Stijn Elders

Portrait photo Stijn Elders
It really appeals to me that we are left free in coming up with solutions for problems within our area of interest.
Stijn Elders
Planning, Land and Real Estate Development
Study start date
Study end date
Previous education
BA Geografie, Planologie en Milieu - Radboud University

Stijn Elders is a Master's student Planning, Land and Real Estate Development.

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

I like that we are working on the future of the Netherlands. Contemporary issues, such as housing, climate change and spatial planning that are relevant now, are always reflected in the subjects and we have projects in which we can come up with our own solutions. It really appeals to me that we are left free in coming up with solutions for problems within our area of interest.

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

The atmosphere within the programme is good. Area development was considered boring by many within the Bachelor's, but in the Master's, you are only with people who are interested in the profession and all of them think along. I also like the overlap with other specialisations. Sometimes, you do projects with people who follow another Spatial planning specialisation and that way, you look at your research topic from other angles. The contact with lecturers is good, they have a lot of knowledge about the field and current developments. They use it well for their subjects and share their experiences with us.

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

The challenging but also nice part about this programme is that you have a lot of freedom with the assignments. You get to choose the problem you want to tackle and need to come up with creative solutions yourself.

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

Last year, I did an internship at a company to get work experience before writing my thesis. At this company, I learned a lot about the field of expertise of a planning officer. Now, I am using that experience during my second internship at another company, at which I am also writing my thesis. The nice thing about writing a thesis in combination with an internship is that I can incorporate the theoretical knowledge from the university with the practical knowledge of this company.

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?

The housing crisis is in the news almost daily. The Netherlands has to build more than a million houses in the next 10 years. You can't just put those anywhere, you need people from our specialisation to think about it properly. The Master's specialisation is broad and thus, you learn to work together with students from other specialisations. After your studies, you can use this experience when you have to work together with the various parties involved in housing construction. People who have completed a Master's in Spatial Planning can think broadly about the current and future issues the Netherlands face. After my Master's, I would like to work at a company that helps solve the housing crisis.