Ziggy Birker

Foto Ziggy Birker
As soon as I started this programme, I started to notice how urgent and current the issues are that we treat in our courses.
Ziggy Birker
Cities, Water and Climate Change
Study start date
Study end date
Previous education
BA European Studies - Maastricht University

Ziggy Birker is a Master's student Cities, Water and Climate Change.

What do you like about the programme/specialisation and why? How has the programme/specialisation challenged you (in relation to your previous education)?

The Cities, Water and Climate change specialisation challenges me to critically reflect upon the world surrounding us. As soon as I started this programme, I started to notice how urgent and current the issues are that we treat in our courses. The knowledge we developed is applicable to our daily situations; when we cycle past a ditch or dike, when we notice the greenery beside our roads, when we open the door into our garden or when we enter the train. Everywhere, you can find traces of your field of interest and the relation it has to the environment. I really like the way this study combines environmental issues with the practical sides of life.

What do you think about the atmosphere in class (for example the relationship between students and with the teachers/researchers)?

This study is relatively small in the sense of student numbers, which means you know most of your fellow students. Moreover, we know our teachers and feel like they know us as well. Most teachers are very approachable and always open for questions or conversations.

What do you find most challenging in your Master’s (specialisation)? Have you encountered any obstacles?

Most courses come with a groupwork project, which can be fun and is useful for the future, but can also be challenging. It requires a lot of teamwork whereas sometimes I run out of patience and would just prefer to do it alone.

Are you currently doing an internship? Or what is your thesis about?

I chose not to do an internship as I my thesis topic is connected to an ongoing project which already offers me accessibility to contacts, data and necessary information. I am exploring the institutional upscaling processes for a certain type of drought innovation.

Why do you think is it important that there are people out there with this degree? What are your plans once have received your Master's degree?

Personally, I think it is important to think more long-term when making decisions that influence spatial planning. This study teaches us to bring climate change effects into the debate to design more future-proof solutions in terms of policy. When I graduate, I plan to apply my knowledge in the work field, hopefully on provincial level or within a board of the water authorities, where I can work on a sustainable environment both for humans and other living entities.