UvAsociaal open discussion 23 November 2015 -> Summary
Topic: Education Committees
After the occupation of the Maagdenhuis people demanded more transparency and a bottom up structure. One of the ideas was the give the education committees (OC’s) more power. For example, to give them the right to consent on the education and exam regulations (OER). UvAsociaal provided an open platform where everyone could discuss what kind of changes could be made regarding education committees and whether those changes are desirable or not.
Currently there are many differences between education committees. Some of them work with a buddy system (between the OC’s and the faculty student councils (FSR’en)), while other do not have this system. Furthermore, the structure between OC’s also differs a lot. Some OC’s have regular meetings, like once a month, while others only come together a few times a year at most. Some OC’s have an official secretary, while other don’t and so on.
The biggest problem is a lack of structure and conformity. We recognize however, that it is not desirable to centralize a certain structure and make this mandatory for every OC. Some OC’s may benefit greatly with a buddy system, but this doesn’t have to be the case for smaller OC’s.
There should however be a central person in charge of the OC’s. He or she should evaluate every OC and look how they can be made better. This person should also be in contact with other similar persons of different faculties so they can exchange knowledge and best practices. This way every OC can be optimized for a specific faculty. Another idea is to have a newsletter between OC’s, so they can learn from each other. The FSR could be in charge of realizing such a newspaper and to distribute this among the OC’s.
As for giving education committees more power, like the right of consent concerning the OER. We believe that they should have this right, but only if they function properly and have a solid structure. For now, this is not the case. What may help to achieve the needed criteria is to give them more training and to have them meet on a regular basis, like once a month.
With the current amount of time OC’s have (or get payed for at least), this is not possible. Therefor OC’s should be given more time, more training, more structure and an official secretary. This with a central person in charge of the OC’s, would provide a good and solid base for OC’s to operate on. Giving OC’s more power comes after this much needed change.