Utrecht Excellence scholars aan het woord

Mede dankzij een bijdrage vanuit het fonds Vrienden van de Utrechtse Geesteswetenschappen kan de faculteit Geesteswetenschappen jaarlijks Utrecht Excellence Scholarships (UES) uitreiken die voorzien in zowel het collegegeld als het levensonderhoud van studenten. Hieronder stellen de UES-bursalen zich voor die dit collegejaar van start gaan, het eerste jaar van hun onderzoeksmaster hebben afgerond, of in het verleden een onderzoeksmaster gedaan hebben met de beurs.

Bakir Ovčina uit Bosnia en Herzegovina

Bakir Ovcina
Bakir Ovčina

Bakir doet de onderzoeksmaster History (gestart 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 uit Rusland

Victoria Reshetnikova
Victoria Reshetnikova

Victoria doet de onderzoeksmaster Linguistics (gestart 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 doet de onderzoeksmaster 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.”

Sofía Forchieri uit Buenos Aires

Sofía Forchieri

Sofía deed de onderzoeksmaster Comparative Literary Studies (2018-2020).

“Towards the end of my Bachelor studies, I realised I wanted to try and pursue an academic career. I aspired to better understand the political work of literature in the present and there were many questions I could imagine diving into, but becoming “a researcher” seemed like far-off, hard to reach goal. So I began searching for programs that would offer structured training in conducting literary research, and that’s how I came across the RMA in Comparative Literary (CompLit) Studies at Utrecht University.

Being a student of the RMA in CompLit was a profoundly enriching experience: both academically and personally. It meant becoming acquainted, in a relatively short time, with a wide array of theoretical approaches, research fields, and artworks which challenged and broadened my thinking. It also meant becoming part of an active, close-knit community of teachers and students that made my two years at Utrecht incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. All this would not have been possible without the Utrecht Excellence Scholarship, and I will always be grateful for this opportunity.

Last year I started my PhD at Radboud University Nijmegen, where I research how gender-based violence is remembered in Latin American literature and arts. Besides working on my project, I also teach some courses in the Spanish Department.The intense, in-depth training provided by the CompLit RMA pushed me to further develop my research interests and gave me valuable tools to translate those interests into a feasible, solid research project. These skills, together with the careful guidance of the teachers in the program and the constructive exchange with other students in my cohort were of huge help in the process of applying for PhD positions.

The Utrecht Excellent Scholarship program is quite unique in the Netherlands and Europe more broadly. It's not an exaggeration to say that it makes life-changing educational experiences possible for many who would otherwise likely miss out on them.”

Over het Utrecht Excellence Scholarship programma

In de praktijk blijkt dat veel buitenlandse studenten niet aan de faculteit Geesteswetenschappen kunnen studeren, omdat zij dit simpelweg niet kunnen betalen. Zij kunnen in Nederland geen lening aanvragen, hebben geen vrije toegang tot de arbeidsmarkt en betalen meer collegegeld: op jaarbasis circa 17.000 euro. Daar komen de kosten voor levensonderhoud nog bovenop.

De faculteit Geesteswetenschappen stimuleert graag de komst van uitstekende internationale studenten die niet de middelen hebben om in Utrecht te studeren, door via het fonds Vrienden van de Utrechtse Geesteswetenschappen geld beschikbaar te stellen voor het Utrecht Excellence Scholarship programma. Doneren aan het beurzenprogramma kan via de website: uu.nl/steunvriendenvanGW.

Over het fonds Vrienden van de Utrechtse Geesteswetenschappen

Het fonds Vrienden van de Utrechtse Geesteswetenschappen zet zich via fondsenwerving in voor de Geesteswetenschappen om extra beurzen te financieren en diverse onderzoeks- en onderwijsprojecten te realiseren. Elk jaar worden er nieuwe projecten in de fondsenwerving  uitgelicht.

Het fonds is één van de dertig fondsen op naam die vallen onder het Utrechts Universiteitsfonds. Het Utrechts Universiteitsfonds is het goede doelenloket van onze universiteit en werft en beheert filantropische giften voor de Universiteit Utrecht, dankzij de bijdragen van alumni, (oud-)medewerkers en vele andere betrokkenen.