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New Science assessor cares for mental health students

More attention for internationalisation, diversity, but also the mental health of students: that’s what Marleen van Dorst would like to see change. As of 1 September, she will be the new assessor of the Faculty of Science.

Students' interests

Marleen van Dorst takes over the baton from Bernice Dekker. As an assessor, she serves as a student member of the Faculty Board for one year. ‘It is therefore my task to represent the interests of the students of the Faculty,' she says. ‘I mainly have contact with the faculty council, the study programme committees and the study associations. Through them I receive complaints, questions and comments. Through contact with these bodies, I have the widest possible range and I get as much feedback as possible about what is going on at the Faculty.’

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Listening to both sides

Marleen gained the necessary experience through various committees within her study association Aesculapius and the study programme committee of her study in Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences: Collaboration, organisational experience, but also the structure of the University and Faculty and the course of events concerning education. As student manager of its student campus, she learned what it is to look after interests. ‘As a student manager, I form the link between residents and the housing organisation. Here, I see that it is important to listen to both sides in order to achieve something together at the end of the day. I think that this will also be of great help to me next year.’

Personal touch

Marleen's first goal is to learn as much as possible about the course of events at the Faculty. After she knows what's going on, she wants to give her own interpretation to her year as an assessor. For example, she would like to take a step in the professionalisation of the study programme committees. She would like to bring all committees up to the same level, for example by creating an annual representation for each committee.

Diversity and inclusiveness

She also wants more attention to be paid to internationalisation. ‘I like to make students more aware that you can, for example, do a minor or an internship abroad. In addition, I want to work on diversity and inclusiveness, which are important components of the internationalisation here.’ Marleen also believes it is important that more attention is paid - and will continue to be paid - to the mental health of the students. ‘Students are becoming increasingly stressed and are experiencing a great deal of pressure. I think it is important that we recognise this problem. I want to see how we can solve it.’ For example, she is thinking of time management courses or more information about student psychologists.

When do you go to Marleen?

For what issues can students come to Marleen? ‘When they identify points of interest that may be relevant to the entire faculty. However, the Faculty Board is the representative of the students of the Faculty, so I can also recommend contacting them. Points of attention regarding training matters can often be more efficiently assigned to training committees and study associations.’


Would you like to contact the new assessor? You can do this by mail or by visiting Einsteinweg 55, room number BS.003. Marleen: 'I hope to see as many students as possible at study associations or faculty activities. But when people come across me in the supermarket, I also like to chat!’

Name: Marleen van Dorst

Age: 21 years

Comes from: Oudewater

Lives in: Leiden

Hobbies: Music, food, or drinks with friends

Education: Completed the Bachelor Bio-Pharmaceutical Sciences, currently Master Moleculair Genetics and Biotechnology

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