Hip hip hurray! The Econometric Institute is celebrating its 60th anniversary and the FAECTOR faculty association has been around for 50 years. Despite its long history, it’s still not clear to everyone what exactly is involved in the Econometrics programme. Five econometrics students tell us why they opted for this programme and about the clichés they get hurled at them about their study.

Luc Oudenes (23) ‘Extremely bright or hardly any social skills’

Luc econometrics

“I always wanted to study medicine. Then one of my teachers at school took me aside. She said: ‘You’re not great at biology, but you’re good at maths and economics. Wouldn’t Econometrics suit you?’ I didn’t even know there was such a thing, and now I’m here. I have never regretted my choice. Because I study Econometrics, people immediately think I’m either exceptionally bright or that I have hardly any social skills.”

Mechteld Ferment (23) ‘I’d rather read a formula than a book.'

girl econometrics

“When I tell people what I study, the first comment is: ‘Econometrics, isn’t that really hard?’ It is indeed a lot of hard work, but I’d rather work on three formulas than have to read a book. Because that’s what’s hard for me. I first wanted to study maths, but with Econometrics you also learn how to apply maths. That’s exactly what I find interesting and challenging in this programme,”

Wouter Hustinx (20) ‘Isn’t that really difficult?’

Wouter econometrics2

“I generally get very surprised reactions when I tell people what I study. ‘That is really difficult, isn’t it?’ is what I often get to hear. They don’t expect it because the preconception is often that econometrists are short on social skills. But that’s not been my experience. Of course you’ll always have a few students that fit that stereotype, but then you don’t have to have much to do with them. I liked economics as a subject at school, I wanted to do something along those lines. By choosing Econometrics, I could combine economics and maths. It makes the study difficult, but also challenging.”

Sjoerd Baardman (22) ‘You mean Economics, don’t you?’


“The reactions that I get when I tell them what I’m studying? ‘Oh, then you must be super bright’ or ‘Econometrics? Don’t you mean Economics?’ I don’t think of myself as very bright, but I am good at maths. I find Econometrics is an interesting study because it is in-depth and challenging. You have to spend some time on the maths, but once the penny drops, it is really easy. That’s not the impression I get from history. Now that’s a subject that’s hard for me.”

Mitchell van Citterd (22) ‘Are you going to be a millionaire?’

guy econometrics

“Are you going to be a millionaire? That’s always the first question I get. It’s not the reason why I chose to study Econometrics. I was checking out the EUR website for information about Economics, I read the description of Econometrics, and thought it would be a great combination of the subjects that I liked so much at school: economics and maths. That’s the real reason why I’m studying Econometrics: because I like it. That I may earn stacks of money later is an added bonus.”

A conference is being held on the 27 May in the C Building (Theil) to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Econometrics Institute and the 50th anniversary of FAECTOR. The theme of the conference is ‘Econometrics and Beyond’. You can find more information on the programme here.