Introduction to the fourth edition of the UAUCU Student Research Exchange Collected Papers
This volume presents academic papers and personal reflections written by the participants of the UAUCU student research exchange project 2018. These texts reflect the diversity of academic disciplines and approaches, as well as the diversity in cultural background, of this year’s participants. The program, which offers students from the University of Aruba (UA) and University College Utrecht (UCU) the opportunity to conduct research in a multidisciplinary international student team, has already proven a successful formula: work presented in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 volumes led to international publications, and thesis awards for several program alumni. We anticipate similar achievements for contributors to the 2018 edition.
During the introductory week in January 2018, the student group defined their guiding principles and goals for the project (see these below). These principles and goals illustrate the collective dedication of the participants to contributing to the project in ways that would be meaningful for others and for themselves personally.
The academic works included here treat topics like identity, culture, creativity, entrepreneurship, economics, human resources, policy, and environmental conservation. The nature of the research is equally far-ranging, including pilot projects, theoretical explorations verified with respondent data, in depth environmental studies, and sociocultural studies that explore fundamental issues confronting society. The diverse papers are linked by a common interest in sustainable societies, reflecting a strong sense of community awareness, and providing research findings that have meaning for Aruban society. The papers further demonstrate how the student researchers’ collaboration in a multidisciplinary team has influenced their approach to their work. The papers here are products of peer-topeer learning: the student authors provided each other with feedback on content, method, style, language and structure. In general, the papers appear as submitted by the authors -- including perhaps the odd raw opinion or hasty generalization. Some of the student-researchers are still working on the interpretation and presentation of their findings, and will later finalize project papers, or bachelor or master theses, based on results of fieldwork presented.
The participants have all also contributed personal pieces reflecting on their experiences. The cultural and ethnic diversity within the group contributed to an extraordinarily rich social environment, and their reflective texts show the strength of the collaboration and mutual support within this diverse group. The texts reveal much about the power of this project: it is about the realization that we can achieve more in the world when we take multiple perspectives in approaching problems, and when we work together to build on each other’s complementary strengths.
This fourth year of the project has involved many people crucial to its success, and as in previous years, it is impossible to name them all. A special thank you goes to Jenny Lozano-Cosme and Carlos Rodriguez-Iglesias, both of the University of Aruba, who took their time to proofread all the papers. But to all others who have taken part as (guest) lecturer, supervisor, manager, initiator, facilitator, student, interviewee, respondent, guide, coach or mentor: thank you very much for your contribution to powering this year’s project.
Eric Mijts & Jocelyn Ballantyne Project coordinators UAUCU
Daniel van Heusden - UCU
Aruba’s Sustainable Entrepreneurial Ecosystem: Drivers and Barriers for Sustainable Entrepreneurship
Xavier Boekhoudt - UA
Policy for energy system innovation: Multi-actor policy-making of the Aruba energy transition
Jay-Mar Gamarra - UA
Perceived economic impact of tourism
Luc Lips - UCU
Determinants of eco-innovation: The Aruban Case
Annemieke Drost - UCU
Coral Health and Citizen Science
Emmeline Long - UCU
The impacts of oil contamination on the mangrove ecosystems of Aruba
Fabian Timpen - UCU and Emma Beroske - UCU
The impact of illegal dumpsites on the environment
Stephanie Arango - UA
Improving the Recruitment Procedure at the Renaissance Resort & Casino
Nora Röders - UCU
Thais Franken - UA
Putting Culture and Creativity in the Heart of the Aruban Sustainable Development
Dirijini Piter - UA
A look into the strategies utilized by SMEs on Main Street during the Oranjestad redevelopment program