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[3/4] The First Year: Your First Personal Pursuit

The personal pursuit (PP) can either be a reason you choose the program or an aspect of it you do not hear about until you get here. Hopefully this article explains a bit about it, clears up any confusion and successfully demonstrates how great it is that we offer it.

As is in the name, the PP allows you to pursue a personal interest, not only that, it is a mandatory part of ATLAS making up 10% of the credits you collect in an academic year. "But why?" you may ask. "Isn’t the whole point of ATLAS that you get to follow your own path, pursue your own interests?" Well yes, it is, in an academic setting. The PP is an example of how the programme sees you as a holistic whole by expanding into non-academic fields whilst simultaneously constructing a learning experience.

Examples of previous PP’s include building a functional surfboard, building a motorcycle from parts, analysing the mathematics behind dance, constructing a tube-map inspired spice guide and portrait focused photography. Whilst some of the products seem fairly untypically academic, this is where the structure is important. To explain this a little better let me guide you through the process a student goes through in the year they spend on their PP.

It begins with thinking of an idea and talking to the PP committee (consisting of ATLAS staff members) to discuss whether it seems appropriate. Next comes writing the initial proposal in which you describe the topic and why it is something you would like to explore, your learning goals, activities and evidence and lastly, what your outreach to the community will be. Determining your learning goals, activities and evidence is a crucial skill applicable to later real-life situations in which you must later decide by yourself how you want to go about reaching your goals and establishing that you actually have achieved them.

Once you have an approved proposal and have been assigned a relevant supervisor you begin to work on it. This can be in multiple ways and is very specific to your individual personal pursuit and the activities you planned for it. Meetings with your supervisor are scheduled along the way to ensure you stay on track. Towards the end of the year you will likely be working on the final outcome and outreach. Outreach refers to how you want to contribute your knowledge to the community. Commonly this is done by presenting it at the ATLAS EXPO at the end of the academic year, hosting a workshop, or writing a report that is displayed in the study associations room, but there are so many other options to be creative and leave a mark! 

It’s nice that it allows me to explore things I never thought I would in an academic setting.Eldi Dhirendra Adiprakoso, Class of 2021

University College Twente offers a unique bachelor’s programme, Technology, Liberal, Arts and Sciences, to top students. Visit the University College Twente website for more information about the college and Technology, Liberal, Arts and Sciences website for more information about the bachelor program. Or visit us during the open day, a student-for-a-day or an insight-day.

Grace Wachter
Writer, Class of 2021
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