Van Bergen Prize
The Van Bergen Fund organises a competition every year for students and staff at Leiden University for the best plan to promote contacts between Dutch and international students. The best plan is awarded a subsidy by the Van Bergen Fund.
Evaluating the plans
The jury is made up of students and staff of Leiden University. The members of the jury evaluate the plans on such aspects as how innovative they are, their scope and their feasibility. They then nominate the best entries. A number of these nominees are invited to present their plans at the annual Diversity symposium organised by the university, and the winners are announced at the event.
Who can take part?
Anyone associated with Leiden University - whether Dutch or international - can take part:
- international and Dutch students
- PhD candidates
- support and management staff at the university
- students and study associations
- combinations of groups and organisations
The prize is awarded to the group or organisation that submits the best and most innovative plan. The winners can use the prize to put their plan into practice.
Rules and procedure
An idea for the Van Bergen Prize:
- should be an innovative activity for the Leiden University community
- stimulates contacts between Dutch and international students, or promotes better relations between different cultures
- encourages interaction
- has to be sustainable, that is to say it cannot be a one-time event, but must be able to continue to exist independently for a longer period of time
- is for a large target group, for example the whole Leiden community or a large group within the University
- can be implemented relatively easily
N.B. The Fund finances the start of the initiative. Ultimately, the intention is that the plan will become self-sustaining. Bear in mind that there is no budget for time spent working on the initiative nor for providing food and drink during the activities: the basis of the initiative is that it is voluntary.
To help you, here are some guidelines for putting your plan together. You can include the following categories in your plan:
- introduction setting out your plan and describing the underlying ideas and aims (between 300 and 400 words);
- description of how the plan can be implemented in the year 2020, including a timeline (also between 300 and 400 words);
- cost budget, including any other sources of funding.
Leiden City Safari
The first winning project, Leiden City Safari, is organised by the LUMC International Student Committee (LisCo). Leiden City Safari is a city tour that aims to introduce international students to the city of Leiden as well as to fellow Dutch students.
With the OpenUP! symposium, study advisers and coordinators from Leiden University Campus The Hague aim to not only break the silence, but to encourage students to support each other and empower them to take ownership of their feelings and mental state.
Archery Attack door L.A.S. Terra
This idea by study association L.A.S. Terra promises both fun for participants and interaction between them. According to L.A.S. Terra physical exercise is often overlooked as a way to bring international and Dutch students together. Through the game Archery Attack, students of all nationalities will participate in a unique competition with bow and arrow.
Sustainable Business Battle
Multiple teams consisting of Dutch and international students work together on business cases of Dutch businesses to find innovative, durable and achievable solutions. After each team giving a short pitch, the jury selects the best plan.
The main objective of the International Ball is to bring Dutch and international students closer together. Nine dancing lessons will be organised, once a week. At least four dances will be learned: English Waltz; Valdresspringar (Scandinavian); Salsa (South & North-American); Quickstep (Western), and an opening dance. The final event will be the International Ball where these dances will be performed. After the performance other Leiden university students can join in for social dancing or the afterparty.
Leiden Student Integration Project
The purpose of this plan is to improve relations and increase interactions between Dutch and international students at Leiden University by creating a fun environment that entices participation through diverse cultural expressions such as cuisine, film, art, music, and sports. In addition, with the inclusion of charitable good works this plan aims to instil a sense of community not only within Leiden University but also across the Netherlands. The ultimate goal is for our culturally diverse students to find value in interacting with one another and not to come across as a forced, awkward social attempt.
Leiden International Arts & Theatre Foundation
The Leiden International Arts & Theatre Foundation (LIAT) encourages Leiden University students to exchange and express their artistic talents. Dutch and international students work together to create and perform in theatre productions. LIAT also organises theatre improvisation workshops. Also featured on their agenda is the Arts International Symposium and the Arts Feedback Dinner.
Buddy talk is aimed at language development. Students can indicate which languages they speak fluently and which they would like to learn, then Buddy Scan matches students who would like to learn each other’s languages. The end result is a fun form of cultural and language exchange. This is further stimulated by the organisation of networking events.
Creative Writing Class
This initiative brings Dutch and international students together through the medium of story writing. All Leiden University students are welcome, irrespective of their field of study. Stories are discussed in a group setting and authors have the opportunity to explain their vision and meaning. This results in meaningful discussion in which students get to know each other cultures and traditions in a fun and informal way.
The Dutch Language and Culture Committee
The goal of the Dutch Language and Culture Committee (DLCC) is to offer students and staff of Leiden University College (LUC) the opportunity to lean Dutch and get to know Dutch culture, in an open and stimulating environment. The committee organises weekly Dutch lessons and cultural events, as well as excursions to Dutch attractions.
Contrast Leiden: Be Present
Contrast Leiden organised ‘Be Present’, in which Dutch and international students worked together to help residents of Leiden. Projects ranged from painting a house to board games with senior citizens, and every project was brought to a fun-filled conclusion with social activities for students.
Leiden United Programme
This programme stimulates contact between Dutch and foreign students and promotes better relations between different cultures. The program consists of dinner meetings in groups of 10 to 14 students at the five major student associations in Leiden and at The Hague campus of Leiden University. Leiden United also organises group activities for all members to participate in together. Dutch students and international students from the same study area have dinner together with their group twice a month. Also, they can meet up over coffee, plan activities together and participate in other activities organised by Leiden United.
Njord: International Membership
Rowing association Njord initiated the International Membership, which enables international students to join the rowing association. International students are assigned for a boat for eight with a Dutch coach. Social activities are organized for Dutch and international students to get to know each other better. In addition, Njord organizes training nights for Dutch and internationals, so they can mingle.
Van Bergen Cup
The Van Bergen Cup is a sport event, in which all Dutch and international students can participate. It consists of leagues of four different sports: soccer, hockey, beach volleyball and dodgeball. Afterwards, a barbecue is organided, which is followed by a party at the sports bar.