Rogier van der Weide

Rogier van der Weide
It is important to have people who are well versed in the material who then can support or advise against certain decisions by governments, organisations or other relevant actors.
Rogier van der Weide
Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Politics
Study start date
Study end date
Previous education
BSc Political Science - Radboud University

Rogier van der Weide is a Master's student Gender Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Politics.

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

What I enjoy about the programme most is it’s multidisciplinary nature. It is not just political science but it is combined with a gender and diversity perspective which gives it a unique dynamic. In different courses you are often together with students from other specialisations or even other Master's programmes which results in many different perspectives. Although these sometimes clash with your own, you might find them too economically driven for example, it also allows you to take other viewpoints into account and understand where others are coming from, which is important when studying diversity and inclusion.

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

Classes are small, smaller than in the Bachelor’s, so there is much more room for discussion amongst students. This also means that you have a more direct relation with the teacher(s). A consequence of this is that you need to be prepared for classes. If you haven’t done the readings, it will be very obvious you don’t know what you are talking about and it will be much harder for you to participate in the discussions and understand the material.

The number of students in this Master's specialisation is quite small which means you get to know your fellow students well, which is nice, as you can easily share both your interests and enjoyment of the programme as well as your frustrations and struggles.

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

What is perhaps challenging about the Master's is the fact that you have to be well prepared for classes. But this goes for any (political science) Master's. What is perhaps a bit of an obstacle for this specialisation in particular is that it does not have its “own” course. The specialisation combines courses from different programmes which all somehow relate to gender, diversity and inclusion. This does however mean that there is, as of yet, no “Introduction to Gender theories” course or something similar. When starting the Master's some knowledge on these topics is assumed. Another consequence is that you sometimes have courses which have less to do with gender, diversity and inclusion then you might like, or does focus on them but in a different way. Nevertheless, the Master's gives you a deeper insight into political science from a different point of view, rather than the more common perspectives such as conflict or international relation perspectives.

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

I am currently not doing an internship or writing my thesis as I am planning on following two Master's programmes, which means that I will start on those later. It might be good to know that although the specialisation is scheduled to take one year, this does not automatically have to be the case. Many students decide to spent more time on an internship, study abroad, follow other courses and so on. So, if this is something you want to do, there is room to do so. Just talk to your study advisor and see what can be arranged. (And be creative with it!)

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?

In our current society there is great polarization when it comes to the topic of diversity and inclusion. Therefore, it is important to have people who are well versed in the material who then can support or advise against certain decisions by governments, organisations or other relevant actors. This is something you immediately notice once you get into the topic of diversity and inclusion. Once you tell someone what you study, discussions arise. “Yes, but don’t you think we are taking things too far?” (a question which was posed to me during a job interview) or “But we have already achieved gender equality, why are you complaining” and so on. Thus, it is important to have people who can guide/navigate these ongoing discussions from a scientific perspective in order to ensure an inclusive and just society for all.