Priorities:Erasmus University Rotterdam Student Priorities

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2022 Cohort

1. Creating more awareness about entrepreneurship as an option after graduation and during the studies According to the statistics made available to us, only 2 % of the students at EUR choose to take the entrepreneurial route upon graduation. However, the number of successful entrepreneurs is still unknown given the size of this student sample. We believe this might not be due to the fact that students would not want to become an entrepreneur. Rather, they do not even consider it an option during the course of their time here at EUR.

The primary reason behind this is the lack of awareness about the entrepreneurial spirit our university boasts. We as UIF candidates hope to change this and bring a lot more awareness to how students, regardless of their faculty, could bring about change towards positive societal impact through an entrepreneurial approach. Through this, students have an opportunity to discover new interests and abilities. Moreover, the university also has an opportunity to work closely with students towards the Strategy 2024 (an initiative by the university).

We hope to increase awareness about entrepreneurship as an option by hosting various different events campus-wide, that revolve around the theme of entrepreneurship. We can ensure that through our other strategic priorities, such as increasing collaboration of our entrepreneurship ecosystem, we also create awareness.

2. Making the entrepreneurship ecosystem accessible to more students on campus Erasmus University Rotterdam has one of the leading centers for entrepreneurship in Europe: Erasmus Center for Entrepreneurship. With more than 35 academic trainers and 10.000m2 entrepreneurial learning environment, ECE teaches the foundation of entrepreneurship to more than 3000 students each year. Moreover, Erasmus University Rotterdam has an official student association titled Erasmus Center for Entrepreneurship Students.

With these valuable entrepreneurship driver organizations on campus, we still observe a lack of accessibility. After talking to tens of students from different faculties, we realized that students are not aware of how to become a part of this ecosystem, how to use the provided resources, and sometimes students do not even know the existence of these organizations. To make the entrepreneurship ecosystem more accessible, we will work together with both ECE and ECE Students to reach students from various faculties. Especially, faculties other than Rotterdam School of Management (RSM) and Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), do not get enough exposure to these entrepreneurial resources on campus. Thus, one of our priorities will be to reach students from diverse faculties and backgrounds to make them aware of what the entrepreneurial ecosystem on campus offers.

3.Connecting the entrepreneurship ecosystem on campus Erasmus University Rotterdam is famous worldwide for its business and economic faculties. However, students pursuing their degrees in different departments can also find various opportunities to develop entrepreneurial skills, starting with multiple student organizations all the way to entrepreneurship hubs such as Erasmus Enterprise. The area of improvement that we, as the Innovation Fellows, observed in that area of being students at EUR is the lack of connection between those various organizations. Once a student finds and joins one of them, it is sporadic that they also look for another one, therefore missing some of the opportunities that are unique to each organization. Furthermore, the organizations themselves rarely cooperate in spheres that directly involve their student members.

One of our aims for this academic year is to create a strong network between those organizations in order to encourage them to cooperate on a more regular basis. When this happens, students of all backgrounds will have access to even more self-development opportunities tailored to their areas of interest. [TOC] We plan to achieve this goal by organizing networking events for members of the various associations and additional events that would also serve as meeting spaces for all of the entrepreneurial-minded Erasmians.

4. Creating collaboration between institutions Erasmus University Rotterdam is not a technical university. Therefore, students who want to pursue entrepreneurship but do not have the technical skills to develop their product and/or service may find it challenging to move ahead with their idea. We think that collaborating with other universities which offer more technical programmes, such as TU Delft or the University of Twente (or even with organisations like YesDelft!), would be a great way for students to leverage off of the skills that students from the other institutions have.

We plan to tackle this priority by contacting various institutions and organisations in the Netherlands to further discuss the scope of this idea. Furthermore, we will also host workshops, panel discussions, etc. to understand how collaboration between institutions can become a more concrete solution.

2021 Cohort

1. Connecting students among faculties' Our team of UIF fellows for the 2021-22 cohort consist of four students, each from a different study programme within different faculties. From the very beginning, we noticed that we have a lot of interests and passions in common- however, at Erasmus University, it is often hard to interact with students from programmes and faculties besides your own. From this, we have decided that our overarching strategic priority would be to connect students across faculties, with initiatives and activities, whether new or existing, that would be inclusive to everyone and encourage diversity.

2. Connecting students with opportunities to develop themselves and their interests outside of academics Another common idea that all of our fellows shared was the fact that there are a lot of opportunities to develop yourself outside of your study programme at Erasmus University. However, from the students that we talked and interacted with, many say that these opportunities are sometimes not promoted well enough, that there is too many to know where to start from or that they were not aware of certain opportunities that are available to them. Thus, we have made this one of our strategic priorities- to enhance the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, and the extra-curricular activities offered at our university, by trying to make students more aware of and engaged with them.  

3. Connecting students with their learning environment Our university is a large organisation, with thousands of students across faculties and programmes. This provides great variety and diversity, however it can also make it hard for students to feel connected to their peers, the staff and students outside their immediate academic and extracurricular circles. Especially during the pandemic and online education, this gap was widened according to many students, both incoming and current. By acknowledging this, we have formed our third student priority, which is to help students connect more to their academic environment.

4. Connecting graduating students with alumni At Erasmus University, there is a large emphasis on helping incoming students manage the transition to university. Most incoming students that use these resources find them extremely useful, as the beginning of university is often times a hard transition. Another often difficult transition is the one at the end of university- students are faced with a lot of uncertainty and an exciting, but often daunting freedom to choose whatever path they would like their life to head in. From this, we have created our fourth student priority, which is to help aid the graduating students with resources, such as alumni who have graduated from their same programme, to navigate their post-university transition.