Are the students who will start their bachelor’s study during the corona pandemic part of a ‘lost generation’? This week, we speak ten of those students about their hopes and fears. Today: Aljer Lee (30), who is going to study Econometrics.
Why did you want to study at the UvA?
‘I studied in Frankfurt am Main and I wanted to distinguish myself from others with a follow-up course. The Econometrics course at the UvA suits me best and it is challenging.’
When do you expect to visit the UvA for the first time?
‘I went to the UvA a few days ago to hand in my official documents. It was a shame that the circumstances prevented the exploration of the campus. I would have loved to explore the buildings as that process would have helped me navigate in the future. That said, members of study association VSAE personally contacted us to arrange a date for an introduction session. They were kind enough to help with any questions I had.’
How do you expect to get to know fellow students without campus activities during the introduction week?
‘It will be a challenge. Luckily we can connect with each other with the help of modern technologies. Over the past few days, I met some fellow students in the park, where we followed health and safety guidelines advised by the government.’
What do you expect from next year?
‘I expect my first semester to be challenging as online classes are new to the traditional university environment. Based on the information from the UvA, I assume that they have drawn up a plan to give lectures both online and on campus. I personally think there should be more student workgroups on campus as they are important to solidify the foundation of understanding a subject. On the other hand, we are all experiencing this for the first time, so there is always room for improvement. I find it important that the university opens up facilities where students can work together. The separation of private and professional spaces is essential to our mental health and our study.’
Are you concerned about taking a lot of online classes and studying at home?
‘It would be a lie to say I’m not worried, because studying online is new to us, at least for the majority of students and teachers. That is why it is important to provide students with the facilities to meet in small groups and to have working groups on campus.’
Do you think it is fair that you have to pay full tuition without getting the real university experience?
‘The whole idea of going to college to experience university life was, in my opinion, taken from American culture. However, I do not share the same views. The university is and always has been an institution where we will acquire knowledge that would help us in our professional life, hence the whole “experience” would be a plus if the circumstances allow it. If the professors are there, if the facilities are there and if the lecturers are there, it makes sense for us to pay our tuition fees.’