VU Amsterdam has received extra funding from the government for student wellbeing and to help students who have experienced study delay due to Corona. The funding comes from the National Programme for Education. We are using it in several ways. The spending plan is the result of brainstorming sessions held with as many different stakeholders as possible, including members of the University Student Council (USR).
Increasing the wellbeing of students
At VU Amsterdam, we want everyone to feel welcome and comfortable. That is why we pay a lot of attention to the wellbeing of our students and the sense of belonging within their study programmes. If you still feel out of place, you should be able to bring that up. In the field of student wellbeing, we spend the extra money on various topics.
- More student psychologists and study support groups
To be able to help students better and faster, we will create extra positions for student psychological counselors that students can turn to. We are going to organize more back on track study groups, which are groups of students who help each other studying and planning.
- Team 'student engagement'
No one knows better than students what problems you run into while studying or what could be improved at the university. We will create a team that will support student initiatives and plans of study associations and will cooperate with other parties within VU Amsterdam to realize initiatives.
- Student confidants
Within study and student associations students can contact “student confidants” with questions about wellbeing. These confidants will be trained to help students and can refer them to the right counselor within VU Amsterdam.
- Additional workshops and trainings
There will be more workshops and trainings on topics that relate to student wellbeing, such as resilience and "life skills”. In this way we can help a wider range of students and the help we offer is more in line with what students want.
- Awareness among teachers
Every teacher should know what student wellbeing entails. This will allow problems to be identified earlier and students to be referred more effectively. Teachers should also have knowledge about common disabilities that exist within the student community.
Improving support before and during studies
In order to provide students with the best possible help in making the right study choice and support during their studies, we invest in:
- Extra attention for student groups
We will make sure that groups of students who indicate their needs know their way at the university and can come into contact with other students easily. Mentors and tutors will be better prepared to guide students during their first year of study. For second- and third-year students, we will organize “welcome back events” after (Corona) lockdowns. For Master's students we will have an introduction program similar to the VU Introduction Days for Bachelor's students.
- Student Hubs
Secondary school students and university students are linked together in "Student Hubs”. University students help secondary education students prepare for their study time at VU Amsterdam, which proved more difficult due the covid pandemic.
- Extra matching
There will be an extra check on the match between students and the study programme, to prevent new students from finding out too late that they have made the wrong study choice. In this way, we ensure that new students choose a study that better matches their interests.
- Preparing for the job market
With new programmes, students discover their talents, develop job skills, and prepare for a smooth transition into the labour market.