University Council Newsletter, edition 85, Meeting UCouncil 199 February 27.
· Binding study advice
· Transfer RUG employees to Google Apps
· Framework new quality protocol
· Matching; student and programme of study
· Teaching and Examination Regulation model: discussion on HBO propaedeutic students
· Texts UCouncil in English
Binding study advice
Each year, an eagerly awaited event: the progress report on the Binding Study Advice. In the meeting of February the Executive Board gave the UCouncil data on the numbers of students who either have or have not achieved the BSA norm of 45 credits. The picture seemed positive; the number of students who achieve the norm has increased by a few per cent compared to last year. As a result the Executive Board’s policy remains unchanged.
The UCouncil students drew attention to students with a negative BSA embarking again on a programme of study at the RUG. These students may possibly find studying more difficult resulting in a lower success rate for the RUG. It was proposed to offer these students a matching procedure so that they are properly selected before they start studying again. The UCouncil students hope that this will lead to as few as possible students dropping out a second time.
Transfer RUG employees to Google Apps
Soon employees also, just like students, will have their email transferred to Google Apps.
In the project plan ‘Migration to Google Apps for Education (GAfE) the following requirement was included in 2012: “Security and privacy aspects must be sufficiently guaranteed; raising user-awareness and providing encrypted mail play a crucial role here. If this requirement cannot be met then this might possibly result in not being able to use GAfE as a whole or for certain user (groups)”.
In accordance with the Privacy Regulation of the RUG the Executive Board must make provisions for the necessary facilities of a technical and organisational nature for the safeguarding of personal data of both students and staff against unauthorised use of these data.
The UCouncil does not have the intention to call the introduction of Google Apps itself into question or to delay it unnecessarily. However, the Council is of the opinion that the guarantees for privacy and security of data given by the Board are (not yet) sufficiently convincing. Especially, taking note of the fact that some Faculties are willing to offer, only to a limited extent, to their employees the opt-out rule requested by the UCouncil earlier (as a result of which the present mail provision will be available a bit longer). For this reason, all members of the Council have argued for better information on My University on the use of the Unishare Dropbox and encryption, and for personal support by CIT at the workstation for those who wish to use encryption. In the UCouncil’s opinion this would be a simple promise by the Executive Board and a powerful gesture towards an anxious employee.
Framework new quality protocol
For a long time, the RUG system of quality care has been an important point of attention in the work of the UCouncil. Also, as a result of the university accreditation the system has been scrutinized thoroughly in the past year. This month the Executive Board presented to the UCouncil a memorandum outlining a number of new types of framework. An important element is the so-called quick scan to detect possible problem areas in educational quality fast. This might replace some existing measuring instruments. All in all this should not increase pressure of work – which already is prevalent in quality care. For that reason the UCouncil responded positively.
Matching; student and programme of study
From this year onwards it will be really clear in the RUG programmes: prospective students, prior to their official enrolment, will take a study choice check; a type of assessment. The UCouncil has on a number of occasions asked the Executive Board as to how the RUG will implement this precisely and things became clearer this month. The general objective is to check whether or not a student and programme are a match and vice versa. The matching procedure should minimise the drop out risk. May 1 is the final date for registration. Foreign students are exempted, the reason being, that they have already shown motivation by finding and approaching the RUG. Besides this, each student has a right to information about a programme – even after 1 May. Matching activities are determined per Faculty. The question posed by the UCouncil about how much time and money was involved remained as yet unanswered. The Council emphasized the need for a good and timely communication with all prospective students.
Teaching and Examination Regulation model: discussion on HBO propaedeutic students
The Model Teaching and Examination Regulation is, as a rule, a type of service provided by the Executive Board: it is an example for the Teaching and Examination Regulations of the Faculties. The document of this year led to a discussion with the Executive Board about the authority of the UCouncil: right of consent, yes or no? Reason for this was the fact that in the model Regulation more often than before general and compulsory provisions of the Executive Board are included that must be adopted by all Faculties, e.g. the BSA norm and the bachelor-before-master rule. Admission of students with an HBO propaedeutic diploma (HAVO – senior second general education background) also seemed a general provision, which met with resistance of the UCouncil. This eventually resulted in a modification by the Executive Board of some provisions in the Regulation and the possibility for Faculties to determine themselves how (and whether) they will admit HBO propaedeutic students. They can do this based on an analysis of past study results. The idea is that from now on HBO propaedeutic students will be selected based on appropriate and predictive criteria.
Texts UCouncil in English
For 18 months now an English speaking student has been a member of the UCouncil that mainly meets in Dutch. With the necessary language support the student manages to represent the ‘internationals’ in the general participation council. Quite regularly the student reminds the Executive Board of its earlier promise to write its memoranda in English, or at least to give English summaries. The Board in the last meeting recognised the need for this and made it known that from now the promise will be kept..
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Personeel U-raad RUG @PersoneelUraad
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Disclaimer: The text above is an impression of topics discussed in the UR and should not be regarded as official statements with regard to decisions taken in the UR.
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