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We have so many more possibilities here

Despite enjoying many years in the old Thomas van Aquinostraat home of the Nijmegen School of Management, Vice Deans Sandra van Thiel (research) and Esther-Mirjam Sent (education) are enthusiastic about the new Elinor Ostrom Building and the possibilities it has to offer.

Meeting and networking Professor of Public Administration and Vice Dean of Research, Van Thiel: “The distances are much shorter here. We are closer together, bump into each other more often and hear more from one another. This allows us to get to know each other and each other’s work even better. Of course, in Thomas van Aquinostraat we weren’t just sitting behind our desks with our doors closed, but this new building makes it easier to meet one another and to network.”

This building makes it easier to meet one another and to network

The offices for lecturers and researchers are on the second and third floors, with most teaching rooms and auditoria on the first floor, together with the student lounge. The offices for the students’ unions are also on the ground floor, right by the main entrance, next to the student desk and the Radboud Management Academy (RMa). Each floor has glass panes that enable you to look onto the other floors. The study landscape stretches over three floors. Van Thiel: “In Thomas van Aquinostraat, students had to actively come and look for us, whereas here we can catch one another’s attention in passing. This strengthens contacts and creates a great atmosphere.”

Interactive education Esther-Mirjam Sent, Professor in Economics and Vice Dean of Education, welcomes the new building. “I had a great time in Thomas van Aquinostraat. I liked the street from the start – it’s just like a village. It was always pleasant working there in a great, large room. But our new location offers so many extra opportunities.” She talks enthusiastically about blended learning, a blend of different learning methods. “Students these days obtain their knowledge in a completely different way than a couple of years ago. They have a very multimedial mindset. As an academic institution, we need to, and want to respond to this. For example, flipped classroom is a method that allows students to learn the study materials using YouTube videos and then come to university to discuss the material. Our new base is designed perfectly for this form of interactive education. We have collaborative rooms, where several people can work together on one screen, as well as teaching rooms, where we can switch easily between a class-based and a group-based setup.” Van Thiel is also keen to mention the new Individual Decision Lab en Group Decision Lab. “These have a more flexible setup, so we can now also use them for teaching. This is a great asset.”

Every convenience at our fingertips Let’s also take a moment to appreciate the stunning theatre with a view over the sports fields. “It’s run by Cultuur op de Campus, but we can also reserve it for lectures, seminars, symposia and small conferences,” says Van Thiel. “Combined with all the other ultra-modern facilities, our new building is perfect. We have been provided with every convenience and are proud to show off our state-of-the-art new building to others.”

“Although, in all honesty, the relocation has also been quite an upheaval,” Sent admits. She understands that some colleagues found the move down the corridor to Heyendaalseweg a challenge. “Many people agree with me that we had a great time in our old place. Moreover, there were some colleagues who had their own office in Thomas van Aquinostraat and now have to share a room. That takes some getting used to. But it’s a lot better than the flexplaces that other universities have. And doesn’t every change meet with some level of resistance? All in all, I’m convinced that this is a step forward for both staff and students.”/JvdB

Radboud page Sandra van Thiel
Sandra van Thiel on LinkedIn
Radboud page Esther-Mirjam Sent
Website Esther-Mirjam Sent
Esther-Mirjam Sent on LinkedIn
Esther-Mirjam Sent on twitter