Erfahrungen zum Studium an der Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Programme Coordinator und Studenten

Tijs van den Broek ist the Programme Coordinator of the master Societal Resilience and give some unique reasons why you should study them.

  • You’re on track to become the researcher of the future – someone who uses the latest in data techniques to solve tomorrow’s social challenges.
  • It’s a unique proposition: While other computational social science programmes focus more on data methodologies, Societal Resilience applies these methods to real-world problems.
  • Each thematic course (diversity & inclusion, interconnectedness, care & well-being and governance reform) is co-taught by social scientists from different backgrounds – for example, the diversity course is led by an anthropologist and a quantitative sociologist.
  • Amsterdam as a city – and the Netherlands as a country – is home to a host of international companies and research institutes. A great place to start for your internship – and your career.
  • VU Amsterdam has a reputation for research integrity, which means the programme also covers the ethical perspective on big data

A glance at the future: possible paths of student through the programme:

Max (Dutch), Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. In his undergraduate program Max became interested in political mobilization. He wants to know how opposition leaders gather support in authoritarian regimes. Max is enthusiastic about the internship in this program and chooses to do four months of fieldwork. He spends two months in Turkey, and interviews politicians and community leaders. Through offline contacts, he is able to become a member of online communities where he observes online political mobilization processes. This enables him to continue his fieldwork from behind his desk in Amsterdam.

Rosa (Spanish), Bachelor’s degree in Global Studies Rosa has always been interested in migration and inequality. The labour market is often challenging for immigrants: working many hours, sometimes illegally. Rosa wants to know how some become successful business owners, as this might empower them to fight inequality. After the Diversity & Inclusive Communities course, she decides to do her internship at the research group of Prof. Dr. Halleh Ghorashi, where she learns to study expressions of personal and social identity. In her thesis she brings the P3 course Data Mining and Text Analysis into practice, while identifying stereotypes in online customer reviews of restaurants run by immigrants in California. She compares those with expressions of personal identity from interviews with the owners.

Xue (Chinese), Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science Xue chooses this program because she is interested in the application of social network analysis on health. However, the Big Data/Small Data course sets her on a different path – realizing tech corporations are taking over health care. So she decides to do a network analysis of technological innovation, based on data from patents, acquisitions and mergers. In the course Communicating Science she writes a blog about regulation of data ownership. She spends her internship at a health insurance corporation, where she surveys customers about privacy concerns with respect to data on health care use. In her thesis she reports a semantic network analysis of Twitter data on the General Data Protection Regulation in relation to health.