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Kira Nijland about her role as a student member of the Institute Board of CADS

Kira Nijland follows the master programme Policy in Practice and is since October the student member of the Institute Board of Cultural Anthropology. She previously gained board experience at study associations Itiwana and WDO. Now she would like to get to know the university structures from behind the scenes. As a student member, Kira has already organised the OLC election and wants to advocate for more inclusiveness in education.

'I really get a lot of enjoyment from board years', Kira says, 'You work together in a team, you get to know new sides of yourself and you see how other people deal with things that happen and they come up with different solutions.' At Itiwana Kira was the assessor external and at WDO she was the chair. As a student member, Kira now sees the organisational side of issues that play a role within the institute. As a student, you don't know exactly what is involved in research projects, for example. 'I find it very interesting to experience that from up close.' Kira is the contact person for Itiwana and WDO and is requested to think along with educational matters. 'I am of course also the receiver of what they create in education. I enjoy taking a critical look at that.' 

Accessibility of education

One of the subjects Kira wants to draw attention to is the accessibility of education. The pandemic has made it clear that it is not a necessity to come to university to get educated. With an online curriculum, more people have a chance to attend if they can't come to university because of a disability or distance. Now that the switch is again to full education on campus, it causes a step back in accessibility.' Kira considers it important to bring up this issue with the board. I hear from the IB why certain choices are made and there are logical decisions behind these choices. But it does have consequences for students, so I want to keep emphasising that. 

No predetermined career path with anthropology

In her master's year, Kira will do research at a neighbourhood network organisation in Amsterdam. She will investigate how informal care organisations fill the gaps between centralised and decentralised care. In the future, Kira wants to work for an NGO and do policy research, preferably combined with research abroad. 'I don't have a specific place I want to go or a specific passion. I wanted to be a journalist before, but I think policy is also a good fit for me. That's what I like about anthropology. It's very diverse and you're not tied to one career line for the rest of your life. You can take many different routes.'

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