In memoriam Pieternel Vos

On Thursday July 9th, we received the tragic news that Pieternel Vos, one of our Dutch students within the International Bachelor Psychology programme, passed away.

Pieternel’s closest friends wanted to share the following:


You were a kind-hearted, thoughtful and brilliant person. From the day we met at introduction week, your exuberant personality drew us all in and your infectious laugh lit up whatever late-night adventures we were getting up to. You made us laugh, with your dry sense of humour, honesty and little tolerance for nonsense, you were yourself from the beginning. 

You were a force of nature, with a strong will to succeed and time and time again you showed us how to be better and work harder. Your ambition pushed us through the hardest parts of the year, as we motivated each other to be nothing but our best. Your talents didn't stop there, and the more we got to know you the more you opened up to us about your love for singing and acting, and we knew we would always be there to cheer you on.

A piece of our puzzle is missing now.”

One of Pieternel’s tutors shared the following:

“Pieternel was a student in several of my tutorial and practical groups. She was really kind and very smart. Always quick to grasp the more complicated topics in our tutorial meetings, but would patiently explain things further to class mates who needed a little more time to figure things out. She actually e-mailed me about feedback I’d given to her draft structure for the writing skills assignment and quite rightly pointed out that a part of my feedback didn’t make sense to her (it actually didn’t, I’d misunderstood something), but did so in a really polite friendly way and she actually ended up get the highest grade for her final report out of all my students for that course.”

Our deepest sympathy goes out to her mother Marjanne, brothers Willem Jan & Julius, her friends and fellow students. We wish them all a lot of strength at this poignant time.

We may not be able to meet you in person to support you at this present moment. But that does not mean we are not here. If you would like to talk to someone, please know that support is at hand – your student advisors and student psychologists. Do not suffer alone. Next week, we will offer all students and staff members the chance to pay their respects in the form of an online condolence book.

Please take care of yourselves.

On behalf of the ESSB,

Annemarie Hiemstra, Programme Director Bachelor Psychology
Katinka Dijkstra, Director Department of Psychology, Education & Child Studies

Katie Barry, Coordinator International Bachelor of Psychology
Victor Bekkers, Dean Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences