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96, April, 2015

13 May 2015

University Council Newsletter, edition 96

A number of subjects of the last UCouncil meeting 214

1.    Matching
The objective of matching is to support students in their choice of the right study programme and thus reduce the dropout rate. At first glance it seems that matching is not having the desired effect. The number of students that drop out prematurely does not appear to have gone down considerably after having taken part in the matching activities. Yet, the UCouncil has grave doubts about the accuracy of this conclusion.  For instance, it turns out that there is a large difference in the activities organised by the programmes. Only 40% of the programmes offer a follow-up activity after filling out the questionnaire. Only 3% of the students were given the (orange) advice to reconsider.
This makes it difficult to draw a general conclusion on the effectivity of the matching activities. Also, next year matching activities will be organised again. These will be evaluated by a group of experts.

2.    Benchmarks per Faculty
Under  the agenda item of the financial framework the UCouncil discussed the outline of the allocation model with the Board . This model is the key to the distribution of government funding among the various   faculties. After a discussion on the question whether or not the UCounil has to right of consent in respect of the allocation model, if there are no changes in respect of last year, the discussion was also about  the distribution of the so-called benchmarks. The Chair of the Board explained that the sciences and medicine (beta) get more money than the alfa and gamma faculties (more expensive infrastructure), but the Chair was unable to explain the differences between the alfa and gamma faculties. The law faculty, viewed per student, gets relatively the least money, while the pressure of work is high there. The UCouncil agreed to the current distribution when  promised by the Board that, next year, research will be carried out into a fair and transparent distribution of the distribution of the benchmarks among the alfa and gamma faculties.

3.  Reorganisation Graphic Services and Document Processing
The Reorganisation Plan Concept has been submitted for advice this month. For the RUG the plan includes a new form of procurement: Best Value Procurement, BVP. This is new in that this procurement process consists of more than one stage – staggered  procurement. The second stage will only be rounded off in September. The UCouncil wishes to include that outcome in its advice.  It was discussed with the Board to let the reorganisation plan take place also incrementally. The Board agreed to the first part and  deferred the final advice till September or October.

4.  Evaluation free Dutch language courses
These Dutch language courses offered free of charge by the University are extremely popular. The UCouncil raised a number of problem areas. There is by no means enough space and staff to process all applications. The Board is therefore looking at extra funding possibilities. In addition, the dropout rate is considerable and there is room for improvement in respect of the communication towards student and staff.
Both the staff and the student sections made several recommendations, which will be incorporated into the continuation of the Dutch language course. Moreover, the participants will fill out questionnaires, which should result in improvements of the courses.

5.  Students proposal UCouncil Regulations and Rules of Procedure
Last month the UCouncil did not only meet with the Board, but it also met internally. The student section launched a proposal to somewhat reorganise ‘us and ourselves’. By having an external chairperson and by, for instance, dividing the tasks of the vice-chairperson among the chairperson, the clerk and representatives of all factions the students aim to make the UCouncil stronger and more efficient. Not the entire personnel section deemed the time ripe to decide on this issue. For that reason an extra internal  UCouncil meeting was held on 7 May. During that meeting a comprise text was drafted that must be ratified by the Board. The plan is that these textual changes in the regulation will be put up for vote by the UCouncil in the meeting of 28 May.

  Monday, Mai 18,  9:00 till Monday, May 25,  17:00  you can vote for the University Council. Via website www.rug.nl/verkiezingen .

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Disclaimer: The text above is an impression of topics discussed in the UC and should not be regarded as official statements with regard to decisions taken in the UC.

Last modified:19 March 2019 10.58 a.m.
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