Claes de Vreese, professor of Communication Science
Director of the Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
‘The UvA has an open, intellectual culture.’
When I first arrived at the UvA as a Danish exchange student, I was planning on staying six months. I’ve been here for 13 years now. I partly chose the UvA because it offered a Master's programme taught entirely in English. One which wasn’t being offered anywhere else outside of the US and the UK at the time. After I had completed my Master’s in European Communication Studies, my professor – Holli Semetko – asked me whether I would like to obtain a doctorate. I hadn’t really considered it as an option, but she managed to ignite my enthusiasm for research. After having obtained my doctorate in 2003, I became an assistant professor. I was then appointed associate professor in 2004 and became a professor in 2005. I was also awarded a Veni and Vici grant.
I realise it can be healthy to work in other environments, but I’ve never really had any reason to leave. If you’ve got the necessary motivation and talent, you can achieve a great deal at the UvA. I was lucky enough to get all the opportunities I needed, and I pursued them to the fullest. The UvA has an open, intellectual culture. It employs intelligent, strong-minded professionals. This may be challenging for managers, but it also represents a major asset.
ASCoR, which is the Netherlands’ largest research school in the area of communication science – receiving top marks in a recent assessment – employs 50 senior researchers and 30 PhD candidates. I enjoy serving as director of so many ambitious young people.
I conduct research on political reporting in the media, its influence on the shaping of public opinion and voting behaviour during elections. I’m entirely free to choose how I wish to address those questions. That freedom is one of the great privileges of working at a university. The UvA is characterised by its international research, the many international researchers lured by Amsterdam and its international student population.
(Claes de Vreese has worked at the University of Amsterdam since 1998.)