As economics concerns human life in general, and is of interest to anyone of us, the ESE academic staff seeks to clarify and convey their recent scientific insights to a wider audience. They give advice when being asked, and they give opinions also when these were not asked. Some ESE academics belong to the thought leaders in their specific area, which is reflected by invitations to important conferences, by visitors who come to the Erasmus University Rotterdam only to work with them, or by larger-audience books or other outings that trigger nationwide or even international discussions. The ESE strongly favors the apprenticeship model (in Dutch: “meester-gezel”), which has been so successful for the Netherlands in earlier times.
The ESE aims to make students feel at home in Rotterdam and mainly at the Woudestein campus. Its goal is to create a platform for students such that their studies at the ESE mark the start of inspiring careers. To appreciate such a start, it is important that prospective students are pretty certain that they want to study economics or one of the other programs at the ESE. Students shall be aware of the fact that they will be challenged, that their studies will take time, that they are supposed to be self conscious, and that economics is a hard to master discipline. The marketing has been aimed at these aspects. Furthermore in the first year of the study, much attention is given on the question if the student has made the right choice. When students have firmly decided that economics is what they want to do, the ESE meets their demands and qualities at that individual level. Students who need additional support and supervision can acquire this, and students who show brilliance will be challenged in honours classes. The ESE has an intensive monitoring system that looks for those who need more help and that scouts future PhD students.
We do not believe that going there where we want to be, can only be expressed in results like “We are the number 1 in research or in teaching”, as those measures are very much time-dependent and sensitive to measurement error. What we do want is to be the number 1 brand, as it is perceived by everyone around us.