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Back to Faculty with Nikie Veld

Nikie Veld is an education coordinator at Biology. Her job now mainly revolves around getting students back to the Faculty. ‘In the corona era, we were constantly rearranging the timetables.’

In this series, we let colleagues talk about going back to the Faculty.

What does your job entail?

As education coordinator, I make timetables for about 800 students. Normally that is quite a challenge, but in corona time it is even more so. Those last-minute changes from the government made my job difficult. A timetable can easily take two months to complete if you work on it full-time. And we have other tasks as education coordinators too. 

How long have you been doing this work?

I have already had several jobs at the University, always involving students. I have been working at the IBL since October 2020 and as education coordinator for Biology since February.

What was the corona year like for you?

I cannot compare whether my job is busier than before corona. I hear from other educational coordinators that it is. Now it is always busy, before there were only peaks. 

I think working from home is an advantage of corona. At the IBL, I have quite a lot of freedom to decide whether I want to work in the office or at home. I like the fact that I am given that freedom. Some tasks I prefer to do at home, such as entering data in uSis. And making timetables is much easier at the office.

Despite the corona year, I still have the feeling that I have got to know my colleagues very well. Even though we usually see each other online. Most of us still work at home, I am often on my own at the office, but lecturers often drop by with questions.

And now back to the Faculty. What does that mean for your work?

Lately, I have been going to the office more often and as I said, I see more lecturers. Then you notice how nice it is if they can just drop by to discuss something. It's so much quicker and easier than via e-mail.

The timetables for the first semester are almost ready. It is of course particularly difficult that there is a maximum of 75 people per room. Fortunately, everyone is thinking along, all the lecturers are involved. And I really like that, it makes it feel like we're doing it together. The lecturers are extremely busy and yet they do their utmost to ensure that everything runs smoothly. That really makes a difference to me.

What do you hope for next year?

I hope the government will come up with a clear policy, no more last-minute changes. But above all, I hope for a good year in which students can attend more lectures. And in which we can see each other more often as staff members. That brings energy. When you sit in the office and meet students and lecturers, then you remember what you are doing it for. 

Next time in this series: assistant professor Alexander van Oudenhoven on the switch from online education back to physical education.

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