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113, December, 2016

22 December 2016

University Council Newsletter

Edition 113, meeting of 15 December 2016

Dear students and staff,

This is the last newsletter of the year. We wish you all a happy new year und wünschen euch allen einen guten Rutsch.


The University Council conditionally approved of the institution budget. The participation council has had right of consent since 2016 on the outline of the budget. For that reason the discussion of the institutional budget 2017 took centre stage in this meeting. The outline varies per institute. At the University Groningen the University Council has right of consent in respect of all allocations for Education, Research and ICT of an amount higher than 0.5 m and in respect of all real estate investments larger than 5m.

Not everything could be discussed publicly. On the agenda were, amongst others, the following items:

  • The intended decision by the Board of 28 November 2016 in respect of the Final distribution 2016 and the Institution budget 2017;
  • The financial framework 2017;
  • The multiannual perspective 2018-2020;
  • The response in this matter by the faculties and services boards;
  • The enclosed detail files;
  • The enclosed plan document UMCG-FMW 2017;
  • The Strategic Plan 2016-2020 and Long-Term Accommodation Plan 2016-2024;
  • The report by the Means Committee of 8 December 2016.


An important argument to grant the right of consent on outline in respect of the budget was the wish to participate in the investment of monies that are released as a result of the abolition of financial assistance for students. In 2018 these so-called study advance means will be become structurally available. Till 2018 all universities have agreed to jointly pre-invest 67 million annually. These investments are known under the name of pre-investments. On behalf of the students Lijst Calimero has asked the Board to make clear where the money is invested by our organisation. The Board replied that 2 million will be invested in the creation of study areas in the library and 2 million in education. A lot of money is transferred to faculties to invest in the student/staff-ratio. From this year on it is also obligatory to include a clear overview of the pre-investments till 2018 in the annual report. The participation council will keep on monitoring these investments as best as it can. It is important that this money is invested to the advantage of the students, after all they no longer get any financial support anymore.

Green University

The University of Groningen allocates a lot of money to making our university sustainable. This is, of course, an important development and the University Council expressed its appreciation in this matter. The Council, however, is taking a critical stand in respect of the means used to achieve this objective. Creating awareness and focussing on a broad range of activities is important, but it is even more important to make structural investments to actually make the university sustainable. The university must choose a direction and go for that choice to achieve certain ambitions. The Board has indicated to be aware of this. They also emphasized the importance of activities to increase awareness in general.

Scholars at Risk

The accepted motion in January 2015 of the University Council in respect of Scholars at Risk (SAR) of October 2014 continues to be executed unabated, for instance, through payment of the SAR membership, a scholarship once per year for a stay of six months from the programme of the SAR network to a maximum of €20.000, including travel and accommodation expenses.

Dean of Industrial Relations

The personnel faction and Lijst Calimero were especially critical of the amount that was to be made available for the new ‘Dean of Industrial Relations.’ Her job responsibilities lack according to these factions clear definition, respectively compared to the already existing Department Research & Valorisation and the presence of a Dean of Entrepreneurship. Among other reasons, they have jointly decided not to agree to the multi-annual budget for the new Dean. The university now has a year to clearly define her co-ordinating tasks. Next year she will report on her activities. Based on those results the participation council can decide again next year whether or not they will continue to make the money available

Clustering courses at Humanities

Before approving the budget on the above-mentioned condition Mr. De Baets of the staff faction asked for a vote-by-roll-call. His statement on his vote against was that he had strong doubts about the proposed clustering methodology in the management model of the Faculty. Intended savings were not supported by solid arguments.


It had been long expected that the University Groningen was to take a definitive GO/NO-GO decision on Yantai this month. The Council thus expected to receive the decision document this month from the University Groningen in Yantai as a document for advice to be discussed in our meeting. This, however, was not the case. Mr. Poppema, however, did announce an update on Yantai during the meeting. The subject was discussed in the Lower House on Wednesday 14 December in a General Meeting on internationalisation in education. Not until the summer of 2017 can the Minister give a decision on the substantiation of Transnational Education and after that the proposal still has to go through the motions in the Lower House. The University can start on the preparatory year in the autumn of 2018 at the earliest. This means that the project, in any case, has been postponed by one year.


The SOG drew attention in the University Council to the fact that taking MOOCs at the University of Groningen does not yet lead to the award of study points. In Wageningen and Delft this is the case. The response by the Board was that this is definitely for the future, but that the type of MOOCs offered in Groningen must be taken into consideration. To be continued.

For more information on any item the factions can be contacted at:

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. Last May the elections for the student faction were held and the elected students were officially appointed in the meeting of 1 September. 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).
  • The personnel faction is appointed for two years and its composition is the same as that of 2015-2016.
  • Due to taking up employment elsewhere Mr. M.H. Paapst of the Science faction has resigned his seat.


  • 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


-         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 . 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 4.23 p.m.
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