University Council Newsletter, edition 88, Meeting 206, September 2014
- About us- Numerus fixus (entry quota) and decentralized selection at the RUG- Quality care at the RUG- Matching regulation- Pressure of work- Re-organisation Graphic Services- Re-appointment of the entire Board of the University
Welcome to our first Newsletter of the academic year 2014-2015. We are the University Council; twelve students and twelve members of staff who dedicate themselves to almost all issues that concern all of us. Every month we meet on the third Thursday in three committees: Research and education, Management and Resources. A week later the big UCouncil meeting is held. In these meetings we advise and check the Board, and in this way we contribute to the RUG’s policy. Furthermore, we also have the right of consent, for instance in respect of the Strategic Plan 2015-2020, the long-term policy of our University. Do you want to stay informed of our efforts and the University’s policy then subscribe to this Newsletter!Editors University Council 2014/2015"
Numerus fixus and decentralized selection at the RUG
For a number of years now the RUG has had a numerus fixus for Dentistry and Medicine, but now also for programmes such as IBIO and Psychology. The RUG is aiming to expand the numerous fixus, because this also provides an opportunity to select students at ‘the gate’. For instance, there are plans to expand the fixus with a decentralized selection to all the programmes of the Faculty of Economics and Business. That means that motivation and personality will be increasingly important on admission. The University Council has accepted present plans for decentralised selection. The Council is of the opinion that grades primarily must not be taken into consideration to predict success of prospective students. It is expected, that as a result of decentralized selection, suitable and motivated students will embark on a programme. For programmes where decentralized selection does not apply matching will play a role ( see below in this Newsletter) .
Quality care at the RUG
Last month the Quality care protocol of the RUG was dealt with again. This document described the system and instruments of quality care for the whole of the RUG so as to check, improve and safeguard in a structured manner the quality of education of the whole University. Its importance is beyond dispute for the University Council. We are pleased to note that this task is being taken seriously by the Board also. Although, some anxiety was expressed about the execution of the protocol. The many evaluations will again lead to extra pressure of work for staff (see below) and for students it remains important that more students are involved in the quality evaluations and that communication in respect of the various evaluations is clearer. We will keep an eye on this, but we are positive for the time being.
Matching regulation 2015-2016
It is important that there is a match between prospective students and the programme they wish to enrol in. That is why matching has taken place at the RUG since 2013. Early on, prospective students make contact with the programme they want to register for, so as to find out whether their expectations about the programme match the actual substance of the programme. Matching takes place by means of a questionnaire and an activity. Prospective students, for the time being, retain the freedom to choose a programme of their choice.The University Council is both positive and critical in respect of the matching regulation. From an emotional point of view it seems good that students are encouraged to make a well-considered choice. The ultimate aim is that students end up where they should be. Whether the RUG matching regulation has a positive influence on the drop out and switch rate remains to be seen. That is why, at the request of the University Council, there will be an evaluation and a discussion on this issue with the Board next year.
Pressure of work
The pressure of work at the University is too high according to the Personnel faction of the University Council. On top of their regular tasks, employees have to deal with many additional issues, such as year interviews, accreditations, course evaluations, quick scans, basic qualifications, annual reports, etc. And there is no end in sight for the time being. The Board assumes that monies released, after the introduction of the social loan system, can be used for the employment of extra staff. The personnel faction will wait and see before believing this.As recently as June and not for the first time, the University Council requested a memorandum, from the Board with the facts on pressure of work, staff-student ration per faculty. The Board promised such a memorandum in the last meeting. For a cri de coeur about the pressure at work.
Re-organisation Graphic Services
There is a re-organisation in the pipeline at Grafimedia and the Logistics and Digital Information Provision departments. The UCouncil has received an official notification about this from the Board. The idea is that the departments are transformed into a so-called 'regieorganisatie’ or 'governance and sourcing management'. Coupled with the real threat of dismissal for the employees concerned of Facilities and the Bureau this is a real cause for concern for the University Council. Besides, the re-organisation is complicated, also because there is talk of outsourcing and there will parties in the market that will influence this process. The results of a market research into possible outsourcing of the three departments are, as yet on Thursday 25 September, unknown.
Reappointment of the entire Board of the RUG
The members of the Board are appointed by the Supervisory Board. These supervisors ask advice in respect of substance from the University Council for the appointment/reappointment. The UCouncil bases its advice on past experiences with the Board members and the UCouncil has individual meetings on achievements so far and on future activities. These are confidential meetings, and can therefore not be reported. On the other hand, an aspect of the procedure followed this year can be mentioned.It was remarkable that the Supervisory Board reappointed all Board members at the same time this year. The term of some had not expired yet. The UCouncil voiced it protest against this simultaneous appointment. This protest made it to the UK, for instance.
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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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