The all-Dutch university council has recently gotten an international addition. Stefan Nicolai, an IBA student was elected by students to part take in the decision making process of the council. However, language has become an important issue.

Last week, the university council decided to continue holding their meetings in Dutch, despite the fact that Nicolai is not fluent in Dutch. Nevertheless, some of the documents will be translated into English and Stefan will be taking Dutch courses, partially paid for by the university. Although he is content having been elected, he thinks that being an international university, Erasmus has to allow the international students to contribute.

Internationals without a voice

Nicolai notes that making council bilingual would be the perfect solution. “The decision process should be bilingual, because international students have good ideas for improvement too but up until now didn’t have a voice in the university council. Dutch people have quite good English skills so switching to English wouldn’t really hurt the quality of the meetings”.

Things to be done

With the great honour being the first non-dutch speaker on the council, there are also high responsibilities that come with the job. Stefan is already off to a running start, working on issues he promised to solve. “We are negotiating with Albron about food quality and prices, and also thinking of how to work out other matters like increasing the number of workplaces in the library, and organizing more recruitment events for international students”.

Even though Nicolai understands that this position will present him with a lot of challenges, he is thankful to all of those who voted for him and hopes to make some changes and improvements to the Erasmus University. MD