There was a lot of grumbling before the start of the evening lectures pilot scheme on 5 September. Now courses are under way and hundreds of students have had their first evening classes. They are still grumbling, as we see from responses from students in classes in Orion on a Monday evening. But there are some silver linings too.
Photo Bart de Gouw
Mirthe Jansen, Bachelor’s student of Plant Sciences
‘I do find it tiring. And it makes the evening meal difficult. You either have to eat very early or very late. Last week I didn’t eat until after class and I noticed I couldn’t concentrate as well. And I have a group of friends that eat together on a Monday evening, so I can’t join them anymore. We can’t do it another evening because of other appointments. What we now do is meet for a drink after class. Someone else in the group has a class on Monday evening in this period, and in the next period another friend has a class. I don’t understand exactly why they have introduced these evening classes. They know it’s not popular so they must have their reasons, but it’s not easy.’
Frank Reijbroek, Master’s student of Biology
‘Even without these evening classes it’s hard enough to organize your extracurricular activities properly. It soon gets complicated to balance your studies, your job and other private appointments. I have a part-time job and my boss often complains that I am not flexible. That is only going to get more problematic with evening classes. I think the amount of time that university expects you to be available is beyond what is reasonable. In some cases the evening classes replace afternoon classes, so you have classes in the morning and then again in the evening. The university cannot expect you just to be around all the time.’
Silke Schoenmaker, Bachelor’s student of Plant Sciences
‘I am a morning person. In the evening I am more tired and can’t concentrate as well. And it is a pity that I can’t make appointments in the evenings when I have classes. So if you ask me, I’d rather not have evening classes. It’s not as bad as I expected though. It’s only once a week and I can see one advantage too. I have changed my OV card from a weekend one to a weekday one. I don’t have classes on a Monday morning anymore so I can stay at home longer and only go back to Wageningen on Monday.’
Hans Linssen, Master’s student of Biology
‘I can keep it brief: I think it’s a bad business. It is not nice to have to go back to the university in the evening when you are used to having time then to do fun things. And having classes around dinner time is tricky. You either have to eat quickly before your class, or very late. I want to rest in the evening or do something fun. I don’t want to work on my courses again at that time. I think lectures should be during the day and not in the evening.
Karlijn Luiken, Bachelor’s student of Plant Sciences
‘When evening lectures were introduced I didn’t like it at first, but as time goes on it’s not so bad. I thought I wouldn’t be able to concentrate, but I do manage. The main problem with it is that you can’t join any activities on a Monday evening. And the practicals for the lecture I have this evening are done at 8.30 the next morning. So if you can’t attend the evening lecture you have to read up on the material as soon as it comes online that evening. That doesn’t leave you much time at all. In the next period I also have to be at the university until six pm on two days a week. So I can’t join in sports, which start at five thirty. On Friday evening I only finish at six thirty too, and I have to travel home to Den Bosch after that.’
Doris Kors, Master’s student of Management, economics and consumer studies
‘Now I am taking evening classes, I see the plus sides as well. I have all day to do other things and that’s nice too. It works out well for me because I have nothing to do on Mondays. I can imagine that it won’t be so nice when the days get shorter. They you go to class in the dark and you go home in the dark. It’s a pity these evening classes are necessary, because I do think it’s better to have classes during the day. We have nicer things to do in the evening, it’s as simple as that. Still, most of the complaints I’ve heard have come from students who haven’t had evening lectures yet. But if you really don’t want to go, you can always watch the lecture later.’