Agenda items of the UCouncil meeting of 30 October - The UG against the yardstick - Education under scrutiny - What’s NEXT? - The implementation of Result & Development interviews - Preview of the meeting month of November
1. The UG against the yardstick: profiling and performance indicators The UG has agreements with the Ministry of Education, Cultural Affairs and Science about performance to be delivered. Next year, the Groningen university will be judged on performance and will have to show whether or not certain objectives have been achieved sufficiently. The range of performance and profiling indicators at our university is a varied one. The entire organisation must perform; both students and staff. For instance, getting a Bachelor’s degree in 4 years (BA-4), reduction in study switch, reduction in drop-out rate, but also Basic Qualifications in Education ( BKOs) and the number of female professors. To measure this there are indicators that provide insight into where the university was at a number of years ago, the situation now and where it wants to be in a number of years. A number of agreements have already been achieved, such as the growth to 30,000 students, the yield figure BA-4 and the start of University College. Other issues still require a lot of hard work; for instance, the number of registrations for research masters, female professors and lecturers with a BKO. Still plenty to do in the years ahead.
2. Education under scrutiny
The UG Education Monitor is a document in which the results of the various quality evaluations of faculty and programme level are collated. It shows the general education quality of the UG at this moment; and for that reason it was an important item on the agenda in the UCouncil meeting. Via the education monitor, among other things, particular subjects are considered that require more attention from a central policy level. The monitor showed in particular that the alignment of education and employment, testing, and the number of teaching rooms are deserving of more attention at the UG. The Board’s response in this respect is investing in the career centre NEXT, looking into hiring extra location for testing, shortening the exams and the professionalization of the Examination Boards. The University Council in particular criticised the shortening of the exams. Right now it seems that this is mostly based on capacity problems rather than on educational reasons.
3. What’s NEXT? Career Services & Employability
In the past year, the UG has developed the so-called NEXT Career Services so as to prepare students, from an academic context, for a successful career. The student factions in the UCouncil closely follow these developments and they have raised several aspects in the last UCouncil meeting. To improve visibility and interpretation of NEXT Career Services and to determine strategy, a task group Career Services & Employability was set up, according to the Board. Also several student associations will take part so as to guarantee good collaboration. The name NEXT will probably also soon change so that it is immediately clear to students what this organisation is about. In addition, the University Board has promised to invest in more staff, more career-focused activities and career offices at various locations, including Zernike.
4. The implementation of Result & Development interviews: an evaluation
Last year, the Result & Development interviews (R & D interviews) were introduced on a large scale. How does the UG staff view this? The UCouncil received an evaluation report and discussed the most important findings. Only 65% of the support staff and 48% of the teaching staff find the R& D interviews important. Managers experience the time involved not always as useful. The form is aimed at recording SMART formulated agreements between employee and manager. Apparently, about half the staff is less than positive about this. The lack of a real career perspective raises in many interviews, for instance, the question of the possible effect of the interviews.
The UCouncil has proposed, among others, the following points for improvement:
- More attention for the influence of the personal situation on performance at work.
– Obligation on the UG as employer to employ a certain percentage of employees with a physical or mental impairment.
- Attention for the interpretation of the so-called development days, in conformity with the Collective Labour Agreement.
- Attention for the interpretation and implementation of career perspectives, so that the acceptance of the R& D interviews possibly improves.
The Board is of the opinion that to a large extent the points for improvement have already been implemented. Attention for personal circumstances (e.g. a handicap) could be more explicit. The UCouncil, in view of these answers, is a bit more confident about the sequel.
5. Preview of the meeting month of November
The month has only just begun, but a lot has happened in the UCouncil. Thus, the students made use of their right of initiative by means of memoranda on entrepreneurship and lecturing student-assistants and a motion on Scholars at Risk was written by the Personnel faction. Furthermore, the Board will present a response to an earlier memorandum on safety and mobility of cycling students. Also, the language policy at the UG will be discussed as well as the compensation for UG committee meetings and the Annual Report of the Advisory Committee on introduction times. Moreover, the Anniversary is to be evaluated. Conclusion: the last but one UCouncil meeting of 2014 promises to be quite a meeting!
UCouncil on Twitter:
Personeel U-raad RUG @PersoneelUraad
Lijst Calimero @lijstcalimero
Lijst STERK @lijststerk
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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.
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