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University Council 10 February 2022

Bijgewerkt op: 24 nov. 2022

Registration and Tuition Fee Regulation 2022-2023 - For advice (UR 2659)

Every year a new registration and tuition fee regulation is drawn up. This year we had to give advice about the one for 20220-2023. An indexation of approximately 2%, based on the inflation of salaries and prices, has been applied to the tuition fees of the newly added academic year.Schools may opt to offer a student a discount on the institutional tuition fee (waiver) based upon quality criteria. This discount may however never lead to a tuition fee that is lower than the statutory tuition fee. Every party advised positively. The University Council gave a unanimous positive advice.

Student Assessor - For discussion (UR 2660)

In light of the new strategy of Tilburg University, the Executive Board expressed the wish to add a student-assessor as an advisor to EB. The student perspective would then be more directly involved in the decision-making process. This can be set up by analogy with student-assessors at the different schools.

The Executive Board finds it important that the student perspective is more firmly and visibly embedded in the university decision-making process. The appointment of a student-assessor safeguards the input of the student and educational perspective in the decision-making process of the Executive Board.The student-assessor has an advisory
role and therefore bears no joint responsibility for decisions. The student-assessor is also not a representative of the co-determination. The student-assessor participates as an advisor in the meetings – unless required confidentiality prevents it - of the Executive Board and contributes the student perspective to policy development and decision-making at university level. The focus of the student-assessor is on education- and student-related issues. To be able to advise well on these subjects, the student-assessor also takes part in meetings with the university council, bilateral consultations within the framework of the P&C cycle and other consultations relevant to the performance of his/her duties. The student assessor periodically consults with the members of the Executive Board. He or she also maintains contact with student assessors in the schools, student organizations and students in and outside the representative council and is therefore well informed about what is going on among students.

The size of the position will be 1.5 days / 0.3 FTE in the week, with the possibility of expansion to 0.4 if necessary. In this way the student is still able to focus on their studies as well. The student assessor is appointed by the Executive Board on the recommendation of an appointment advice committee, consisting of the Rector Magnificus and President of the Executive Board, the Deputy Director Education, a secretary to the board and a student member (from the University Council). The recruitment of the student-assessor will start
in March. The Executive Board will evaluate the pilot with a student assessor after two years.

Tilburg University PhD Survey 2021 - For discussion (UR 2648)

In 2017, the first Tilburg University PhD Survey was conducted with the aim of repeating it every two years. PhD researchers are asked online about their satisfaction regarding various aspects such as wellbeing, training needs, supervision, support and facilities during their PhD program. 907 PhD researchers filled in the survey, and they rate their PhD program with a 7.8 and the support by the Graduate Schools with a 7.8. The mental health of PhD researchers is under even more pressure than was already known. They experience increased occupational stress and a high workload.

Internal Allocation Model - (UR 2658)

Over the past months, Tilburg University has formulated the Strategy 2027. Parallel to this, a working group has been formed to address the question whether the current budget allocation model contains impediments in realizing the goals formulated in TiU’s Strategy 2027. The Executive Board has identified five themes:

1. Based on the draft bill, the minimum institutional tuition fee for non-EEA students is expected to be substantially increased. This is necessary to maintain the quality of education for all students.

2. TiU wishes to stimulate quality and flexibility in education and establish a mobility window in all bachelor programs. The Executive Board wants to achieve it by removing obstacles and increasing interfaculty courses and academic programmes not only by using the strategic budget but also by preparing the possible introduction of EC credits as one of the funding parameters (EC-funding).

3. The indicative redistributive effects caused by EC-funding included in the report attached represent a snapshot based on a first look at potential effects. The observed differences are caused (a) by the fact the institutional tuition fees and premaster fees are added to the statutory fees whereas in the current model the costs related to these students are currently fully covered by the government funding plus statutory tuition fees, (b) by differences in study pace which will level out eventually and (c) by replacement of existing specific agreements between Schools on shared/joint courses or academic programs by EC-funding whereby policy decisions by the ministry an effect on the funding per EC.

4. The integral discussion on the required level of support should concern (a) the use of the “mee-adembudget” for quantitative growth, qualitative growth and innovation. (b) the exploration of new for old services and (c) the further prioritisation or additional funding in case of a mismatch between available budget and requested support. The discussion should be comprehensive, transparent and, if necessary, take place at several times per year.

5. The Executive Board wants to discuss the reduction of the number of temporary appointments irrespective of the BAM or specific university fund to mitigate possible HR risks resulting from collective labour agreements. Attracting and maintaining well qualified staff is essential in improving the student staff ration, reducing the workload and keeping the interconnection between education and research.

Front had some questions about the vision of the EC-funding distribution model. Front endorses the importance of encouraging interdisciplinary education. However, we think that we should also look at what this will ultimately mean for students. What will happen to smaller bachelors, for example. If payment is made per EC's earned, this could be disadvantageous for the smaller bachelor's compared to the "big" studies. What happens to subjects that are more expensive than others? Think of the Skills courses. In addition, the Executive Board indicates that it will encourage faculties to encourage students to complete their studies in the nominal way. Front would like to avoid that by introducing this model the pressure on students to complete their studies at a nominal level increase even more, since it remains important that students have time for work, committees and other activities besides their studies.

The University Council gave a unanimous positive consent.

Any Other Business

Student Party Front wondered what our university's position is on the “zachte knip”. Many students experienced stress and other complaints due to the corona crisis. Therefore, we think that implementing a “zachte knip” between bachelor and master for next academic year can reduce some of that stress. The introduction of a “zachte knip” for the coming academic year is, of course, national policy. However, the university can take a position on this towards the UNL. The Executive Board stated that they were still discussing this and would come back to it later.

SAM sent a letter to the University Council about student safety and sexual harassment. In this letter they make suggestions on which actions the university can take against sexual transgressive behavior.

Newly submitted initiative proposals

Trainings for Student Confidential Advisors - Front
Student Party Front wants the university to host annual training sessions for confidential advisors of associations. This way, these confidential advisors will be trained to be an accessible point of contact for students within their association who have to deal with abuse. This way, the university contributes to creating the safest possible environment for its students. Student Party Front is motivated to remain involved and to enter the discussion with the university and the involved associations for the further practical implementation of the training courses.

Mental Health Check - Sam
Student Party SAM has handed in an initiative on student wellbeing. They propose to create a mental health check that will be accessible to all students. Through this check they aim to raise conscious awareness about one's mental health and create awareness and an accessible direct connection to the wellbeing facilities that the university offers. In this way SAM hopes to promote the facilities that the university offers.

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