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Nienke de Deugd

Nienke de Deugd
Nienke de Deugd

This summer, it will be twenty years since I first came to Groningen. As a student, then as a PhD student, and nowadays as an Assistant Professor at the department of International Relations and International Organization (Faculty of Arts) I have come to know the University of Groningen as a dynamic academic community that can take pride in a high level of both education and research.

As a member of the University Council I hope to ensure that these qualities are preserved and – wherever possible – improved upon!

As a former program director for undergraduate studies in International Relations and International Organization I have experience in educational innovation; be it the Binding Study Advice, decentralized selection, internationalization of the curriculum, continuous assessment, or small-scale and high-intensity teaching. I am no stranger to the significance of rankings, output percentages, and performance agreements. At the same time, I am convinced that meeting these quantitative standards can only be achieved by continuous investments in what is the core business of the university: education and research. It is through the dedication of a motivated staff (at all levels of the organization) that we can assure high-level output; not the other way around.

As a member of the University Council I will stress the following:

  • Projects such as the Yantai branch must not lead to a drain on resources, an additional burden on members of staff, or a loss of attention to developments in Groningen. External adventures can never come at the expense of the core tasks of the university.
  • Offering permanent positions to lecturers will break the cycle of coaching colleagues only to see them leave by the time they have become experienced teachers and assets to their respective departments. In turn, holding on to excellent teaching staff will help ease the pressure on staff with allocated research time.
  • The success of educational innovations relies on clear communication about the why and how, as well as on substantial support for the departments concerned.
  • Many members of staff experience a very high workload. With this in mind, the university should not promote working on the weekend by scheduling exams on Friday evening or Saturday morning.
Last modified:19 May 2015 3.33 p.m.
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