Oud-rector: studenten ga stemmen

Oud-rector Jacob Fokkema roept in een filmpje van studentenpartij Stip op om vandaag te gaan stemmen.

Fokkema doet zijn oproep in het vorig jaar geopende Mekelpark. “Het Mekelpark is het bewijs van een goede samenwerking tussen de TU en de gemeente.

Niet alleen is het een ruimte om in te studeren, iedere Delftenaar kan genieten van dit park.”

Like most industries, international education is in uncharted waters when it comes to the effects of the financial crisis. To gauge how the crisis is being felt here at TU Delft, we asked a range of students to share their experiences of the current situation – or predicament. Is the crisis adversely affecting them or their families? Have they had to change the way they live here, or might they even have to abandon the remainder of their studies at TU Delft? Have their plans for after graduation changed? And finally, what, if anything, should TU Delft and governments do to help students in need?

“I feel the crisis, because there’s tension of attack looming everywhere, no security of lives or property. Back home, teachers have been on strike for months now, and they haven’t been paid since January. My father is deceased and my mother is a teacher, so you can imagine the implication on my studies financially and psychologically. I urgently need financial assistance and would appreciate any form of internship to raise some money towards my tuition fees and living expenses. I must now give serious thought to how I’m going to raise my study expenses for the next academic session. Considering the high unemployment in Nigeria, I don’t think I’ll return home immediately, except if I’m employed by a multinational oil company and relocated back home. Otherwise, I’d like some international exposure and experience before returning home. My hope is that the Dutch government can assist us self-sponsored students with scholarships, and also with securing jobs with Dutch companies operating in Nigeria.”
Avwaghwaruvwe Eguono (32), Nigeria, MSc petroleum engineering & geosciences

“Have I felt the effects of the crisis? No, not at all. It may have had a small affect on my family, but that hasn’t affected my living situation. If the situation becomes worse, I’ll certainly look for a part-time job. When the crisis first started, I intended to economize and save some extra money, but because the crisis appears not to be a real threat to me so far, I haven’t done that. Because renewable energy is a ‘booming business’ at the moment, I don’t think I’ll have problems finding a decent job after graduation, although it might take longer to find a suitable job in the region. The government should pay more attention to informing students about the seriousness of this crisis and the possible effects. The government creating jobs would be a good way to get out of the crisis; the fewer lost jobs, the faster the country will recover.”
Rob Cloosen, Netherlands, MSc sustainable energy technology
“The crisis has forced me to pay attention to the things I spend money on. I’m no longer able to spend as much as I usually did. Back home, my family is involved in architecture and construction and, usually, this sector is really affected by economic crisis. It has surely become more difficult to find a financial source to continue my studies. Right now it all depends if I get a scholarship to help out with expenses. So yes, because of the crisis, I must be more careful about my expenses, and I’m more anxious, since I’m relying on a scholarship to afford part of next year’s fee. I still have the same plans for after graduation though, because I believe the economic situation will be better within a year. Maybe TU Delft should also offer scholarships for international students. Another way to help international students would be to offer part-time jobs as teacher assistants or in university offices.”
Perla Cruz Lopez (24), Mexico, MSc architecture

“You notice the effects of the crisis when you ask your friends about finding a job in Netherlands, and they tell you wonderful stories about how, once upon a time, the jobs looked for you, not you for the jobs. The crisis hasn’t affected my family back home, so at the moment there’s no problem, but for the final semesters of study, some students may face problems, and I might be one of them. I can’t say there’s been a special change in my lifestyle yet, because I’ve always been conscious about money. It would be helpful if the TU created more opportunities for students to do internships at companies, as this creates many real opportunities for students and lets companies get to know better the eligible students for future employment. The crisis has however changed my plans for after graduation. I’d like to work here, but it’s really hard for international students to find jobs in Europe now.”
Ali Karkhaneh (27), Iran, MSc

“Despite the crisis, I’m making the same amount of money as before. I have a couple of shares that went down, but I didn’t cash them in yet. I still get the same amount of money from my parents each month, and maybe they feel something of the crisis, but not much. I’ve always worked part-time, and I’m even thinking of investing some more, because I believe everything will be alright in a couple years. I didn’t realize students were so much affected by the crisis, but I think TU Delft could help by making some arrangements for students who are already here and are having problems, like a low-interest loan that students have to pay back before they graduate, with perhaps an option for working for the university. In terms of the crisis affecting future plans, I don’t really have specific plans yet, but I do know a guy who already had a contract with Akzo Nobel, but when the financial crisis came, Akzo tried to alter the contract, although I don’t know if that was solely because of the crisis.”
Sebastiaan Nooij (22), Netherlands, BSc molecular science and technology

“I’ve not exactly felt the effects of the crisis, although knowing that it’s affecting other family members means it does impact me. The crisis is affecting the Kenyan economy, but fortunately it hasn’t yet had a significant impact on my family. The crisis hasn’t really changed how I live, but it does make me more conscious about how quickly things can change, and it’s meant that I’m now thinking much more about my chances of finding a job after graduation. Hopefully by then most of the repercussions will be over. Regarding international students, allowing part-time work for those affected would help. The TU should negotiate much harder with the Dutch government about the draconian regulations international students face with regard to finding part-time work. It’s incredibly difficult to find part-time jobs, and the rules are needlessly strict compared with other European countries.”
Lucia Wamiti, Kenya, BSc aerospace engineering

In de videoboodschap, die ook is te zien op Youtube, vertelt Fokkema dat de samenwerking tussen de TU en de gemeente van groot belang is. “Niet alleen voor de universiteit maar ook voor de stad. De stad vaart er wel bij, en dat komt omdat studenten meedenken over wat er in de stad nodig is.”

Fokkema doet zijn oproep in het vorig jaar geopende Mekelpark. “Het Mekelpark is het bewijs van een goede samenwerking tussen de TU en de gemeente. Niet alleen is het een ruimte om in te studeren, iedere Delftenaar kan genieten van dit park.”

Fokkema roept de studenten op ervoor te zorgen dat het studentenbelang goed in de gaten wordt gehouden.

Editor Redactie

Do you have a question or comment about this article?

Comments are closed.