The EDUopinions comment sections for both the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Erasmus University of Rotterdam (EUR) are flooded with positive points. Both schools seem to do so much right. Of course, no institute is perfect, however in general – based on their students’ opinions – the UvA and EUR seem to be succeeding in giving a good name to Dutch third level education. Ready for our University of Amsterdam (UvA) Vs Erasmus University of Rotterdam (EUR) comparison article?
Students from both colleges claim the respective studies to be challenging. Of course, this struggle makes life difficult for students at the time of their studies, but, one must say if you are never challenged, how can you ever get better?
Undoubtedly there is a limit wherein ‘challenging’ must not cross into ‘impossible’, something which is never claimed to happen in either institute. Furthermore, if a university is known to challenge its students, surely it is, therefore, a different point to have such a university on your CV as you embark on your post-college job search. I guess it’s true what they say – no pain, no gain.
Now to speak of each college’s merits separately. It may not be possible to mention all of EUR’s which appear throughout its EDUopinions comment section. Some of the most common include praise for the teachers (both their level of professionalism and willingness to help) and broader staff alike, and additionally, appreciation for guest lecturers invited to the college.
EUR’s campus and campus life in general boasts quite a few honorary mentions; for how pretty it is, its level of facilities, atmosphere on campus, wide range of extra-curricular activities available, and how friendly – and especially welcoming – the students and people in general around the campus are, and the international environment at the university. Of course, you cannot ignore the university’s location, in Rotterdam – an apparently lively and fun city in which to live and study.
Some other compliments on EUR include the option to study abroad, the value for money there (in particular from one student who felt that for the excellent education he received at EUR, his fees were more than justified), and critically, how students at EUR learn to think differently, thus preparing them wholly for launching their careers after graduating – as is mentioned in the first comment posted in this article, above.
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The UvA, meanwhile, holds some impressive merits of its own. In particular, students comment on the well-structured lectures (as one student explains, this involves a theory class followed by practice sessions each week), the choice in elective modules and in thesis topic, and the college’s level of legal education (most notably Information Law).
Similarly to EUR, UvA students comment on EDUopinions about the college’s ability to teach its students practical information which they can apply to real-life situations, and naturally better prepare them for their future in the workplace.
Another UvA success is the university’s cooperation with part-time students. This EDUopinions commenter is combining masters with working simultaneously. Such a situation is no doubt a seemingly impossible balancing act for any institute, but to be so successful at it is astounding.
The final UvA plus evident on EDUopinions is, again like EUR, the college’s location. Few arguments can be made against the fantastic cosmopolitan city that is Amsterdam. Indeed, the UvA’s promotional/introductory video appears to advertise the attractions of Amsterdam almost as much as those of the college. You can find it at the University of Amsterdam Listing of EDUopinions.
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And so with EUR’s many positive comments, come the negative. A selection of the more commonly mentioned criticisms of EUR are the difficulty of exams and the sometimes insufficient or unsuitable preparation beforehand in classes, subjective grading of assignments, and overcrowding of students on campus.
Another few EUR downsides that are popping up in the comments include not being able to decide on your own masters thesis topic, there being a few bad teachers at the university, there not being an adequate number of places to study on campus (leading on from the problem of overcrowding), insufficient and very expensive accommodation for international students, and, at times, the organisation of the college not being great; particularly when it comes to classrooms being too small to accommodate the number of students in a class, and the length of time taken to receive a graded assignment back. Of course, we must think realistically here and take into account that the experiences of one individual may not ring true for everybody, or across all departments at EUR.
As for the University of Amsterdam, students found the organisation at the college to sometimes be slow, and the bachelor of economics to be of significantly lesser quality than the masters of economics there.
Another point to note from the comments, which does not necessarily count as a true negative in the long run, is that – very similarly to the earlier point made on how challenging studies at these two universities are – at the UvA apparently a lot of studying is needed, especially as you will likely be involved ‘in numerous assignments (group and individual)’ at any one time.
It would be easy to assume that, from this article, the University of Amsterdam is better than the Erasmus University of Rotterdam due to the section on UvA’s cons being quite obviously shorter than that of EUR’s. It is necessary to note, however, that UvA’s EDUopinion’s page contains seven comments, while EUR’s sixteen. Sixteen comments that are, it must be said, detailed, explicatory, and of decent length, and also always mixed with positive points about the college. It is only natural, therefore, from this current state of events, that EUR may happen to look like it has more traits to improve than UvA, when in reality it may be far from the case.
It is no harm, particularly for college students and thus most likely young adults, to learn from this that life is not always exactly how it seems online. In the interest of justice, it seemed unfair on EUR, which seems as great a university as UvA, not to mention this situation. At the end of the day, the lesson to take away from investigating these two Dutch institutes seems to be the mostly great job they are doing at educating a modern workforce for the near future.