Next academic year, Minke Remmerswaal will be the treasurer of the Dutch National Students Association (ISO). The appointment of the Public Health and Society third-year was approved last week in the general meeting.
'At Leeuwenborch and in the Mercurius student society. I rowed for a year with Argo and I live in the Pink Lotus student house. I have also been a student assistant for the education director. That meant organizing open days and prospective student days, and providing lots of individual information for schoolchildren.'
Was it a tough selection procedure?
'It certainly was. My application letter ended up in the spam filter so when I hadn't heard anything I called them. I was still able to go for an interview but it had to be the very next day. After the interview I wrote an essay about more ambition in higher education. Then there was a case day with the thirteen remaining candidates, and an evaluation interview. They phoned me at midnight to tell me I had got the job.'
Why did they choose you?
'I find it difficult to say what it was about me. Most of the other candidates had been in student councils but I don't have that kind of experience. Perhaps they thought I would bring a fresh perspective for that very reason, and also because I am still fairly young. And I have done a lot in terms of information provision. At any rate they found me analytical and keen to learn.'
'ISO doesn't work according to fixed standpoints. We have two demands: better quality and better access to higher education. ISO is constructive and talks to different parties. If we don't agree with a certain position, we still keep on talking and try to achieve as much as possible. I think that is a good approach.'
What are your goals for the year ahead?
'I find that difficult to say at this point; I have only known it is really going through for three days. But I am looking forward to visiting lots of different places in the Netherlands and seeing how they do things there. Of course, Wageningen is just one university and one place in the Netherlands. I also want to see how things work in politics and at the Ministry. I find the match between school and university, and transfers within higher education interesting topics: how can we get schoolchildren choosing the right degree course and how can we make it easier for university of applied science students to transfer to academic universities?'