UM psychologist: students can’t find us online


MAASTRICHT. The Maastricht University psychologists have noticed that it is tougher to reach students who are not actually present at the university. “They are receiving a lot of information, you can tell that they are focussing mainly on their education,” says team leader Mieke Jansen. The students that do come to us have remarkably few corona-related questions.

The student psychologists have put their offer online as much as possible these past weeks. The individual consults take place either by telephone or via Zoom. “We check out what is needed every day and then plan more consults for the next day, if necessary,” says Jansen. “So, students can always be helped quickly.”

There is also a live chat via Facebook with a psychologist and a career advisor on work days between 13:00-14:00hrs. “Students can send in their questions beforehand or ask them live. Even that is not happening a lot.”

What has been noticeable is that there are not many corona-related questions. “Most of the things we see, were already going on before all this started, such as people wanting to get rid of their uncertainty,” says Jansen. Why that is, the student psychologists don’t know. “I would have to make a guess. Maybe students are mainly dealing with surviving and other things will come out later, maybe they adapt more easily. You can’t say much about it.”

The workshops have been shortened to one hour. “Nobody can endure a three-hour workshop online.” Career Services and the psychologists have also put short videos of 7 to 15 minutes online with information and assignments that they can do at home. “We also point out to students everything that is available on the Internet. After all, we don’t need to find out everything by ourselves.” 

Finally, the psychologists are working together with the Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences on a project that will remotely nourish the group feeling among students. “The idea came from FPN, who thought that students could use a community at a time like this, a place where they could come together,” says Jansen. “We don’t know yet exactly what it will look like, whether we will work with a theme or that we will divide up a large group into smaller rooms (a function within Zoom, ed.). We are experimenting with that at the moment.”

For an overview of what the psychologists have on offer, see