Who, what, where?

Who, What, Where?

Studying at the VU may sometimes feel like one big mess of organizations, systems and rules by which to follow. In order to help you navigate through this mess, we have listed a few of the most important aspect here:

– Information systems
– Useful facilities
– Other important information

Information systems

VUnet
VUnet is VU’s student portal which is used for the majority of administrative tasks relevant to your program. Just go to VUnet and log in with your student account, that you will have received from the VU. Once logged in you can select your language of choice by clicking on your name at the top right.  If you have lost your VUnet-id, you should visit the IT-service desk (Main building, room number 0A-11; WN-building, room number M-020) with your VU card or identity card. If you have forgotten your password, visit this page and follow the instructions to reset it.

The most important function of VUnet is registering for your courses and exams. It is mandatory to register for your courses, otherwise you will not be allowed to take the course and any grades you achieve from this course will not be registered. You can register for your courses up to four weeks before they are due to start. You must sign up for exams 2 weeks in advance of the test date.

VUnet also provides an overview of your grades. It is wise to check this occasionally and make sure that all of your grades are registered correctly, as errors can sometimes occur. Plus, the sooner you notice, the easier it is to fix. It is also important to compare your grades on VUnet with your grades on Canvas.

Additionally, you are advised to check your VUmail regularly. It can be useful to link your VUmail with your personal mailbox, so that important information won’t be missed. Remember: some professors prefer to use VUmail over Canvas, so make sure you check your mail your student mailbox!

Lastly, VUnet also shows news about the university and your faculty, and by using the search function you can find answers to most of your questions.

Canvas
All courses use Canvas, which is the digital learning environment of the VU. You can log onto Canvas by using your VUnet-id, which gives you access to all of your courses and course material, such as lecture slides, course schedules, course outlines and assignments. You can also use Canvas for submitting an assignment and group enrollments so make sure you check the Canvas announcements for important information.

If you are registered for a course through VUnet it will automatically be added to your Canvas dashboard, however this can take up to 24 hours. If you are having problems accessing the Canvas page of your course, contact your course coordinator as they can usually help you.

Study guide
Through the online study guide you can find information about all of your courses. It tells you who your course coordinator or contact person is, what the course literature is and what the course is about. Reading the study guide is especially useful when you have to choose your optional courses.  You can find the study guide on http://www.vu.nl/en/study-guide/

Examination board
Sometimes, students may wish to deviate from their regular study program. However, in order to do this you need apply for approval by your examination board. On VUnet you can find an overview of the matters that require approval from the examination board.  Examples include exemption from courses, taking minor courses outside the VU or asking for additional time during an exam.

If you want to submit a request to the examination board, make sure that you have read the academic and examination regulations (OER) beforehand. The OER is the formal examination program and details the regulations concerning teaching and examinations. This is quite a big document, which may be hard to understand, therefore it is wise to also first discuss your plans with your study advisor, the board of Gyrinus or the Faculty Student council (FSR), as they might be able to help you with your request. You can find the OER on VUnet as well. Part A of the OER is general and contains information relevant to all bachelor programs of the Faculty of Science, part B contains program-specific information. In theory the OER can be changed each year, however in practice it does not change that much. Just be sure to read the OER that applies to your year!

If you think that you have all the information you need, you may submit a request form to the examination board on VUnet.

USR
The University student council is the student council of the VU and represents all students at the VU. The USR does not have an English website, however they can be contacted on ln.uv1568775558@rsu1568775558.

Useful facilities

Gyrinus room (GK)
In P-022 you can find the Gyrinus room, which is our own room within the VU. You are more than welcome to come by here and have a cup of coffee, tea, chill, read a magazine, play a game, admire our fish, frog or hamster or socialize with other students.

Connected to the GK room you will find the boardroom, which is where the board meet. You can also come by for questions or advice.

Computer rooms
As a student you are allowed to make use of the computer rooms. You can log onto a computer by using your VUnet-id and password. The computers have many useful programs that you may need to use during your courses. You can also save your documents on your own drive that is linked to your account.

Make sure you regularly save your documents as the computers automatically turn on standby after 15 minutes if you are not using them.

As a Faculty of Science student you can use the computers in the S2-wing of the WN-building, including: F131, F153, F229B and F401. The rooms are open from 08.00 until 22.00.

On Studyspot (an application on VUnet) you can check which rooms are available at that time and in the future. You can reserve a room if available from the time of your choice for one hour. Keep in mind, however, that Studyspot is not always reliable when it comes to reservations!

Quiet rooms
If you would like to study in a quiet room without being disturbed by other students, you can reserve a quiet room through Studyspot. If you want a quiet room during the exam week, you can also use the C2 rooms, which will be reserved by the board of Gyrinus for their members. Always check with the board whether the C2 rooms are open for Gyrinus members during your exam week.

Other important information

Binding study advice
In the first year of your Bachelor’s program at the VU, you can obtain 60 credits. At the end of the first year, you’ll receive a binding study advice (BSA). For the Biology and Biomedical Sciences Bachelor’s programs this means that you must obtain at least 42 credits in first-year courses by the end of the first year of study.

Laptop
It is very useful to have your own laptop as it can be difficult to always find available computers at the VU. There are plenty of spaces around the VU to use your laptop and work with other students.

The VU has free wireless access for students, VU-campusnet and Eduroam, however, you need to install a few things before you can use these connections. You can find instructions for connecting mobile and computer devices at the IT-desk (M-0 of the WN-building). If you are still having trouble connecting the IT-desk will be willing to help you.

Of course, if there is anything that you cannot seem to find or that you do not understand, please do not hesitate to contact the Gyrinus board.