PPE and you

The John Stuart Mill College welcomes all (international) students! Even though these are uncertain times, we are committed to engaging fully with the delivery of our education programmes. Throughout these current challenges, the John Stuart Mill College has ensured continuity of all PPE courses and will continue to do so for the Bachelor’s programme starting in September. 

Hybrid education: on campus if we can, online because we can

Many prospective students are affected by COVID-19 and will be affected negatively by the pandemic in the coming months. Since PPE is a very international programme that works best with a diverse classroom, we are still hoping to receive many international students to the college this academic year. As of March 23rd, all our education has already been forced to go online due to the measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus in the Netherlands. Both lecturers and students quickly adapted to the new situation and became innovative in their ways of online teaching and studying from home. Curious to see how our students are experiencing this? Have a look at our Instagram take-overs.

As of September, teaching will be offered in hybrid form: online, and where possible and permitted: on campus. If education on campus is gradually getting started and you are not yet able or allowed to come to Amsterdam, alternative online opportunities will still be offered to ensure you can participate in all classes. For each period we will provide you with as much clarity about how hybrid education will look like, based on developments in the international corona crisis.

Small scale and intensive education

Since our Bachelor’s programme has the special feature “small scale and intensive education”, we are currently exploring if education in small groups, such as interactive seminars, study groups and extracurricular events, can take place on campus in the new academic year. The teaching in PPE courses is generally divided equally between lectures and seminars, in order to give you the opportunity to obtain a deeper understanding of the material in small groups (at most 20 students). An overview for now:

  • Lectures - first semester (September 2020 until January 2021)
    The John Stuart Mill College has been given permission to use our auditorium. In order to keep safe distance, 30 students at a time are allowed in the room. This means the lectures will become even more small-scale. It also means we will have to rotate which students are allowed on campus which week. We are exploring the possibility of working with a sign-up system, so you can choose when you want to come to the lecture, and which day you would rather watch from home. We will contact you as soon as we have more information about this.

  • Other educational activities - period 1 (September to October 2020)
    In period 1 of the new academic year, all other education, such as seminars, will be offered in hybrid form: online and where it is possible and permitted, on campus. If a course is taught on campus, but you cannot or may not yet come to the campus yourself, alternatives will be offered online.

  • Exams - period 1 (September to October 2020)
    All examinations in period 1 are taken remotely (either a take-home exam in an essay format, or an online exam using proctoring technology).

  • Other educational activities - period 2 and 3 (November 2020 until January 2021)
    For the other forms of education in period 2 (November/December), a decision will be taken in July, and for period 3 (January 2021) in October. The same applies to these periods as to the previous period. Teaching will be offered in hybrid form: online and where it is possible and permitted, on campus. However, alternative online options will continue to be offered if you are currently unable to come to VU. 

As soon as we have a better view of the situation in September, we will provide more details about the alternatives on this page. We hope to see you online or on campus as soon as we can!

PPE community online

The PPE Bachelor’s programme is embedded in the John Stuart Mill College, which has its own floor within VU Amsterdam's main building. In addition to the low student to staff ratio, PPE students can take advantage of the PPE study area and spaces for social activities and extracurricular events. For more information about our student-led initiatives, have a look at our community page.

Although it has been unfortunate to not be able to make use of these spaces, we are working hard to recreate a sense of community online. Some extracurricular activities, such as guest lectures, are already taking place online. For the new academic year, we will set up a buddy programme to ensure all students feel involved, and have someone to study together with, whether it be online or offline. Of course, our academic advisor remains available to guide students with their study progress and give them tips for studying from home. If you have any suggestions for our community-building online, please send an email to info.ppe@vu.nl.

In addition, our Instagram and Facebook pages are a perfect place to get in touch with our community! Follow us to see content of current students and alumni, and get a taste of everyday life at the college.

Still have questions?

If you have questions about the programme, admission requirements or start of the academic year 2020, please contact our International Student Advisor (if you are applying with a non-Dutch diploma) or our Admissions Officer (if you are applying with a Dutch diploma). 

If you have questions about the PPE programme or student life, please sign up for an online taster day! A PPE student will contact you to plan a Skype meeting in which you can ask all your questions. You will also receive a link to an online lecture to get a “taste” of PPE. 

If you want to know more about student support, registering for courses and exams, summer courses or our introduction days, please have a look at our page with all the practical information you need.