Dominik Koc is the new Research and Policy Intern of EURASHE. Get to know him better through this interview, in which he shares his views about EURASHE, inspirations, and interests.

Hello Dominik, could you introduce yourself to the EURASHE network? Who are you?

I grew up in the beautiful city of Vienna, Austria, but my parents are of Polish origin. Soon after finishing high school, I decided to move abroad. After some time in Ireland, I started my Bachelor in International Relations at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Currently, I am finishing my Master in Political Economy at the University of Amsterdam.

I like to challenge myself which is why I decided to do an internship while writing my thesis. Yes, so far it is a big challenge, but it is very stimulating. I am also always happy to explore new places, meet new people, and try different hobbies. Thanks to my part-time job at a cheese store in the Netherlands, I consider myself a cheese expert. 

What experiences from your previous experiences will help you in this new role?

I had short internships at the Austrian Institute in Wroclaw, Poland, and at the Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe in Vienna, Austria. At both organisations, I learned to work in a small team and do my tasks as independently as possible, while also proposing new ideas and perspectives.

In my free time, I am working on a project that aims to fully equalise access to scientific literature of a University in Europe and a University in a low-income country. Speaking to various stakeholders, such as students from low-income countries, University Library Staff, Development Agencies and others helped me think outside the box and address problems holistically.

After a few days in EURASHE already, how do you see the organisation?

On my first day, I received a warm welcome from the staff. Everyone is helpful, and I never hesitate to ask questions. The tasks are well-coordinated, and cooperation runs smoothly within the team.

What are your main goals in EURASHE?

At EURASHE, I will be working on the Association’s Research and Open Science Policy. My main goal is to create a statement for Applied Higher Education institutions on the importance of Open Science.

What are the first tasks you are working on?

I am currently gathering a group of experts who I will invite to join the EURASHE Task Force on Open Science. I am very excited to lead the meetings and collate the perspectives of these experts from various Institutions in many countries. 

Which do you think should be the main priorities for EURASHE?

The most important goal for EURASHE should be to provide a platform for its members to share ideas and learn from one another. Only individuals and institutions that are willing to learn from the experiences and mistakes of others can progress.

What are the main challenges facing Higher Education Institutions?

I am new to the field of Higher Education, but I believe that Higher Education Institutions should encourage students to play their part in making a positive impact on the world, one step at a time. 

Tell us, what is your biggest inspiration?

The golden rule, the principle of treating others as one would want to be treated by them. 

How does a perfect day look for you?

A day is only perfect when it includes a coffee enjoyed in quietness in the morning, two or three types of cheese, a funny joke from a friend, a Brazilian song and some chocolate. 

A wish?

I wish there were more sunny days in Brussels! 

A song?

“Emmenez-moi” by Charles Aznavour. I am slowly trying to re-learn French and the easiest way to learn a language is by listening to beautiful songs in that language!