The student band Empa Nadas opened the live show in the Pavilion with their version of Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover. The entire program, organised by Studium Generale and EM, was filled with live music. Winners of the EURvision Songcontest Sharon and Ralph also performed, Rosann Kerkhaert (semifinalist The Voice of Flanders) sang her own song Avondzon and student Kay Dee performed her protest song. Campus poet Will Makin recited a poem and researcher Samira van Bohemen talked about a year of the LoveLab.

Inspiring stories

Between performances, presenters Tessa and David engaged in conversation with the nominees. “My favorite book is Matilda”, said nominee Amran Mahamed. “I came to live in The Netherlands when I was eight. My elementary school teacher gave me this book by Roald Dahl. It was my first book ever. She encouraged me to read more. She saw and inspired me, and I want to become a role model like she was to me.” Her teacher in the room was visibly touched by Amran’s words.

Süheyl Uyar and Tevfik Çiçek talked about their trip to Turkey to help earthquake survivors. “When we saw the pictures of the disaster, we thought: we are not studying Medicine to look at these pictures at home, we have to do something. So we left immediately”, Süheyl said on the stage. Tevfik added: “Winning is not our goal, we mainly want to inspire people to help others.”

Hassnae Boubrik_Studentsoftheyear_May2023_ErasmusMC_3360_Thanh Nguyen

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Winner Hassnae did not expect to win at all, she said after the show. “What I have done is so small compared to other nominees”, she said modestly. “For example, Süheyl and Tevfik have literally put their lives on the line to help people. It is already an honour to be here. That I won this election proves that more is possible for Muslim women like me.”