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114, January, 2017

09 March 2017

University Council Newsletter

Edition 114, from the meeting of 26th of January 2017

Institution decision accreditation committee

During the discussion of the institution decision in respect of the accreditation committee the student factions have asked a number of critical questions about the accreditation plan of the UG. In outline, they are positive about the intention behind the accreditation plan, i.e. that the university, university of applied sciences (Hanze) and the municipal council together with student organisations want to work towards a healthy and safe student community in Groningen. The committee will track the student community during the entire year. This is in contrast to the ACI , Advisory Committee Introduction times, which is focused on the introduction period. However, all factions in the Council are critical of the current mandate given to the accreditation committee.

The Staff faction responded in a different manner to the present document compared to the students. They are firmly of the opinion that a tough line must be drawn. If student associations do not comply with agreements and do not put sufficient effort into bringing about changes in culture, then they feel that the Board must take firm action.

As yet it is not clear which student associations will be asked in future to participate in the accreditation. At the moment Vindicat participates. As litmus test the staff faction proposed the participation of Albertus Magnus. According to the rector the ACI is also asked to advise on this issue, but as far as the Board is concerned this need not just be about student associations, but could also be about sport and study associations. How the accreditation committee will determine this cannot be clarified by the Board yet, because they lack objective criteria. The Board shares the opinion of the student faction that student organisation are autonomous, and that they themselves must be willing to critically evaluate their organisation by means of an accreditation. The students are inclined to view the intended culture change as something that can only be achieved over a longer period.

The Staff faction does not support a gradual push back, culture change over a longer period of time. You cannot first aim at ‘a few less incidents’.

AMD year plan

The university council expressed appreciation of the report and gave a positive advice in respect of the plans.

The document devotes ample attention to the environmental aspect of the RUG units, increase in waste is continually monitored. The road towards a sustainable university need not always be innovative and renewing. 'Simply' switching off the light and closing the windows would already make a big difference, and for that reason the SOG has advised the Board to bring this to the attention of the relevant units, and to increase awareness of this waste of energy. The rector manfully accepted this order to check windows and lamps at nightfall – albeit with pain in his back ;-)

International Strategy and Relations

This month the university presented its plans in the area of internationalisation. The university clearly envisages a future with far-reaching internationalisation. For instance, it wishes to open up a branch campus in Yantai, to take in more international students and staff and to offer more international programmes.  

All parties in the council re-emphasized the fact that internationalization is more than just offering programmes in English or increased numbers of international students. When the student community is becoming increasingly international it is also important that there is sufficient integration between students of various backgrounds and that students and staff have sufficient command of the English language.

Tuition free managing

Now that the Act Strengthening Administration Authority (de Wet Versterking Bestuurskracht) is in force, it has become possible for universities to let students manage free from tuition fees, while they still maintain some rights in respect of DUO. Unlike many other Dutch universities and to great satisfaction among students, the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen has decided to make managing tuition free possible in line with the new Act. This means that students who take part in full-time management next year can stay registered at the RUG , so that they can still borrow from DUO and make use of their student travel product. These are two facilities student managers until now were unable to make use of if they did not pay tuition fees.  

New salary administration - mail

The Council drew the Board’s attention to the fact that a great deal of employees was confused as a result of two emails about the changed log-in procedure with new passwords to view their pay slips. These types of emails, until recently, were banned by the RUG – employees received fake mail so as to learn how to recognise fishing mails. The employees concerned were suspicious of the emails and deleted them. The Chair of the Board Poppema understood this line of thinking and promised to move HR to approach those concerned individually, if necessary by letter to their home address – though no system is absolutely secure, the Board emphasised.

·         Next meeting of the Council will be February 16.

·         Committee meetings February 9 are cancelled.

For more information on any item the factions can be contacted at:

About the Council:

In our newsletters we summarise the issues that are discussed in the last meeting. Welcome to the academic year 2016-2017. We are the University Council; twelve students and twelve employees who work for almost everything that concerns us all. We meet on the third Thursday of each month in three committees:

  • Research and Education,
  • Management, and
  • Facilities,

Followed, a week later, by a public University Council meeting. In these meetings we advise and check the Board and this way we contribute to the policy of the University of Groningen.

The really first newsletter of each academic year – the next one – is sent to all students and employees of the university. If, subsequently, you would like to be kept up to date of our efforts and the university’s policy each month, then, subscribe to this newsletter . Information on the University Council can also be found on our website and via our Twittertwitter account @uraadrug .

Composition University Council 2016-2017

  • The university council consists of 12 students and 12 employees. Last May the elections for the student faction were held and the elected students were officially appointed in the meeting of 1 September. On behalf of the students the following three factions have a seat on the Council:
  • Studenten Organisatie Groningen (SOG) (6 members: Mr. E.K.A. Clark, Mr. A.I. Esser, and Mrs. I.W. Hanemaaijer, Mr. M. de Vries, Mr. B.C. Zandt, Mrs. M. Zuidema),
  • Lijst Calimero (5 members: Mrs. H. Berretz, Mr. D. van Dijk, Mrs. H.H.E. Oelen, Mrs. T. van de Werve, Mrs. N de Winter) and
  • Lijst STERK (member: Mr. P.L. Polhuis).
  • The personnel faction is appointed for two years and its composition is the same as that of 2015-2016.
  • Due to taking up employment elsewhere Mr. M.H. Paapst of the Science faction has resigned his seat.


  • M.C. Huiskes is re-elected as external chairperson of the University Council.
  • The Presidium 2016-2017 consists of: M.C. Huiskes, B.A.A. Beijer, L.W. Gormley, E.K.A. Clark, D. van Dijk and P.L. Polhuis.
  • In addition E.K.A. Clark is appointed as member of the public at the University Committee for Education


-         Do you want to be informed of what goes on in our university and subscribe to or unsubscribe from this newsletter ?

-         Please send questions about the newsletter, or questions/remarks about other issues to . We really appreciate your input!

-         Check us out online

-         University Council: website , twitter

-         Personnel faction: website , twitter , Facebook

-         Academic/science faction: twitter

-         Lijst Calimero: website , twitter , Facebook

-         SOG: website , twitter , Facebook

-         Lijst STERK: website , twitter , Facebook

Last modified:14 November 2018 11.35 a.m.
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