Wednesday 17 May 2023
Lecturers report ‘alarming’ numbers of students with problems (and sometimes take on the role of therapist)
Students’ mental health is under strain due to increasing stress, performance pressure and loneliness. This is not something lecturers take lightly. ‘As fellow human beings, we have to take care of each other.
Monday 15 May 2023
Why our university should cut ties with Israeli academic institutions
Why does Leiden University maintain full links with Israeli institutions? Sai Englert and Christian Henderson call for a boycott, because that ‘is a call for solidarity in its truest sense and also an opportunity to democratise our own institutions’.
Monday 1 May 2023
Red paint and barbed wire: how China created a dystopia for Uyghurs
Throughout the course of her fieldwork, Elke Spiessens experienced first-hand how the Chinese government stepped up the oppression of Uyghurs. ‘It’s dystopian. You start to doubt yourself: is this really happening?’
Friday 28 April 2023
Address stress properly (not with a yoga or comfort food cooking course)
Universities claim to be concerned about students’ mental well-being. But Well-being Weeks and tote bag painting courses are like small plasters on a gaping wound, argues Loes Oudenhuijsen. Institutions should be concerned about where all this stress is coming from.
Friday 28 April 2023
Scanners become snatchers: ‘Students make a sport of stealing in the supermarket’
The introduction of self-scan checkouts has led to a surge in shoplifting. Two students talk about how they went about it; one of them was caught. And the Hoogvliet manager says he is nostalgic for cashiers. ‘They practically invite you to do it. I almost feel guilty if I don’t steal.’
Tuesday 4 April 2023
China is not our enemy, says PhD candidate Friso Stevens
After a traumatic youth, Chinese President Xi Jinping developed a Spartan worldview and created a surveillance state. Still, China does not pose an imminent security threat to Europe, argues China expert Friso Stevens.
Monday 27 March 2023
Students had to be police officers and psychologists for their neighbours
As an extra form of support for foreign students, the university appointed so-called resident assistants at several locations. However, the responsibilities these student caretakers were tasked with - in exchange for a hundred-euro rent reduction - were onerous and sometimes led to dangerous situations. And if you quit, you had to move out.
Monday 20 March 2023
We have no choice: the climate protest on the A12 through the eyes of a lecturer and student
For the sixth time, climate activists blocked the A12 motorway in the centre of The Hague. Mare followed a Leiden scientist and a student who joined in the demonstration. ‘I could also just spend a Saturday chilling out.’
Tuesday 14 March 2023
Hardly anyone is studying German these days (and now employers are after first-years)
Leiden’s German Language and Culture programme is in danger and may have to start cooperating with programmes in Utrecht and Amsterdam. The reason for this is the very low intake: often under ten students a year. ‘If we do nothing, we’re more vulnerable.’
Thursday 2 March 2023
When it snows in your room (and it doesn’t melt)
Blue fingers, mould, draughts and sky-high energy bills: Mare visited the coldest student houses, where the olive oil sometimes solidifies. ‘My blanket had frozen to the wall.’
Monday 20 February 2023
How child pornography spreads across the dark web (and perpetrators find each other)
For her dissertation, criminologist and former police officer Madeleine van der Bruggen mapped out networks of child sexual abuse on the dark web. ‘Everything hinges on trust between members, which is something investigation services can use.’
Monday 13 February 2023
PhD candidates distressed by poorer working conditions
The university is increasingly pushing for staff to work on the basis of an annual agreement. This would lead to more freedom and less paperwork, but critics are mostly worried about poorer working conditions. ‘This shouldn’t be legal.’