Every month we will share an update from the group on the website. In this update, the group explains what is going on within the USR, which issues have come up in the Joint Assembly and what asap’s opinion is.
The new University Student Council (USR) was officially installed on the 2nd of September, which means that we have been working together for a month now. The first Joint Assembly Cycle has been completed and with it the first Joint Assembly with the Executive Board (CvB) and the Works Council has taken place. Although the 24th USR has only just started, there are interesting events and topics that have passed by. In this update we would like to inform you on the highlights of the past Cycle, and give a brief look ahead to upcoming month.
Prior to the Joint Assembly, the members of the Works Council and the USR meet in committees. There are the following three committees: Finance, Personnel and Real Estate (FPV), Education, Research and Students (OOS) and Strategy, ICT and Impact (SII). In these committee meetings we can ask policy officers informative questions about the submitted policy documents. Group asap is represented in all three committees. Rick chairs the meetings of the OOS committee and the other members of the group participated in the FPV and OOS committees. SII did not meet during this Cycle. In this Cycle, a number of topics were discussed, including a reorganisation within Radboud Services, an update on the safeguarding of digital security and privacy and the Action Plan for Sustainability in Education. We would like to elaborate on this last point.
Sustainability in education
The Action Plan for Sustainability in Education emerged from the Strategy “A Significant Impact” and provides a framework for Radboud University’s programmes to incorporate more sustainability topics in education. The members of the USR are enthusiastic about the ambition of the plan and have mainly asked questions about the further implementation. The framework that is outlined, requires further elaboration from the faculties. As far as the USR is concerned, it is important for the university’scodetermination to keep an eye on the process to guarantee the increasing attention from sustainability in the programmes and to prevent the existence of only a paper reality. We hope to see this more in our lectures this year. We look forward to a great process in collaboration with the faculties.
USR working groups
Last month, the USR started working groups again. Various members of the council take place in these groups to brainstorm about new ideas for the coming year and try to figure out how to implement and/or achieve it. For this, the USR drew up joint focus points at the end of September. These focus points serve as the basis for the activities of the working groups. Larger themes that fall under this are education, diversity and inclusion, personal development, well-being, a sustainable campus and facilities. All members of the group attended the focus points meeting and together we look back on a productive day in which the members of the USR found shared interests. asap‘s election points have also been given a place at various times.
Furthermore, the first meeting of the ‘schaduwfractie’ took place. The ‘schaduwfractie’ meets twice per Joint Assembly Cycle (six weeks) to discuss policy documents that are on the agenda and to think about the implementation of election program. If you are interested in being involved in the University’s policy and want to provide input on how certain matters should be arranged, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and strengthen the ‘schaduwfractie’.
Dutch National Students’ Association
This year the USR is also in close contact with the Dutch National Students’ Association (ISO). The ISO is the biggest nationwide student organization of the Netherlands and represents the common interest of the students in de Dutch higher education system. Jasper and Rick recently attended a number of training courses of the ISO and can look back on a useful day. Among other things, the Quality Agreements*, the Higher Education and Scientific Research Act, the Education and Examination Regulations (EER) and the coordination and other managerial qualities have been passed. Jasper also attended the first meeting of the ISO work group evening and spoke with other student representatives about education at the time of Corona.
Looking ahead to next month, group asap will start working on a group plan. In it, we describe how we plan to achieve the points of the election program. This plan will also be shared with the members of asap.
Jasper, Rick, Joris and Jesse
Group asap 2020/2021
*With the introduction of the Dutch student loan system in 2015, the government saved a lot of its budget. However, this was bound to certain conditions set by national student organisations, universities (of applied sciences) and the government: (1) The saved funds must be invested in the quality of Dutch higher education; (2) All universities receive extra funding to invest in six themes; (3) Students and staff of the institution must be strongly involved in the development of the plans and must approve of the final plans. All universities had to make plans on how to spend their funds. These plans were referred to as the ‘Quality Agreements’. For more information you can look at the website of the Dutch government.