Student testimonial

Student Paul - MSc International Land and Water Management

Paul van Dam: “After completing the International Land & Water Management Bachelor’s programme, I continued my studies with the Master’s programme and the Sustainable Land Management specialisation. As MSc graduates, we are multi-employable; we have acquired a sound knowledge base and have learned to think in an interdisciplinary way and cooperate with a large variety of people. In my view, that is one of the programme’s greatest strengths. MSc graduates of this programme are multi-employable”

Better land and water management solutions help improve living conditions of the poor in countries worldwide

“I am currently working for Arcadis, a Dutch Design & Consultancy firm. During the final stage of my MSc, I did my internship here and they offered me a job at the Water and Environment division as a junior soil consultant. I conduct soil surveys in my work to determine soil quality and the implications of polluted soil for people and environment. Besides that, I am involved in the optimisation of work processes in terms of efficiency and quality. The work is largely based on Dutch legislation; something which is not really included in the study programme. However, I can use many of the skills I acquired. Since Arcadis is an international firm with sustainability as a core value, there is a strong focus on global problems and improving the quality of life worldwide.”

Social and technical
“Initially, I enrolled in this programme because it offered me the opportunity of putting my ideals into practice. Better land and water management solutions help improve living conditions of the poor in countries worldwide. Our programme combines technical and socio-economic aspects, so we are used to taking the interests of the stakeholders involved into account as well as regarding the technical side of resource management.”

Valuable experience
“I liked courses in which we worked together as a group the most, such as Sustainable Land and Water Management in Spain. I discovered my own qualities, but I also learned how to deal with a group; goals, achievements and concessions that need to be made. This constituted a valuable experience and contributed to my personal development. I greatly appreciated the way the lecturers supervised the courses and theses. They took enough time for students and it was always easy to encounter a lecturer, even if you didn’t know each other beforehand.”

Topics of my choice
“It’s a good thing that this study offers plenty of scope to opt for subjects and research topics of your choice. During my Bachelor’s, I conducted a research project in Niger. We investigated if local crops in the Sahel desert could be used for food security on the one hand and repulsing desertification on the other hand. Since I found the topic of land degradation very interesting, I opted for the Sustainable Land Management specialisation. However, I still chose a water-related subject to tackle in my Master’s thesis; development of wetlands in the Northern part of Uganda. The NGO Rain Foundation wanted to find out whether these wetlands could be used as a water buffer to improve water security for residents. The outcomes of my research were valuable to the Rain Foundation, as they were able to be used in their project planning. It was very satisfying to be able to contribute to developments in these two countries.”

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