Each month we will share an update from the group on the website. In these updates, the group tells what is going on within the University Student Council (USC), what issues have come up in the Joint Assembly and what the opinion of asap is.
On Wednesday, September 1, the USC was officially installed, which means that we have been working as a group for a little over a month now. The first cycle has been completed and with it the first Joint Meeting (JM) with the Executive Board (CvB) and the Works Council (OR). Although the USC has only just begun, interesting events and files have already passed. In this update we would like to take you through them with a brief look back at last month anyway.
Prior to the GV, members of the OR and USC meet in committees. The committees are divided as follows: Finance, Personnel and Real Estate (FPV), Education, Research and Students (OOS) and Strategy, ICT and Impact (SII). In these committee meetings, we can ask informative questions to policy staff about the submitted policy documents. Naturally, asap was well represented at these committees. Rizka chairs the SII committee meetings and members of the group participated in all committee meetings. In this cycle, a number of topics have been discussed including the institutional tuition fees for 2022-2023, a plan for the strategic collaboration between Radboud University and Radboudumc, and leave dorms.
USC working groups
Last month the USC started again with the working groups. In these working groups various members of the council take place to brainstorm about new ideas they want to implement and/or achieve this year. For this purpose, the USC drew up joint focus points in October that serve as the basis for the work of the working groups. In the next section, we tell you more about our focus points. Each of the working groups includes at least two of our group members, so the party is also well represented within the working groups. We think that together with this distribution and the positive final result of the focus points, the election points of asap can be well implemented.
Each year, the University Student Council establishes focus points to briefly and concisely indicate the most important issues they will be working on that year. This way we looked at which topics are currently important at the Radboud University. These topics therefore deserve extra attention. For the coming academic year 2021-2022 the USC wants to focus mainly on the following themes. In order to improve education even more, we find it necessary to pay sufficient attention to the quality of education and the harmonization of faculties. It is also considered very important to look at improvement in the study climate, where possible, and to encourage and promote a vibrant and sustainable campus. In addition, the council is also concerned with the shape and form of the change in the identity of Radboud University after the Catholic predicate is dropped. Of course, the social safety, welfare and personal development of students is also something that the USC will be much involved with in the coming year.
Furthermore, the first meeting of the Shadow Group took place. The shadow group meets twice per GV cycle (six weeks) to discuss policy documents that are on the agenda and the implementation of the election program. If you are interested in being involved in university policy and would like to provide input on how certain issues should be handled, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and join the shadow faction!
Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg
The Interstedelijk Studenten Overleg (ISO) represents the interests of students in higher education in the Netherlands. The USR therefore considers it important to stay in close contact with this organization. As one of the ISO contacts, Seray attended the first meeting of the ISO working group last Friday in Utrecht. A few weeks ago, the ISO also organized a working weekend. Nathalie and Seray represented the group of asap there. They gained a lot of new knowledge and skills on the topic of participation in higher education, from communicating with the supporters to financing higher education. In addition, it was very valuable to meet all kinds of other groups that are part of University Student Councils at other universities and colleges. Besides the different workshops and networking, there was also an interesting discussion about admission tickets in higher education. So all in all, it was a very interesting, but certainly enjoyable weekend.
This year we have the first international fraction for asap and only the second international university student council. While this of course is a positive development and a good step for the internationalization, it does require some extra attention. In the meetings with our fraction and the USC the main language is English so that everyone has equal chances to participate. This means everyone speaks English as much as possible, if Dutch is being used once, then someone will translate it. In the official meetings with the USC there is an interpreter present to make participation still possible despite Dutch still being the main language. Everyone in the party, the fraction and the USC is very positive about internationalization and very supportive in that matter. That creates a very safe environment where everyone makes sure participation for everyone is always possible and misunderstandings are avoided. Additionally it allows us to take active steps forwards for internationalization within the USC and university to make student participation more accessible for future international students.