Manon Smit, Lisa van Vlerken and Zeynep Aksoy from the Master’s programme in Child Development and Education have won the 2013 Wij Inholland Award with their You & I Project (Jij & Ik). In this project, HBO students guide MBO students throughout their work placement at VUmc Kinderstad. ‘We were just glad that we’ve been able to call attention to our project, and on top of that, now we’ve actually won as well!’
During the opening of the academic year in the OZW building in Amsterdam, the students from the Child Development and Education programme received the award from Executive Board member Marcel Nollen, who was ‘tremendously impressed’ with the project. In fact Jij & Ik has been going for a number of years already at VUmc Kinderstad, the huge play area on top of the VU Medical Center. The project won not just due to the extra support for sick children, helping them forget about their illness for a while, but also because of its significance to education. The MBO students are coached and guided should they want to continue on at a university of applied sciences, while the HBO students gain experience coaching.
‘We were just happy with the amount of attention our project has already received, and now we’ve actually won’, Lisa van Vlerken commented on behalf of the three. ‘We hope that this award allows us to set up similar peer coaching projects for other study programmes. Jij & Ik has been around for a while, but we’re trying to make improvements. Besides, we feel that the true value of education lies not just in personal development, but in the ability to help others as well.’
Race for the award
The race for the Wij Inholland Award went on for months, but the three students stood out from the crowd thanks to their unique and innovative educational project. From the thirty projects that entered, in the end only Jij & Ik and the multidisciplinary Biobased E-scooter project were left to fight for the grand prize. Eventually, though, the electric scooter, which has a fully load-bearing construction made of bio-composite material and was developed in the Inholland Composites Lab, just missed out.
In selecting the winner, the judges considered various aspects, including the multidisciplinary composition of the project team and the social value of the project for the region. In addition, they considered criteria such as entrepreneurial spirit and innovation. As the Jij & Ik Project fulfilled all the requirements the jury had set for contenders for the Wij Inholland Award, it was unanimously chosen as the winner.
‘Fantastic to beat such a sleek scooter’
‘I think it’s fantastic that these girls managed to beat such a well-designed and sleek-looking scooter, with all the easy PR that it attracts’, Nicole van den Kroonenberg from VUmc Kinderstad commented. ‘I’m very glad that the jury took notice of our project and its social value.’
As winners of the Wij Inholland Award, Manon Smit, Lisa van Vlerken en Zeynep Aksoy will receive support in various areas including communication and PR, material and facilities. They will also serve as ambassadors of the Executive Board and board members of Inholland University of applied Sciences. As such, the winners will have access to a large network of relations in every sector.