Do you want to know how our current and former students experience the programme? Then check out the interviews and videos with Joris, Olivia, Ashleigh, Sayema, and Stefan. 

Joris Canoy (he/him) is a Master's student in Economic Policy

"I have always had a particular interest in societal issues, which drew me to the programme Philosophy, Politics and Economics. This programme introduces you to theory from different disciplines to tackle societal problems and thus trains you to become a broadly informed member of society." 

"PPE also stimulates you to think about responsible citizenship: how can you contribute to society as a student? Personally, I joined the Humanities Faculty Council to represent the student body in university matters during my studies, which taught me a lot."

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Third year

"During my studies, I realized I was particularly intrigued by economic issues in society. Fortunately, I had the possibility to furnish my third-year curriculum with courses that centered around economics. I also completed an internship at the D66 party in the Dutch House of Representatives. I worked on issues such as the budget treatise of social affairs and the prohibition of conversion therapy. My third year was my favorite part of PPE: I could orient myself toward a subsequent master’s program, gain practical experience during my internship, and take courses that fit my diverging interests."

Security of Existence

"Currently, I am pursuing a Master’s degree in Economic Policy, which offers a focus on applied economics that I really appreciate. After my studies, I would love to work for the government or at a non-governmental organization. I have to thank my bachelor for these future plans. Because you meet an extraordinary number of perspectives in PPE, you can try out everything and find your specific interests."

Olivia Staudenmayer (she/her) is a Master's student in International Affairs

"I wanted to study something that offers a broad, interdisciplinary perspective on topics you encounter in the news, so I applied to the Philosophy, Politics and Economics programme at Utrecht University. This was a great choice, as both the program and the city were good starts for me as an 18-year-old student." 

"Not only were the courses super interesting, but I especially enjoyed our student community. We were all ambitious students and thrived from undertaking extracurricular activities, like setting up a study association for PPE. With studying PPE, you get as much out of it as you put in: though it is not mandatory, you can go the extra step if you want and it will be worth your efforts!"

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"One thing good to know is that PPE offers courses, like Politics and Policy-Making, that are very theory-driven. You’ll find the balance between your courses and real-world issues hence a lot outside the classroom in discussion with others. The connections I made with other students were also the best part of PPE for me. I still see my group of friends a lot, even though most of us have moved out of Utrecht and live in different countries. We really enjoy each other’s company and to be surrounded by ambitious and motivated people is really great."

Intensive training

"Currently, I’m pursuing a Master’s degree in International Affairs and focussing on Energy and Environment. During my third year of PPE, I realized I was very interested in international relations and issues of sustainability, so I applied to various universities and eventually was accepted to Columbia University in New York City. Because PPE is more intensive teaching than regular Bachelor programs, the workload of my current Master’s is similar to my Bachelor’s. PPE thus prepared me really well for this current education."

Ashleigh Irvine-Smith (she/her) is a third year student

When I was in high school, I became more involved with working with underprivileged children through my sport. This really sparked my interest in social injustices and I began to search for study areas that could leap me to working in understanding how groups react to national policies and how inequality develops despite perseverance of policies against this, specifically in Africa."

"When I came across the PPE programme at Utrecht University, everything fit perfectly with my interests. As I often catch myself thinking “wow, how lucky am I that I get to study this and learn from such people?”, I feel reassured that I have chosen the right programme."

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Group work

"Coming from South Africa, I did not know what to expect from the programme on a practical level, but I remember thinking that there would be many opportunities for discussion, debate, and a high expectation for academic theory application. Still, I was worried, for instance, that I would not be able to work well in a group. However, group work has become such an integral part of my PPE experience and I have really been so amazed at the increased value that group work has given to my work. Additionally, the teaching staff are all incredible in terms of what they have to offer and their own careers."

Social inequities

"I have not given too much thought to the specifics of my plans after graduation. But I would love to continue studying after this before starting to work. It would be amazing to combine my love of science with my passion for social inequities and working with people. Therefore, I think that I will hopefully end up working in some kind of public health institution at a grass roots level."

Sayema Mayesha is a third year student

“During my school years, I developed a passion for global and social issues leading me to pursue global politics and economics in high school. Development issues are often complex, multifaceted issues that cannot be understood or tackled using a monodisciplinary approach." 

"This understanding drove me to pursue an interdisciplinary programme like PPE which enabled me to critically analyze complex global and social problems through various lenses."

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Capstone project

"Throughout my entire journey in PPE, I knew I was in the right programme. If I have to specify one moment at which I knew this programme was the right fit for me, it would definitely be during my capstone project wherein I independently wrote an 8000 words interdisciplinary research paper on the justifiability of economic sanctions. This enabled me to witness my growth and learning trajectory in the programme. I was able to independently conduct interdisciplinary research that exhibited the culmination of skills and knowledge I had acquired throughout the programme."

Development Sector

"My academic knowledge deepened my desire to contribute to societal issues. A combination of both my academic and extracurricular pursuits enabled me to realize that I want to work in the nongovernmental/development sector in the future, working towards resolving various social issues through policymaking, project design, and project implementation."

Stefan de Reijer (he/him) is a second year student

"In contrast to all other children in my elementary school, I always dreamt of being a waiter in a famous restaurant. However, throughout the years I grew a passion for a multitude of academic disciplines." 

"When I encountered PPE, the combination of new perspectives on global problems and advanced knowledge on a wider range of disciplines attracted me towards the programme. Like many of my fellow PPE students, I was glad to be offered a broader interdisciplinary specialization."

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Inclusive Community

"My initial expectations of the community as a whole was that it would entail a large variety of individuals, with different norms and values. These expectations appeared to be true, resulting in a supporting and inclusive community, in which people with completely different backgrounds can open up and engage in interesting conversations."

Selection Rounds

"I expected the courses to be rather difficult, as the selection process could be considered intense. Although the programme can definitely not be called easy, once you get through the selection rounds, you can pass all/most courses. However, it was not until I took the varied courses of the first block that I realized how much I love the programme. The first two courses discuss a broad range of political, economic, and historical subjects. This wide range of topics resulted in interesting seminar debates. This reassured me that I made the right choice."