Currently internships in the master are optional. But the review committee that audited the programme last year says this is not enough.
‘Students want more insight into the professional field’, says psychology vice dean Klaas van Veen. ‘We’re currently very research-focused.’ The mandatory internship is a big change for the programme. Many students are already struggling to find internships on their own.
‘We’ve heard stories of twenty people applying for the same two positions’, Anniek Kievitsbosch with the Partij Studentenbelangen said during a faculty council meeting.
But Klaas van Veen says the programme wants to make sure the students won’t have any trouble finding an internship in the future. The students will no longer have to find their own internship; the programme will do it for them.
To make sure everything goes smoothly, they are setting up an External Relations Bureau. They will make use of the programme’s lecturers’ networks, the experiences from internship offices at other departments, and they will forge connections with organisations outside the university. ‘We want organisations to present us with their questions so our students can do the research and present the solutions.’
Approximately 350 students will need to do an internship each year. The first wave of mandatory internships will be implemented in the 2020-2021 academic year.