Thursday, the University Council approved the financial framework for 2017. During the meeting, the UG results in the International Student Barometer were also extensively discussed. In general, international students are
very happy with the University
. The Board and the Council mainly exchanged views on the points where improvement is possible: Food & Drinks, accommodation and preparation for the labour market.
The questions posed by the Council about the financial framework for 2017 were related to the starting value per faculty to fund academic research and the freely disposable part of the budget. The Board of the University holds to its position that the decision-making behind the starting values and the division over the various faculties is not open to debate. After all, the starting value is that part of the faculty budget that is intended for the academic infrastructure of the faculties and is emphatically separate to the funding for teaching. It ensures stable funding for the infrastructure. Any flexibility in the budget is governed by fluctuations in the parameter segment.
Vice President of the Board Jan de Jeu also underlined that the right of consent held by the Council applies to the budget for the funds from direct government funding and not to the University’s private resources. ‘Previously there was no difference made between the public and private resources. At the request of the Ministry, we now do so in relation to the planned branch campus in Yantai, which must be funded entirely from private monies. Incidentally, the budget as a whole is discussed with the Council.’
‘Career Services will remain one of the most important policy issues for the foreseeable future', was Rector Magnificus Elmer Sterken’s reaction to questions from the Council about the International Student Barometer. ‘That applies to Dutch students of course, but even more so to international students. The least we can do is ensure that international students are properly informed about the opportunities on the Dutch labour market.’
President of the Board Sibrand Poppema was disappointed in the poor scores for the UG in the field of accommodation for international students. ‘But we mustn’t forget that important steps towards new buildings have been taken. They have been delayed by the earthquake issue in Groningen, but will be completed within a few years. The aim to realize more good quality housing rather than just retire outdated accommodation, for example the Diaconessenhuis, will be achieved this summer. The aim remains clear – we want more and better accommodation for all students, including in the short term.’ The issue is also on the agenda of the Municipality of Groningen. Discussions between the UG and the municipality recently led to the setting up of
a helpline where students can submit complaints about exploitative landlords
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