Alumnus testimonial

Alumnus Oeds-Willem Miedema - MSc Climate Studies

Oeds-Willem is interested in a broad range of topics. After his Bachelor International Land and Water Management he wanted to do a multidisciplinary Master. During his Bachelor internship at Arcadis Oeds-Willem also discovered that he was fascinated by the relation between climate, security and management. Altogether Oeds-Willem decided to change programmes and he applied for the Master Climate Studies.

The multidisciplinary component turned out to be very prominent in the Master Climate Studies


The multidisciplinary component turned out to be very prominent in the Master Climate Studies. ‘I really liked that because you can choose to go in many different directions. At the same time it is hard to really focus, so it was mostly through the thesis and internship that I found the focus and application that I was looking for.’


The relation between climate, security and management was also the topic of Oeds-Willem’s thesis at the Wetterskip Fryslân. ‘In the future the IJsselmeer level will increase as a reaction to the raising sea level, thereby a fresh water buffer will be created below the dunes. This buffer could be used for the irrigation of agricultural land. But the raising water level might also lead to the reconsideration of the coastal protection system. This is a problem that really asks for a multidisciplinary approach. ‘I investigated all the different coastal protection variants from a social, technical, juridical and environmental perspective by interviewing many people. I also organised a workshop for the relevant stakeholders in which we defined a list of preferences. By organising this workshop my thesis turned out to be both theoretical and participatory, which I really liked.’


During his thesis and Bachelor internship Oeds-Willem already worked in a company and a polder board, so he wanted to use his Master internship to get to know a governmental institute on the national level. In the end he found a position at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs working on the themes Climate, Energy, Water and Environment. He contributed to the report on drinking water and sanitation improvements in the Netherlands in 2009 and 2010. His main assignment was nevertheless to develop a project proposal ‘Football for Water’. ‘In developing regions teachers are trained to teach both soccer and life skills. Soccer is used as a means to teach life skills to children and at the same time drinking water and sanitation facilities are built in schools.’


'After my internship I was hired for 15 more days as a consultant to finalise the project proposal. In the end the project received a subsidy and the KNVB (Royal Dutch Football Federation) became the leading organisation of the project. They were looking for someone to coordinate the project and that is how I found my job. I have to say that if it was not for my passion for soccer I would not have worked at the KNVB. I am a big soccer fan, so my passion and study programme meet in this job.'

The broad orientation of the Master Climate Studies is also coming back in Oeds-Willem’s current job. ‘I work together with many other organisations and I really like that!’