On behalf of the Executive Board of Erasmus University Rotterdam, Dean Prof. Patrick Groenen has awarded Dr Christiaan Heij 'De Desiderius' on Tuesday 15 February. Heij receives the award for his exceptional contribution and enormous commitment to Erasmus School of Economics over the past 33 years.
‘One of the best teachers’
According to colleague and former Dean, Prof. Philip Hans Franses, Christiaan Heij has had a major impact: 'Christiaan's most striking contribution is his education. Generations of students have been trained by him in different phases of their studies. Everyone remembers him as one of the best teachers they've ever had.’
Key author of a worldwide used textbook
A second merit of Heij is that he often stood at the beginning of many innovations in education. For example, Christiaan is the key author of the textbook Econometric Methods with Applications in Business and Economics, published by Oxford University Press. This textbook is used worldwide. 'Thousands of students from the Econometric Institute, among others, have gained their basic knowledge of Econometrics with this textbook since the 2000s,' says Franses. The textbook also forms the basis of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Econometrics: Methods and Applications, of which Christiaan Heij is the core teacher. The number of students worldwide following this most successful MOOC from Erasmus School of Economics and Erasmus University Rotterdam has now exceeded 150,000. Christiaan Heij has also made a very valuable contribution at administrative level, among other things through his membership of programme committees and the School Council.
‘Students have always been a great part of joy’
In his speech of thanks Christiaan Heij addresses his colleagues of the Econometric Institute and the students: ‘What I could achieve in my work has only been possible because of others. I have always felt at home at our Institute because of my colleagues, who in all diversity created not only a professional atmosphere but also a friendly one with personal attention. And our students have always been a great part of joy, as nothing compares to seeing them grow so fast in their knowledge and personality.’
Despite his imminent retirement, Christiaan Heij remains involved in providing and designing education and coaching young national and international academic staff members.