I’m going to Rotterdam to study and to learn. Yesterday, my status at the University changed from ‘accepted to ‘enrolled’ . I am officially a student again. As the start time gets closer I get more and more nervous. Erasmus University in Rotterdam is a proper university. According to the Times World University Rankings it comes in at 72. It is only beaten by about half a dozen UK universities that I would never dream of applying to. I’m just a boy with a mediocre vocational design BA from a former Polytechnic. I can’t even find my alma mater in the rankings. The course that I am going to do is ranked second in the world for “Arts and Cultural Management” according to www.best-masters.com. This is serious stuff.
I’ve got a lot of experience in cultural management. I’ve been doing it for years but the academic rigour is going to be a challenge. It’s no good just knowing something. You need to know why and how. You also need to back it up with research and evidence. I will also need to get into the habit of academic writing. The thing I’m least looking forward to is all the reading. I want to learn, I want to gain the knowledge but I also know that some of the texts I need to absorb will be rather dry and not well written from a readers point of view.
Erasmus University, (EUR), is not ivy covered. It’s not actually very old. In University terms it’s just a baby having been formed a mere 102 year ago in 1913 as the Netherlands School of Commerce. It’s occupied its present site since 1973. As with the rest of Rotterdam there is a lot of concrete. There is also a major building programme going on with twenty first century architecture springing up along the new University Plaza. There is a separate Medical Centre and Erasmus University College, (across the road from my flat on Pannekoekstraat), in the city centre but the main Woudenstein campus on the edge of Kralingen is where I’ll be based. It’s about a fifteen minute cycle or short tram ride away. EUR has about 21,000 students of which about a quarter are international. Its alumni include nobel prize winners and Dutch Prime Ministers.
I’m still waiting for my timetable. It would be handy to have it soon so that I can book flights back to the UK when they are cheapest. It looks like things are well organised and that all lectures are condensed into half a week. There are four terms and the timetable changes for each one. For the past two years Term One contact time, (lectures, seminars and work groups), has started as midday on a Tuesday and finished at midday on a Thursday. British universities seem to start in October and finish at the end of November for Christmas. EUR lectures start on August 31 and don’t finish ’till December 18. My first exams will be at the end of Term One in November.
If you’re interested this is what I’ll be studying in my first year:
Study schedule per term
|Introduction to Economic Theory
|Creative Economy and Creative Organizations
|Introduction to Social Science Research
|Economic Geography of Creativity and Urban Development
|Values of Culture
|Introduction to Statistical Analysis
|International Art Markets
|Bachelor’s Thesis Class (gr. 4-E or 5-E) (4 weeks)
|Advanced Economic Aspects of Cultural Industries
|Bachelor’s Thesis Class (continuing from term 3)