Organization, Governance and Management (OGM) at the University of Aruba: “Are you into making and implementing policies for a better world? Then OGM is your thing.”

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Luc Alofs is a lecturer for the program of Organization, Governance and Management (OGM) at the University of Aruba. “We are a four-year, accredited Bachelor program on academic level, developed in collaboration with the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands. Together with the program Social Work & Development we provide in the need for social workers and policy makers who know our context and who we educate to function in local circumstances.” Both programs have turned out to be very successful. “OGM students are interested in academic sciences, motivated to design and implement new policies.”

“Aruba needs local people knowing the local context to enter into the labor market. OGM students can go in all kind of directions, working at NGO’s but also in the private sector, governments, HR, wherever you need organization, governance and management people can find jobs.” OGM has a general curriculum followed by both OGM and Social Work & Development, enhancing among others academic reading and writing, Dutch, introduction to methodology and sociology. Although 90% of the program is in English, more language expressions are welcome. “When it comes to self-improvement one needs to be able to express in their home language, “adds Alofs.

Making guidelines

The lecturer states, “If you come here the first year, we do two things. We look if you fit in the profession and you look if the profession fits you. If you are into making a better world for everybody than you should come to social work, if you are into that by making and implementing policies, OGM is your thing. Both programs are connected by the U.N. social goal development agenda. We work towards inclusion for all in society, sustainability and developing identities with respect to diversity.” In this particular time the world needs more transparency and clarity from governments and Aruba is no exception. Alofs offers, “Social Affairs Departments had no policy in place before, but this transition has and is taking place. Life is not getting easier with this pandemic and we need our own guideline setup.”

We are a multicultural community

When it comes to the time we are living now, Alofs can say the last few months were very heavy on all of them. “As educators we had to adapt our internships without face-to-face interaction, we had to improvise how to do exams, re-organize our classes and our students went through the same. For sure this all had a huge impact and it takes its tolls on all of us, we miss each other. This also shows how much we are connected here.” The ambitious university is growing in popularity among international students too. Students from different cultures feel at ease here

because the island’s population is a mix of cultures living side by side in harmony. “We are a small university with a big heart, a community on its own where everybody is welcome to join!”

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