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FMG student assessor: ‘The main goal is to involve students’ perspectives in decision-making’

Published on 26-03-2024
On 5 September 2023, student assessor Aybüke Özbakir became the first student assessor at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG). What are her experiences so far, and what keeps a student assessor busy? Aybüke Özbakir: ‘I’ve found that College directors and others like to hear students’ perspectives so directly in meetings’
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Portret van student assessor FMG Aybüke Özbakir

Aybüke, herself a Master’s student of Developmental Psychology, immediately clarifies: ‘I’m definitely not the representative of all students. A student assessor shares their student perspective on certain issues, advising the faculty’s policymakers on educational and study-related matters that affect students. I do this to the best of my ability. I give my own opinion, both after reflecting on issues and, of course, after talking to many other students and hearing how they see things.’ Aybüke is present at such meetings as the consultations with the College directors (the so-called OWI meetings) and meetings of the Faculty Student Council.

Can you give some examples of topics you advise on?

‘A variety of topics are discussed at each OWI meeting. A student assessor’s main goal is sharing students’ perspectives on issues related to them and to education. This allows the policymakers to involve these perspectives in their decision-making. In the OWI meetings, I have shared my student perspective on such issues as Social Safety, Assessment and AI in Education.’

What reactions have there been from the faculty?

‘They’re very positive. For example, I’ve found that College directors and others like to hear students’ perspectives so directly in meetings. Often, they themselves will now actively ask me: “How do you see this?”.’

Which issues would you personally like to put on the agenda?

‘AI – I’m very excited about it. For example, as a student you can use it to good effect to challenge yourself. You can ask chatbots to pose good theoretical questions, or you can simply ask them for synonyms that, for example, children will understand. I think it’s very important not just to talk about the dangers of AI, but also about how to implement it properly in education. I would also like the faculty and university to pay even more attention to the mental health of students. As an intern in youth mental healthcare, I’ve seen that a lot of young people have mental problems. It would be good if we could further improve the prevention of student dropouts.’

You’ve been appointed for one year. What do you want to achieve in this time?

‘I want it to be a matter of course that the student perspective is taken on board in decision-making, and I want policymakers to be quite familiar with this new position. That will allow the next student assessor to build on this work.’