Personally, I'm a pretty typical student of the hard sciences. I am studying Biotechnology and I have always loved biology, chemistry and maths. This means I am often inclined to view things from the scientific perspective.
But it doesn't mean that my world stops at the limits of science. Although (plant) biotechnology is my passion, an infinite number of other things continue to fascinate me. What, for example, drives human behaviour? That was the chief reason I decided to participate in the Studium Generale programme.’
‘To put it briefly, as a result of the lectures on a broad range of subjects, I've gained a broader perspective on a lot of subjects. I'm still a hard-sciences person, but one who is keen to view things from another angle. I've learned a great deal by doing this, even though it remains true that I still can't fully grasp some angles (like some people's 30-minute fascination with a slide-filling quote by the philosopher Bergson), and I simply don't really agree with some other ones. A new subject sets you thinking and, above all, you realise that if you always reach the same conclusion as the speaker, it simply means that you are not being critical enough. For me, having a broad perspective means having the ability to study subjects outside your comfort zone, critically and with an open mind. And then proceeding to learn a great deal from them by acquiring new insights and understanding, not only about the subject, but also about yourself.’
‘I have discovered that there's no finishing line where learning is concerned. Whenever you think you know enough or that you don't find something interesting, a world will still open up to you when you attend a lecture on the subject. And, for me, that is the most fascinating thing, how the puzzle pieces fall into place, in a way you never thought possible.’Margo Smit, certificate student