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Skip to 0 minutes and 3 seconds My name is Elmer Sterken. I’m the vice chancellor of the University of Groningen.

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds Or we say in Dutch: Rector magnificus. I myself have been a student assistant.

Skip to 0 minutes and 17 seconds It’s important to involve students in multiple ways in the university because I see them as fresh blood in the organisation so to say. So students have bright, new ideas for our research. They are very helpful and eager to assist us in the educational process. And I think it’s also important that they co-decide on what we do in the university.

Skip to 0 minutes and 47 seconds I’d see it as, let’s say, complimentary activity to building your own education. So you’re not only consume as a student the teaching programmes that we offer, but you also contribute. And you learn very much from this, let’s say, active teaching.

Skip to 1 minute and 9 seconds I can tell you a bit about the, let’s say, the structure of our education at the University of Groningen. I think it’s important that we bring the experience of our most advanced persons in the organisation, say our full professors, they bring their knowledge basically to their staff. And their staff, again, brings the experience and the knowledge to maybe their postdocs and to PhDs. And the PhDs transfer this knowledge to the student assistants. And I think then you have a cascade model of experience in education that’s really helpful. And I think we need this flow to get a good research-infused education.

Skip to 1 minute and 54 seconds What we expect from students in our democratic governing bodies is that they bring in their own ideas from, let’s say, the current views of students. For instance, our development of the strategic plans that we have in the university. And so it’s very good to have the current experience by students now into this decision making process.

Skip to 2 minutes and 19 seconds Yeah, I think in the near future here at the Univeristy of Groningen, we’d like to increase the numbers of student assistants. And maybe the dream is that we can offer an assistantship to all of our Master’s students. And then I would love to see that those students become more active, indeed, in contributing to the research and education that we do here at the university.

Interview with the vice-chancellor

In this short interview the vice-chancellor of the University of Groningen, Elmer Sterken will explain why the university actively involves students in its organisation. He will also share his dream regarding student assistants and the University of Groningen with you.

Elmer Sterken has always been strongly involved in the organisation of the University of Groningen. During his years as a student, he was a student assistant himself. After his studies he gained his PhD in Economics in 1990 and has been Professor of Monetary Economics at the University of Groningen since 1996. In September 2008 he became the Dean of the Faculty of Economics and Business and he was appointed Vice-Chancellor in March 2011.


Elmer Sterken new vice-chancellor - June 30, 2010.

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Becoming a Student Assistant: Teaching and Mentoring

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