Martine Zeijlstra • images Bas Kijzers


nternational & European Law student Mihailo Jovetic (19) is really happy to be studying at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. ‘Italy is not very study-friendly. Students attend lectures with hundreds of students. At THU, I know my teachers.’ But the biggest problem in Italy, according to Jovetic, is not studying. The bad situation starts when students have their bachelor or masters degree. ‘It is very unlikely that you’ll find a good, fulltime job. If you have the opportunity to leave Italy, you do.’ In Italy, it was common to get a permanent contract and job security after graduating, says Jovetic, but not anymore. ‘The government is


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reducing costs by getting rid of permanent contracts. It brought Italy into a social crisis. I would be lucky to get any job after I finish my bachelor degree.’ Starting up his own company is not an option either. ‘No bank is willing to give you a loan. You would have to be super-qualified and that’s not possible for starters with a brand new degree.’ Jovetic packed his suitcase full of books and went to study Law at THU. He is not the only one. A lot of exchange students from these countries are also heading for higher education in the Netherlands and THU is no exception. The number of exchange students from Greece, Italy and Spain varied from 76 in 2009-2010 to 94 one year later, and 86 this year. The number of bachelor students from Southern Europe, however, has more than doubled since 2010. Eva Kavaliotou (22), an European Studies exchange student, is one of the newcomers. She is trying to get as much study experience abroad as possible. There is nothing wrong with her own, Greek university. ‘The Athens University of Economics and Business is better than THU, but a diploma from THU is worth much more because it shows you have been abroad,’ Kavaliotou says. ‘I love Greece, but I can’t survive

the Euro Crisis there.’ It’s total chaos in Greece and in her university, she says. ‘If we open up the classroom windows, we hear people shouting and screaming at the police. A lot of demonstrations take place in this area and that makes it really hard to concentrate.’ Due to cutbacks, there are very few computers available for students ‘and if you have to do experiments in the labs at our university, there are so many students in the room you can hardly move.’ The students that get a bachelor or masters degree also have a lot of trouble finding a suitable job. ‘My friends who have already graduated in Greece and found good jobs, get a very low salary,’ says Kavaliotou, ‘one of my friends got a good job at an office. She has her bachelor’s degree and speaks three languages, but still she only gets five hundred euros a month! And she is one of the lucky ones. Most students can’t find a job after graduating and have to live with their parents.’ A lot of people believe they have better opportunities if they go abroad. The economic crisis makes students decide to leave Greece. As an exchange student, Kavaliotou gets a better CV. ‘I’m learning to communicate in another language and meeting different cultures.

I would very much like to come back here. THU is so big and has so many facilities. And here I learn in practice what I would normally only read in books.’ Both students say they chose to go abroad to take their future into their own hands and avoid becoming part of a lost generation, staying with their parents forever. ‘My generation in Italy won’t get a job contract at all,’ Jovetic says. ‘In the Netherlands, stu-

In Greece, if we open up the classroom windows, we hear people shouting and screaming at the police

dents get a chance to have a contract if they perform well during an internship,’ Jovetic thinks, adding that: ‘This school prepares you for the real world by teaching you the essence for the field where you will work. You are not extremely dependent on very good contacts to get a job, like in Italy. You just have to give all you got. You get these opportunities as a student in Holland. Not in Italy.’

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Trouble shooting

‘When I don’t hear any more I’ll know we’re on the right The IT facilities at The Hague University of Applied Sciences are outdated. The shortcomings are so severe that the Information Technology Department has launched a new project under the title, ‘De basis op orde’ (Getting the basics in order). According to the department, ‘It requires a new way of thinking about IT.’  story René Rector • image Bas Kijzers


t has been over seventeen years since The Hague University opened its main campus in Laakhaven. That might not sound like a long time ago, but back in 1996 people thought it was pretty impressive that they had an e-mail address. As IT director Marianne van der Werke sees it, that is the problem in a nutshell: the university was built with and for the technology that was current at the time.

software is not suited to the Windows 7 operating system used by school computers and only runs on equipment that is no longer available. If something goes wrong with the available equipment, there is no way to replace it. ‘You have to seek out new alternatives, together with the users,’ says Pieter Gremmen leader of the ‘basics’ project, ‘you can’t keep a system going like this.’

Since then, the entire IT landscape has shifted dramatically, in a way that couldn’t have been predicted in 1996. Over time, more and more programmes, functions and demands have been placed on the original IT infrastructure. Consequently, seventeen years later, the school has a complex, clogged and partially improvised network where no one would dare to attempt further changes for fear that the whole house of cards might collapse.

The fact that there are so many basic infrastructure problems raises questions about how things could get this bad. The IT Department is prepared to take responsibility. For years, the department has been focused on problem solving and troubleshooting, leaving little time to invest attention in a broader, long-term strategy. ‘We’re always putting out fires, but we don’t get around to fire-proofing for the future,’ says Gremmen. In his eyes, it requires a new way of thinking about IT. Wi-fi access is a good example. Everyone was complaining about the strength of the wi-fi signal, so the IT department expanded the network capacity. There are fewer complaints, but no one has stopped

Something has to change. At the moment, the servers need improved security and there is no test environment for software development. Some education


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Melting pot

complaints, track’

Dancing around the fire on Aruba Will Yue, a first year IBMSstudent from Aruba, cooked us a traditional Aruban meal, Arroz con pollo. This dish is best served during a traditional Aruban party, after dancing around the fire.  story Kerttu Henriksson • image Bas Kijzers

What are we eating today? Arroz con pollo, chicken mixed with vegetables and rice and with fried plantain on the side. All you have to do is prepare the meat, rice and vegetables, add some spices and mix them together. Just like with Spanish paella, you can adjust the dish to your own taste. It is a traditional Aruban dish that is usually served at traditional dinner parties since it is so simple to make for a lot of people.

The ‘basis op orde’ project will involve an expansion of the IT department, with new workers coming in so that the team can do more than put out the fires. New trainings and procedures will help to keep the department and the IT infrastructure on the rails. No matter what happens, students and staff should be able to expect that this year, service requests will be handled more quickly, and as far as the physical infrastructure is concerned, it is expected that THU’s house of cards will soon be transformed into a manageable and solid construction project. ‘We have to reduce the number of bugs in the system,’ says Van de Werke. ‘An IT system that just works is something we all want. When I don’t hear any more complaints, I’ll know we’re on the right track.’

mild, but can be made spicy 45 minutes Around 10 euros for 5 people

What are traditional Aruban parties like?

to think about whether or not it is desirable to have wireless internet everywhere. Van der Werke points out: ‘I have even had some teachers ask if I could hang up a signal jammer, because students are so busy with their smartphones during class.’

Arroz con pollo

Required cooking skills: For example, on 24 June Arubans none celebrate Dera Gai. It is a more than hundred-year-old harvest tradition, which symbolizes the burning Not vegetarian of bad energy that people have picked up in the last year. In the old Recipe on Link Online days, the celebration began with a For the recipe and a short video cultural dance around a fire, during on how to make Arroz con pollo, which a blindfolded person had to go to: beat a rooster with a stick while dancing. After the rooster was beat to death it was burned in the fire. These days we use plastic roosters, because killing a real rooster is too cruel. Now, we only burn all our garbage and we celebrate until the fire goes out. However, because of my family’s Chinese background, our family traditions mostly come from Chinese culture.

Does your Chinese origin influence on your cooking? Yes, I learned to cook by observing the cooks at my family’s old Chinese restaurant. Although I also learned the basics of different cuisines when I was previously studying hospitality management, Asian cuisine is my favorite.

Would you like to invite Link into your kitchen and tell us about your roots? Send an email to

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Prize-winning essay

How thinking about a ourselves creates  better world The last English edition of Link included a challenge to students and staff to participate in an essay contest. The topic was the importance of internationalization at THU. The jury has awarded the prize, and an iPad 3, to third-year European Studies student Sven Marschalek (23) because ‘his essay lifts the debate about internationalisation to a higher level.’

Since the beginning of the 1990s, October 3rd has marked Germany’s official Reunification Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit). Then, all over the country, people celebrate the end of the socialist dictatorship. People recapitulate what they were taught in public schools and what their parents told them about the past. Somehow, everybody writes his own national history. This is what I believed in, what I did myself. But then I went abroad – to the Netherlands, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Living abroad has been a fruitful experience and in a lot of ways, one could argue that I got to learn so much about foreign cultures, intercultural communication, cosmopolitanism and other current buzzwords. Without a doubt, my life was being internationalised.


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However, celebrating Reunification Day in a foreign country opened my eyes to a very different point of view: internationalisation is not learning about others, it is learning about yourself. By looking at what internationalisation means in a higher education context and what its main criticisms are, this essay deals with the great potential that internationalisation has. It might sound naïve, but I argue that internationalising higher education institutions such as The Hague University of Applied Sciences helps to make the world a more peaceful place – if policies can effectively support individuals in reinventing themselves. Internationalisation is most commonly defined as ‘the process of integrating an international, intercultural or global dimension into the purpose, functions or delivery of post-secondary education’

(Knight, 2010). Other authors state that internationalisation is not a goal in itself, but rather a means to an end. Internationalisation does not do any good if universities just perform it as a source of extra financial revenue or as a global image-provider. While it may be true that more international students, more exchange partnerships and more credits devoted to international topics may create more internationality, it does by no means automatically imply that you learn anything about yourself. That last point is cru-

Internationalisation is not learning about the others, it is learning about you cial for internationalised institutions to provide for future graduates that strive for a more equal and more peaceful world. To illustrate this point, I shall take a very simple example from my personal experience that outlines how internationalisation helps to develop the auspicious feeling of empathy. I refer to a pretty Dutch experience, namely going to the kroeg (bar) with a group of Dutch friends. In the Netherlands, etiquette dictates that you buy rounds if you get a drink. It took me a while to get used to getting ‘sponsored’, even if, at times, I could not have paid half of the drinks I had. However, adapting to the Dutch concept of going out, I figured that, in Germany, having a night out could be twice as much fun if we adopted a similar habit. Thus, I took the idea home. I learned about myself. I learned to think win/win. Universities must engage in critical reflection, re-think their teaching and researching practices and critically evaluate their reward system

and their notion of pedagogy. Internationalisation has to be implemented in such a way that it allows students to draw a connection to their home experiences. It must provide them with the means to critically reflect upon and reinvent themselves. If we are able to find ourselves in an increasingly interconnected world and if we realize that it is us that have to change first, then we will be able to make the world a better place. And, as the German photographer Richard Hoffmann once said: ‘The shortest way to yourself leads once around the world.’

This essay has been edited for space. To see the entire essay, including references, see Link Online

The Jury’s comments: ‘Sven’s essay places personal experience in the context of topical literature on internationalization in higher education. He skilfully develops an interesting point of view: encounters with foreign countries and people from different cultures teach one about oneself. Critical self-reflection and an open attitude towards others create the conditions for a better world. Sven’s essay lifts the debate about internationalization to a higher level.’ The jury consisted of Susana Menéndez, Member of the Board of Directors of The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Ineke van der Meule, Director of the Centre for Lectorates and Research, René Rector, editor in chief of Link and Jos Walenkamp, Lector for International Cooperation. For the winner, there were two prices: an iPad 3, which was given to Sven by the jury, and publication of his essay in Link.

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Gems kitchen, where we see the chef toiling away at our starter: potato soup. Well, ‘toiling away’ may be something of an exaggeration; we’re surprised to see that we’re the only guests. Our waiter ascribes that to the time of year, right after Christmas. Normally speaking the joint – which replaced what used to be Scallywags last August – is jumping.

And all that jazz No, this is not a restaurant. And neither is it exclusively Spanish. Just to avoid any misunderstandings about Est est est! on Wagenstraat, I can tell you right now what makes it so special: jazz and surprisingly good food. Just imagine the setting: red leather chairs, tiny tables with green-and-white chequered tablecloths, low-hanging ceiling lamps and creaky, vintage Frank Sinatra

coming out of the speakers. The old records are changed by a waiter at a turntable station set up in one of the corners of the dining area. Next to this is the entrance to the

The potato soup, a creamy yellow substance served with truffle oil and smoked (!) paprika powder, is indeed delicious and has a surprisingly smoky flavour. Now, on to the main course: Frank Sinatra has been replaced with a sensual female voice (Ella Fitzgerald?), which goes perfectly with my companion’s bavette – French beef, cooked to succulent pink perfection – and my seafood paella. Instead of the typical saffron rice, my paella is made with risotto. The seafood contingent is represented in large

quantities: mussels, little clams, shrimp... with some green beans and cherry tomatoes popping up from underneath the rice here and there. Scrumptious! Now it’s time for desert: homemade cheesecake with a cookiecrumb bottom. Later that evening space is created for the weekly jazz session, held every Saturday. The room is starting to fill up while we wait for the musicians to appear. Fortunately, they have Estrella on tap and, as long as the old vinyl is still spinning on the turntable, we won’t be going home any time soon. • MS


Jazzbodega Est est est! Wagenstraat 144 tel. 070-7855686 Main course prices: between € 16.50 and € 18.50 Estrella beer: € 2.25

unusual dutch want to avoid Valentine’s Day disappointment. You didn’t get any red roses? Not even a note or a card with a description about how much he loves you (to the moon and back), how he wants to stay with you forever and ever or – what were you expecting – a love poem? What? Did he forget it was Valentine’s Day at all? Ahhh… the Dutch man. First of all, you should know that Valentine’s Day isn’t such a big deal in the Netherlands. We copied a lame version of it from the Americans, but most Dutch men and also a lot of women see it as a crass, commercial tradition (though it’s possible some say this to avoid disappointment). You almost hear how the Dutch guy thinks: ‘Why is this rose 3 euro on Valentine’s Day, when I could get it for 50 cents yesterday?’ image:

The Dutch lover For those of you who might have fallen in love with a Dutch guy or are in any other way romantically involved with one, here is something you should know about the species, at least, if you


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Instead, he says your love isn’t about clichés like roses and love poems. He says he loves you every day, and not just on the 14th of February and he will show you by helping you fix your bike, by replacing a broken light and by negotiating with you about where to go out for dinner so he’s sure you’ll like the place, instead of romantically reserving a table by surprise (possibly in the wrong restaurant). That’s real love, right? • MS


Melancholy in a cheerful package After they were both dumped, Daniel Johansson and Joakim Sveningsson decided to take the energy they were putting into their relationships and channel it into music. Eight years and five albums later, they still haven’t let go of their melancholic heartbreak. The greatest talent of Sweden’s Friska Viljor is the way they make music that manages to sound miserable and upbeat at the same time. They’ve

done it again with Remember Our Name. Tragic, English-language lyrics are combined with cheerful ukulele riffs and catchy melodies. Just like their previous albums, Remember Our Name has the duo working with a wide variety of different tools. Besides the more conventional instruments, they use the melodica – a keyboard flute – mandolins, banjos and different horns on this album, giving it a folky and sometimes even Mediterranean atmosphere. While the vocals might take some getting used to, the familiar melodies and range of tempos make the album an easy listen. • IvB


Friska Viljor - Remember Our Name Genre: Indie, Rock, Pop Friska Viljor will be performing at the Bitterzoet in Amsterdam on 28 February


... by Ugo Moruzzi

Ugo Moruzzi is a graduate of Architecture and Construction Engineering and the Chairman of the student association InterAccess. He loves to party and meet new people. story Laura van Langen • image Mieke Barendse Party spot > Grote Markt I like Grote Markt a lot. The only disadvantage is that the pubs there close at 2 o’clock. The atmosphere and the people are really nice. It is not really a party area but it’s a nice place to chill. The feel of a lot of bars together is cozy and the people are open-minded. Club > Club 7 Club 7 is located on the Prinsegracht and has an international night every Tuesday. I go there a lot because I also work there as a photographer. This is more of a party spot for dancing and such.

special offer


a Piranha 3DD DVD! After their spring break ‘banquet’ in the horror hit Piranha 3D, the bloodthirsty piranhas are now back for their next snack at the Big Wet pool park, where a crowd of sexy twenty-somethings are getting ready to party hard. But while they’re out looking for a good time, booze and hot bods, these unsuspecting guys and girls find themselves up against an even bigger challenge: escaping the eager jaws of the hungriest killer piranhas ever! With Christopher Lloyd and Ving Rhames reprising their iconic roles and joined by ‘young bloods’ David Hasselhoff, Gary Busey and Esquire Magazine’s ‘2011 Sexiest Woman Alive’ Katrina Bowden, Piranha 3DD promises to be another great big bloody 3D bonanza.

Special offer for readers Link is giving away three DVDs. For your chance to win, send an email to, stating ‘Piranha 3DD’ in the subject line, before 8 March. Don’t forget to provide your contact details! The winners will be notified on 11 March.

Restaurant > Est Est Est! Est est est! is a restaurant located on Wagenstraat 144. What makes it special is the regular live jazz performances. The staff is friendly and the vibe there is nice and Spanish. Plus, of course, the food’s good. Restaurant > VIP (Very Italian Pizza) VIP is located on Kettingstraat 13 and has all the Italian food you could hope for. I like the atmosphere of VIP. And, yeah, they have really good pizza. They’re also quite cheap with pizzas ranging in prices from 6 to 10 euros. Festival > Parkpop Parkpop is a free festival (one of the largest in Europe) held every summer in The Hague. This year is will be on the 30th of June in the ‘Zuiderpark’. The line-up hasn’t been announced yet but the atmosphere is fantastic there when the weather is good. Two years ago, Jamie Cullum was my favorite act.

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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?

‘I like talking about Lady Gaga’ Lee Harris

Lecturer at the Acadamy of European Studies and Communication Management (ESCM) Age ‘over 35’ Teaches Marketing Teaching since 1990 In a few words curious, active, allergic to the word ‘no’ and optimistic


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Lee Harris puts all his energy into showing his students the ropes in the world of marketing. His students laud him for his ability to liven up the toughest course material.  story Simone Krouwer • images Mieke Barendse / Lee Harris

Nice portrait! That’s me, drawn a little out of proportion and with a tie on, of course. I always wear a tie. Around me are some of my favourite lines, like the fact that I think a 5.5 is ‘uncool.’ Students who aim for a 5.5 are going to end up disappointed. ‘Dedication, not vacation’ is something I expect from my students. They have to want to read their marketing books, even in the weekend or on vacation. Lady Gaga is an important part of my marketing classes. That’s why it says ‘Go Gaga!’ ‘Uggs are for uglies’ is a reference to another opinion of mine that I am happy to share in class.

ing and I want students to want to come to class.

What attracted you to teaching? Nothing specific. I just sort of rolled into it. I used to work in marketing in the tourism industry, in about forty countries. I was asked once to give a guest lecture and it turned out to be a lot more fun than I expected. I wouldn’t want to give up my experiences as an international marketing professional, though. All those different places and people have made a contribution to my profile. This gives quite an advantage to a lecturer, not the least of which is a very broad and varied vision on the world of marketing.

So you enjoy talking about things that are popular with students?

How do you stay sharp as a teacher?

Yes. That’s what I do. Students find the material more interesting if they can connect with the example. Lady Gaga is an excellent subject for modern marketing success. By starting with these types of topics, you create an interactive atmosphere, and that promotes learning. I’m fairly relaxed when it comes to rules as students rarely step out of line. Rules aren’t really necessary in a class that works. I want the messages to be thought provok-

I don’t really have to try to stay sharp. That takes care of itself as long as you’re always looking around and listening. I believe that lecturers have a sixth sense about this. Every morning I put my tie on with a smile and can’t wait to get to work. The Hague University is a big school, but it never feels too big. I like the contact I have with colleagues and with international students. Every day I’m curious and hoping for something exciting!


Delft blue by night

‘It’s fun to visit a museum at night for a change’, enthuses Industrial Design Engineering student Sieds Medemblik. On 16 January, he took part in ‘Night at the Museum’ at the Gemeentemuseum.   story Lotte Hoes • image Bas Kijzers As dusk fell, the museum opened its doors to admit all visitors free of charge. It also organised workshops and guided tours of various exhibits, such as Delftware Wonderware, presenting a collection of Delftware pottery. Medemblik was particularly enthusiastic about the hours of the event: ‘Because of school, I can only visit museums at the weekend, but I like the idea of just going with friends at the end of an ordinary weekday!’

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Link 28: House hunting in The Hague  

In this second all English Link Link delves into the buzzing issue of international students: how do I find housing. Occasionally, you’’ll f...