Utrecht Excellence scholars share their stories

Thanks in part to a contribution from the Friends of Humanities Utrecht University, the Humanities faculty is able to award annual Utrecht Excellence Scholarships (UES) that provide for both tuition fees and living expenses for students. Below are the UES students that are starting this academic year, or that have completed the first year of their research master's programme.

Bakir Ovčina from Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bakir Ovcina
Bakir Ovčina

Bakir is doing the Research Master History (started in 2021).

“I am from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina and finished my secondary education school as an HMC Scholar on the Isle of Man at King William’s College studying the IB Diploma Program. For my degree, I moved to the Netherlands, to University College Utrecht (UCU), again on a full scholarship to graduate summa cum laude in History, Philosophy and Politics. The Research Master in History caught my eye at UCU, and I even visited an Open Day.

With the economic and political state Bosnia finds herself in, it would have been simply impossible to study this RMA without the generous Scholarship. I particularly enjoy the 2-year length, where one has more time to study, in a classroom setting or independently and even must do an internship. As compared to many other programs, it offers more thorough training in the discipline and the focus is alluring for someone with a relatively broad education until now. I would love to attain a Doctorate and become a Professor. The RMA is simply invaluable to this end and I hardly see a better way to prepare for a (hopefully) future in academia.”

Victoria Reshetnikova from Russia

Victoria Reshetnikova
Victoria Reshetnikova

Victoria is doing the Research Master Linguistics (started in 2020).

“My name is Victoria, I am from Russia. Before starting my Master’s programme in Linguistics at Utrecht University, I have followed a Bachelor’s programme in Fundamental and Computational Linguistics at Higher School of Economics in Moscow. I decided to continue my studies in the Netherlands once I got acquainted with the Dutch scholar life while doing my Erasmus at the University of Groningen. The principles of open science, freedom of making any motivated research in the field you are keen about and work-life balance are close to me. I chose to study Linguistics at Utrecht University as I find this programme a perfect combination of theoretical and practical training.

My main research interest lies in language acquisition and I am glad that I can delve more into this topic following this programme. I’m grateful to the chance and honour I have been given to receive the full Utrecht Excellence Scholarship. Without it, I would not be able to come study at Utrecht University and launch a scientific career of my dream. I am planning to pursue an academic path, and my research programme helps me develop and polish the skills needed to conduct my own research in the future.”

Santiago Vrech uit Argentinië

Santiago Vrech
Santiago Vrech

Santiago is doing the Research Master Philosophy (gestart in 2020).

“I grew up in a small city named Alta Gracia, in the province of Córdoba, Argentina. Already with 18 years old I started studying simultaneously Psychology and Philosophy at the National University the Córdoba. This university was founded in 1613 and is the 4th oldest university of the American continent. After two years of studying, and due to the ubiquitous presence of psychoanalysis in the faculty, I decided to abandon Psychology and to fully devote myself to the study of philosophy.

Once I finished my “Licenciatura” I had two options: Commencing a PhD or applying for a Master overseas. Decided to pursue the latter, I started searching for master programs together with scholarships, due to the fact that without a scholarship I would not be able to afford the general studying expenses. While doing so, the Netherlands together with its universities kept appearing as a promising alternative. The Research Master at Utrecht University immediately caught my eye, being that the program offered the perfect combination of varied approaches to philosophy and the reflection over current societal issues. I did not hesitate to apply, and the Utrecht Excellence Scholarship played an immense part in the decision process. Without the perspective of applying for -and eventually obtaining- the UES my actual situation would be entirely different, most likely. The scholarship has shaped my life for the past year. It allows me to combine and continue with two of my passions: living abroad and studying philosophy.”

About the Utrecht Excellence Scholarship programme

In practice, many foreign students are unable to study at the Humanities faculty because they simply cannot afford it. They cannot apply for a loan in the Netherlands, do not have free access to the labour market and pay higher tuition fees. Tuition fees for these students amount to approximately €17,000 on an annual basis. On top of that come the living costs.

The Humanities faculty is keen to encourage the arrival of outstanding international students who do not have the means to study in Utrecht. It does so by making funds available for the Utrecht Excellence Scholarship programme through the Friends of Utrecht Humanities Fund. You can donate to the scholarship programme via the website: uu.nl/supportvriendenvanGW.

About the Friends of Humanities Utrecht University

The Friends of the Utrecht Humanities Fund uses fundraising to support the Humanities by financing extra scholarships and realising various research and education projects. Each year new fundraising projects are highlighted.