UFL-SWOL managing director Bouwien Janssen had a meeting with 1 of our scholarship students, Nisali Perera and Dr. Corine de Ruiter, professor of Forensic Psychology. De Ruiter is our contact person on behalf of the Prof. W.A. Wagenaar Fund, the grant provider. It is rare for a grant to be provided from a Named Fund, but it is an explicit objective of this fund. Nisali feels enormously blessed with this opportunity to follow her 2-year master’s degree in Forensic Psychology as a first generation student at UM. This 2-year master’s degree has been successfully offered by FPN for 12 years now, something that was almost unthinkable at the start, because comparable master’s studies at fellow universities were only allowed to last 1 year. It was necessary to go to the administrative court to get this 2-year master’s degree paid for.
After the summer holidays, Nisali will start with her 2nd year. During the 1st year, she mainly learned how valuable the university’s PBL system is and that fellow students really need each other in this regard. You learn to look at a subject from multiple angles. During her previous internship experiences, she discovered that it is still a challenge to apply scientific knowledge in practice. People in social care are not always open to new scientific insights, especially if they have done it differently all their lives and a young student points them to methods that are more effective. Frequently, there is also a lack of periodic conversations with the executive in this industry, so that people hardly ever receive feedback on their work. Corine de Ruiter recognizes this all too well and says that she still regularly encounters this, despite her years of experience and expertise.
Nisali is from Sri Lanka and has given us a glimpse into her life, both her life in Maastricht and Sri Lanka. A greater contrast is almost impossible. Poverty, sky-high inflation rates of > 120%, national protests and child abuse in Sri Lanka versus the Burgundian, almost rippling life in Maastricht. However, sitting still is not in her DNA. She has studied non-stop for almost 10 months and is also committed to her own country, by writing module for the open university of Sri Lanka on comprehensive sexuality education. She volunteered with the refugee project Maastricht (RPM) where she taught English to refugees from all over the world. She does not yet know exactly what she will do after completing her master’s degree. However, her great passion is investigating the violation of children’s rights and more specifically, the sexual abuse of children. In any case, she wants to do something with it. During the conversation, we alerted her to the existence of UFL-SWOL’s Children’s Rights Research Fund, which she may be able to do something with in the near future.
Proud of her roots, she wore the traditional sari especially for this occasion, judging by the beautiful outfit in the photo. With her charming personality, social commitment and perseverance, Nisali is a great example for future students.
We are very proud of her.