A list of the performance agreements that Dutch universities want to make next autumn with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) has this week been published on the VSNU website.
The target for the University of Groningen in the agreement package is to further improve students’ study results. The University is aiming to increase the percentage of students who complete their Bachelor’s degree in four years to 70 percent by 2015. The percentage of students who follow excellence programmes at the Honours College or the University College should be at least 7 percent by the same year.
The heart of the agreements, however, comprises not only students graduating successfully, but also lecturers devoting time to good teaching. By 2015, 80 percent of lecturers with a three-year or longer contract will have to have a UTQ (University Teaching Qualification). In order to stimulate teaching, the University of Groningen wants to experiment with ‘learning communities’, student cohorts that study together under the supervision of the same lecturers.
In addition, the first year of the degree programme will become more selective. The BSA threshold is being raised, and the programme information will be directed more to preventing student dropout in the second or third year.
The three profile themes in the Strategic Plan 2010-2015, Healthy Ageing, Energy and Sustainable Society, play an important role in the performance agreements. They form the umbrellas under which socially relevant research by parties within and outside the region is conducted. Collaboration is the key, with universities, universities of applied sciences and companies in the Northeast Netherlands, Europe and the rest of the world being the partners. The themes also dovetail with the government’s ‘top sectors’ policy and the ‘European Challenges’. This means the University will increasingly join consortia with public and private partners.
See Profileringsdocument en prestatieafspraken Rijksuniversiteit Groningen and the website VSNU. Both documents are in Dutch.
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