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117, April 2017

28 April 2017

Newsletter of the University Council, Edition 117, meeting in April 2017 - In May there are elections for UCouncil; students and staff.

Update Financial Framework

The University Council discussed the division of the General Income over the period 2018-2021 today.

Study Advance Funds

An important part of the discussion was the reallocation of the to be released funds as a result of the abolishment of the basic scholarship. In 2015, this scholarship was repealed with the promise that the money saved through this measure would be reinvested in the quality of our education. Sadly, it's still not certain if our future minister will be keeping this promise. Fortunately, we have already been able to make several arrangements with the Board of the University about investing these funds into next year's budget. Regardless, the Board of the University has promised the University Council that these funds are going to be invested, which means that for next year 4,67 million extra euro's will be invested into the UG. The Board has consented today with investing the entirety of these funds into employing more teachers across the faculties. However, the Board of the University did raise the concern that the faculties are currently already in possession of a lot of unused funds, but are in some cases still unable to provide full time employment for staff members. What's most important in the end, is that the investment of these funds should of course lead to reaching the desired effect. It's very important to be able to check whether the money that is being funnelled away from students is actually improving the quality of our education. We have therefore arranged with the Board of the University that appropriate steps will be taken to assure sufficient control over this process, and that we are able to take steps to prevent issues if they arise. We as co-determination will be constantly involved in this process. For the students, this was an important condition before they would give their consent on the multi-year budget.

Education Committees

Secondly, the Education Committees were discussed. In November, Lijst Calimero filed a note for improving said committees. In the multi-year budget, the amount of 25.000 euro's was allotted to training Education Committees. Lijst Calimero asked the Board of the University to further increase this funding in the case that the faculties conclude that the aforementioned amount proves insufficient.

Dean Entrepreneurship

The staff faction was critical of the large amount of money to be spent on Dean Entrepreneurship. This Dean has the responsibility of stimulating entrepreneurship among students so that they could possibly be self-employed after finishing their degree programme, and learn many academic values of entrepreneurship. The Board of the University made the following commitments in regards on this topic: -The University Council agrees with 690K for the Dean in the following year. -Consent for the following years has been postponed until the budget meeting this December. Before then, we should receive a report/evaluation (No specific date for the release of this document has been given).

Ceiling Amount for Study Costs

During the University Council meeting, there was a discussion about the ceiling amount for study costs. This number is set annually, and it determines how much can maximally be asked of students with regards to the purchasing of study materials, lab coats, and excursions. Right now, this number is directly linked to the inflation, and shall therefore remain the same this year. However, because research from ISO has shown that the purchasing power of students in 2017 has already decreased by 1,17-1,20%, in part due to the loan system, Lijst Calimero decided to give a critical speech on the subject. They are of the opinion that the ceiling amount of study costs should be looked at again with a critical eye. The Board of the University will look into how exactly this ceiling amount is constructed, and if it can perhaps be lowered in the future.

Arrangement Job Completion

The Board of the University and the University Council discussed this arrangement elaborately in both the University Council meeting and the Committee Meeting. The complexity of the rules around businesses that are not doing very well is a problem that is formally acknowledged by all parties. An ad hoc approach was therefore unavoidable in this case, because the situation demanded a quick response. The Board promised to communicate to HR that they nevertheless should strive for more permanent appointments. HR requested to mostly supply cases where there would be a shortage of adequate conflict mediation. Eventually, the staff consented and the students gave a positive advice.

Memo Administrative Group

The University Council was pleased with the memo: The committee had done excellent work, and followed through with very concrete proposals. Even though it's an FSE committee, almost all problems that were found were UG-wide, or at least present in multiple faculties. The recommendations can therefore be adopted almost literally.

-The Board of the University adopts the action points.

-The University Council will observe if the solutions are applied properly? (PCDA)

Questionnaire Lijst Calimero about Online Open Days

In 2016, Lijst Calimero filed a note on Online Open Days. By facilitating Online Open Days, students worldwide can meet in the Online Open Days environment and be introduced to Groningen without having to actually travel there. The department of Communication of the UG reacted positively to the idea at the time. For this reason, Lijst Calimero asked the University Council about the process and when the programme will first open to the international students. Next week, the new marketing plan will be presented, and then it will also be known whether Online Open Days is a part of this.

KEI-week and International Students

During the previous University Council meeting, the Board of the University made an announcement regarding the KEI-week. From the summer of 2018 onwards, there will be more activities organised for international students during the KEI-week and the two weeks that follow it. The goal of the measure is to foster a higher level of inclusion between native and international students. Consequently, the University Council read to us from the document. Internationalization of the University’s Introduction Period. From this document it became clear that there will be a three-week introduction programme that will be organised by a committee under supervision of the ESN. Furthermore, a committee will be formed from within the UG that will look at which measures could be taken to make Groningen more attractive to international students. The student factions of the council already have the promise from the Board of the University that they will be involved in the fleshing out of these plans.


For more information on any item the factions can be contacted at: http://www.rug.nl/about-us/organization/administrative/participation/uraad/university-council/composition

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.

On behalf of the staff two factions have a seat on the council: The PF (Personnel Faction with chair Bart Beijer and members Dinie Bouwman, Toon De Baets, Casper Albers, Olaf Scholten, Marcel Ruiters, Rieza Aprianto, Nienke de Deugd and Gert Jan Bokdam and The SF (Science Faction with chair Nicolai Petkov and member Laurence Gormley. (One seat of the SF is unoccuppied. Due to taking up employment elsewhere Mr. M.H. Paapst of the Science faction has resigned his seat.)

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).

Appointments

  • 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

Contact

-         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 uraad@rug.nl . 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 4.20 p.m.

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