Lieuwe Nijboer first to complete his course online

Tuesday 31 March 2020

The Dutch campuses of our university of applied sciences are closed until 1 June due to the coronavirus and this means there have been big changes for everybody. How, for instance, can you graduate when you can’t be physically on location? How does a teacher or graduation supervisor organise this? NHL Stenden is working hard to set up its remote education in such a way that as much teaching and testing, including assessments, can take place as possible. Lieuwe Nijboer is the first Industrial Engineering & Management student to do this successfully. He completed his final assessment online using Microsoft Teams and so completed his studies.

Lieuwe Nijboer

Graduating online: luckily it went well

Lieuwe admits he was a little nervous about doing the assessment online: “It is after all the most important presentation in your course and so it really does have to go well. Online is different to face-to-face but waiting until after 1 June would have been even less ideal for me. Luckily, it all went well.” Lieuwe completed his final research project at Enitor Promo, producers of plastic profiles in Buitenpost. His research involved looking into product wastage and scraps and seeing how this could be reduced.

Optimally using the possibilities you have

The situation was of course also completely new for the examiners, as examiner Stephan Wouters explains, “There are pros and cons. You don’t have to find a room, setting up a time for the presentation was fairly quick, and the flexibility was good for Lieuwe too. The disadvantage? The emotional relief at the end of a graduation session is very different.” Second examiner Rink Glazema adds, “It went smoother and more efficiently than we thought it would. At one point I forgot we weren’t in the same room. But it did feel strange not being able to shake Lieuwe’s hand and congratulate him properly. We’ve agreed we’ll shake hands if we can at a graduation ceremony.”

Online education

NHL Stenden is working hard on developing its online education. We see that many things are going well and this is an excellent example. We also realize there are challenges. In order to facilitate our teachers and students as best we can, extensive information on online education can be found on our website, including video tutorials and Q&As for teachers and students. In addition, we are organising webinars and personal sessions, and our support team is at the ready where necessary. Teachers and students are also helping each other and there is a huge sense of solidarity and flexibility amongst staff and students. This makes working and studying in these exceptional times particularly special.