Drawing the future of the VUB

Though government budgets are being cut, improvements to facilities and services at the VUB – the Vrije Universiteit Brusssel – can and should be improved by organising things in a smarter way. Based on general impressions and contact with a befriended student representative, I think great initiatives are taken and clearly intentions are there to tackle some pressing issues that impact on international students. Yet communication about, cooperation between different bodies on and the learning from other institutions regarding these initiatives don’t always seem to grow to their potential.

Due to language barriers it’s not practical for internationals to join the VUB student council, but it’s important that their voice gets heard. Therefore the student council and the International Relations and Mobility Office are launching the ISP – a body with international students that can give advice and send concrete proposals to different governing bodies.

When improvements are made, I think the VUB is better able to play a wonderful trump card; the international city that Brussels is, being the heart of the EU’s political spheres. I’d very much like to help with that. Not just by making bold statements [NL] in our university student magazine, but by actually engaging in debates, reflecting on the matter and developing hands-on policy proposals. That’s why I want to join the International Student Platform. Together with all relevant bodies, I think it is possible to make it easier for internationals to enrol and study at the VUB, thereby attracting a more international student population and opening up more opportunities for increased interaction with the international environment surrounding the VUB.

These improvements don’t need to be difficult – they just need to be taken on:

  • The provision of information before and during the registration process (esp. for new international students), as well as the process itself
  • The representation of internationals throughout the different governing bodies, which includes the further development of the ISP and promoting cooperation between the different international programmes, whilst keeping an eye on the interests of other groups at the VUB
  • The possability of and ease of organising exchanges for VUB students in all programmes

Image(s)/Beeld: “VDM_VUB BB_10 by/door Daniele Canedo.

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