08 Jan Growth in the sciences: expanding the faculty campus

At the start of this year the new lecture hall was finishedImage: Dieuwertje Modder

Great news: science is in! In the last couple of years, more and more Dutch high school kids are choosing science studies. Our faculty even built an extra lecture hall over the summer to accommodate all those new freshmen. So why are we being flooded by these science lovers and what else should we build for them/you?

Science students are necessary
First of all, why do we need to stimulate kids to choose a science study? The most important reason is that the Netherlands are getting a shortage of scientifically educated students. There are already a lot of unfilled jobs in the technology sector. Another reason is that a lot of kids are interested in scientific subjects but are not stimulated to develop these talents. This is a shame since technology is becoming more and more important in our society nowadays.

 Activities resulting in increasing numbers of science students
Why is there an increase in science students? Is our generation just way more interested in science than previous generations? That could be. Another possible reason for the increase in popularity of science studies is that the Dutch government and the industry started actively promoting higher science education. The government has tried a lot of campaigns since 1987, but most of them didn’t have the intended effect.

So what changed? Even though previous campaigns didn’t result in a lot more science students, it did show people that science studies are important. Plus, the government had time to learn from their mistakes since then. It is important to show kids what they can do with a science study and let students close to their age inform them instead of older people. Now that the new campaign called Bètamentality was started in 2011 improvements were made.

The industry is also very much willing to help promote science since companies are desperately in need of more technical people. An example of this is the programme Jet-Net, which is a collaboration of the industry, the government and education.

Another very important reason is the increase in scientific TV shows. Since the Crime Scene Investigation series aired a lot more kids chose to study Forensic Science. And there are way  more scientific TV shows that are influencing the choice of study of kids.

Whatever the reason may be, it worked!

Temporary extra space
So here’s what you need to know about the new faculty lecture hall:

  • It has the possibility of recording lectures, so that you can watch the lecture later if you feel like sleeping in after a night out
  • The name is confusing, I bet a lot of students already got lost; it is called H0.08, which suggests that it is located behind building G but instead you can find it behind building B
  • It has two projection screens, so there is no way you can miss a slide
  • It seats as many as 200 students
  • It was built in only nine weeks!


Construction-of-new-lecture         New-lecture-hall-finished


And when this extra lecture hall still isn’t enough to accommodate all the lectures, we can use the lecture hall of a renowned research institute next door, the CWI. Not a bad place to visit!
The campus future
The current numbers of science students (and the popularity of the UvA) are not expected to drop in size any time soon – quite the opposite. And the measures above are just temporary solutions. So what will the future bring us? Extra stories on top of the existing faculty building, extra (permanent) buildings around the campus, a whole new faculty, a relocation?

Personally, I would love to see a giant hot air balloon! What do you think should happen? Leave your ideas in the comments and let us know why you chose a science study!

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WTF Diewertje

WTF Diewertje

Chemistry student, dancer, ambitious, inquisitive, adventurous, enthusiastic, perseverant
WTF Diewertje

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