Careers advice still needs improving

Despite career advice centre Next’s efforts, students are still complaining about the lack of career guidance.
By Peter Keizer / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen

Students at the RUG are generally satisfied with their programmes, according to the National Student Survey (NSE). The report will be discussed in the University Council this week. However, there is one aspect where the RUG’s score continues to fall below the national average: career guidance.

On that point, the university has a mean score of three out of five, whereas the national average is 3.2. Career advice centre Next was founded four years ago to better satisfy students’ needs for career guidance, but it seems that they have yet to achieve the desired results.


Next has had a hard time getting off the ground. When the centre was announced, study associations began protesting. They were afraid that Next would be the deathblow to the career events they had been organising themselves for years. The relationship between the associations and the career centre remains difficult despite endless talks, to the frustration of rector magnificus Elmer Sterken.

Moreover, the university board concluded two years ago that many students did not even know what the name Next meant. The name needed changing, which led to the phrase Career Services being added to the title.


‘The survey shows that it will take a lot of stamina to improve the appreciation for our career preparation’, says RUG spokesperson Riepko Buikema. ‘We take the results very seriously and are as committed as ever to ultimately do well in this aspect of the NSE as well. The Career Services department supports all initiatives at the faculties, both the employees’ activities and the activities that are organised by study associations.’

According to Buikema, Next’s visibility has improved considerably since a Career tab was added to the RUG website’s student portal. Moreover, the centre will soon move to a more visible location in the property at the corner of the Broerstraat and Oude Kijk in ‘t Jatstraat. ‘We’re hopeful that these efforts in the future will lead to more satisfied students’, he says.


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