Understanding Society

Tilburg University has been a reliable provider of high-quality education and research for more than eighty years. We specialize in the social sciences and humanities and we seek to make a structural contribution to society.

Robert Ndung'u

image robert ndung_u

In September, Robert Ndung’u (32) flew to Tilburg University from a country with a diversity of climates, but where it is mostly warm and humid: Kenya. At his home university he studied Criminology. He really wanted to study at Tilburg University because this is the only university in the world where they offer the master’s program Victimology and Criminal Justice. It’s his dream to become a lecturer in Victimology. And with his knowledge that he gained at Tilburg University he can lecture other students and pass on the information he learned, so there will be more experts in Africa who can help victims. So he was grateful when he heard that he was awarded an alumni scholarship and could come to study here at Tilburg University.

Corruption

"Sometimes I am wondering why Africa is behind with development? We have a good climate and we have the best products in Africa. We produce tea, but then the tea is processed in other countries while we could also do that in our country. Only the people who are in the highest positions are the ones who benefit from the things produced in our country. Corruption… For example, at Tilburg University you can find all the books you want in the library, and if not, you will find it on the internet. In Kenya this is not possible because of corruption. In Africa in many countries people are poor and still people are stealing of them."

Victim support like the Netherlands

"In Kenya there is no system to support the victim directly. The only compensation that is given by the government will go to the lawyer and eventually the victim will receive money from the lawyer. So chances are that the victim will never get his money, because of this corrupt system.” Robert thinks that the system in the Netherlands is much better. ”One course that I take here at Tilburg University is about how they have special programs to support victims in the Netherlands. In the Netherlands a victim is getting support from the government or can expect compensation. He is assured that he gets the money since it is payed immediately from the government, because there is a fund for that. I think this is one of the best ways to approach a victim and when I am back in Kenya I want to introduce this system."

Lack of specialization in the field of Victimology in Africa

"I’ve always had a passion for criminology. After middle school I became a police officer, but then you are only focused on the crime and you’re not really helping the victim. In Africa there are less than four experts in victimology and all of them live in South-Africa. This field of expertise is just not really developed in Africa and I think it is really important to help victims. I am a criminology tutor at the public University in Kenya, but I am developing my expertise and I want to become a lecturer in Victimology. The reason why it is a dream for me to become skilled in Victimology is because for a long time the criminologists and the criminal justice have been ignoring victims in Kenya. Now, people are realizing that there is not only an accused person, but also a victim and we need to give attention to this person. It is a field that is in need of a specialist who can train others. So when I was looking on the internet for a university that was offering a specific course on Victimology, I found Tilburg University. When I read the course description I knew that this was what I really wanted."

It is the best thing someone else can do for you

"The scholarship was one of the best things that happened in my life. With the opportunity I’ve got to come to Tilburg University because of the scholarship, I’m so much closer to my dream of becoming a specialist in Victimology. My mission after graduating is to go back to Kenya and become a lecturer at the public University of Kenya and go tell students what Victimology is with all the knowledge that I gained here. The things that I know now about victim support, can change lives in my country. I understand that the victim support in the Netherlands is started as an NGO, so we can also start it in Kenya and the government will see this idea and then we can also apply it as the way it is in the Netherlands. With my knowledge, I can develop a good victim support system."

Making dreams come true

"I am very grateful that I got this scholarship. I appreciate it so much what the alumni have done for me to make my dream come true. Helping someone else is the best thing that you can do and I like to be part of this fund. In the future I want to donate a small amount to this fund as well. Somebody else can benefit so much when I give a little amount of money. Contributing just a little bit can already help someone else making his/her dream come true."