Student Government and Participation
There are multiple ways in which you as a student can voice your opinions about your degree programme, the LEG faculty and the running of the university as a whole.
The Department of Governance has a Degree Programme Advisory Committee (Opleidingscommissie) as well as two degree boards, one for the Bachelor's programme and one for the Master's programmes. Additionally, students can voice their opinions on their education through student panels. These forms of student participation are a part of the quality assurance of the degree programme.
Additionally, students of the Department of Governance are represented in both the board of their degree programme and in the faculty council. They can also run to be elected to the university council.
What is the student panel?
Every year the Department of Governance sets up a student panel for Master's students. In this panel you will discuss your experiences with the education at USG with the Director of Education. Here you can leave all your suggestions and remarks on the courses you have followed or are following this year, but there is also space to discuss other study related topics.
There is only one student panel for all Master's programmes at USG and the panel has space for two students per degree programme. The student panel meets twice a year, once in January and once in June and is hosted informally, meaning there is no agenda to be discussed and no official notes will be made. Afterwards, the Director of Education will communicate the points raised by the panel members to USG. The Director of Education will also report back to the panel members regarding the actions the Department will take based on their points. A lot of times, issues that students bring to the attention of the Department can be solved immediately.
Someone from Studentbelang will also attend the panel discussion. It is expected that panel members will prepare for the panel discussions and ask their fellow students for point of discussion to bring up during the panel.
What is expected of you?
For each panel, we are looking for
- Two students from each Master's programme, preferably with different Bachelor's degrees.
The panel discussions will take place on Monday from 17.00 to 18.00. It is expected that you attend both panel discussions and that you actively contribute to these discussions. Note that when you speak on the panel, you are not just representing yourself, but all your fellow Master's students as well.
If you are interested to be on the panel, please discuss this with your fellow students. In this way, each Master's programme can decide together on who will represent them on the panel. You can register for the panel until November 15th by sending an email to Studentbelang. Don't forget to include your Master's programme and the degree you completed prior to this programme in the email. Afterwards you will receive an official invitation to the student panel from Student Affairs.
At the end of each course, you are presented with the opportunity to evaluate this course. This evaluation consists of a couple of standardised questions, in order to compare this year's evaluation with the previous years. In addition to this, the course coordinator can add some of their own questions, for instance about a new course book used or a guest lecturer. On the back of the form, you can add your own remarks, i.e. what you learned from this course or what you think can be improved upon. Student Affairs will collect all the evaluation forms and send the anonimised results to the course coordinator with the request to reply to the remarks left by students.
Tjese evaluations are very important for your degree programme and the feedback in them will be used to improve the programme.
Board of the Degree Programme
Student and teacher evaluations will then be delivered to the board of the Bachelor's or Master's programme. Each board also has a student member. The board will discuss all the evaluations and see whether things need to be improved. The board can for instance ask for a lecturer to search for a course book that better suits the course or to adjust the weight of a certain exam.
Degree Programme Advisory Committee (OLC)
The OLC (consisting of both student members and staff) will subsequently review the evaluation results and the actions of the boards of the degree programmes. The committee is tasked with guarding the quality of the education at USG and will advise the boards on all matters related to the quality of education.
The assessment committee guards the quality of the examinations within the degree programme. Therefore, the evaluation results will also be communicated to them. They will specifically pay attention to the questions related to examinations and to the remarks from students and staff on this topic. The assessment committee sometimes will act upon complaints from individual students about a specific exam as well.
Professional Development of Teaching Staff
Course evaluations provide the teachers of these courses with a lot of information. Therefore, these evaluations are also used to aid in the professional development of teaching staff.
At the end of your Master's, USG asks you to reflect on your study programme through a short online evaluation. You can find a link to this form in the email sent to you by the Board of Examiners confirming your graduation. It is important for USG to know how you look back on your degree programme and to see whether you have been challenged enough academically. You can also voice your suggestions for improvement through this form. Additionally, USG is curious to see what your next professional / academic steps will be following your graduation.
The degree programme advisory committee (Opleidingscommissie, or OC in Dutch) is a particpatory committee that focussed solely on education,. The OC consists of eight members, 4 of which are teaching staff and 4 of which are students.
In the academic year 2021/2022, the OC has the following members:
- Jan-Willem van der Roest (voorzitter)
- Stefanie Beyens
- Marlot Kuiper
- Carina Schott
- Liv Bierenga
- Madelotte Hoogbergen
- Tess van der Linden
The OC will advice the Director of Education and the boards of the various degree programme on topics related to education and the quality of education. They bring up issues themselves or advice when this is asked of them by the Director of Education or these boards. They have a say when changes are being made in the curriculum as well as during the re-accreditation procedure of the degree programmes. Annually they give advice related to the curriculum as well as the course evaluations. They also help with the development of the Education and Examination Regulations (EER).
Are you a student with a question for the USG OC? Please send an email to the students in the committee, through this email adress.
Give your opinion
- By filling in the course evaluations you can give points for improvement for specific courses;
- In the National Student Survey (NSE), you can give your opinion on all aspects of the programme and Utrecht University’s facilities;
- Visit the student representative in the representative advisory body (provided in the yellow drop-box) and present your suggestion;
- Do you have a complaint or objection? See Complaints, objections and appeals.
- Do you not know who to turn to with a question, remark or complaint about the university? Then ask your question at the student government desk on Facebook. You will receive an answer within one work day. The desk makes sure your problem gets sent to the appropriate student governance body, which will then keep you updated on their progress in solving it.
Would you like to think about how to improve university matters at a faculty level? Do you want to have a say on important decisions related to education, research and management? Do you also want to gain experience as a board / council member of an organization? Every year in spring you can put yourself up for elections for the Faculty Council. They are looking for motivated students to join the conversation on the future of the faculty.
Please note that you need to be able to speak Dutch to be elected to the council.
What is it about?
The Faculty Council (FC) constitutes 12 members of staff and 12 student members. The student members are elected annually. As a student member you will receive compensation worth 0.1 FTE. If you become the president of the student members and vice-chair, you will receive compensation worth 0.2 FTE. The council advises the faculty board when asked, as well as when they are not, and can vote on certain important matters such as the main lines of the faculty’s budget plan.
Who can get elected?
Every student of the Faculty Law, Governance and Economics can register to be a candidate for the FC elections. You can join a candidate list from your department or you can start a list of your own. EVERYONE can be a candidate!
There are three electorial districts:
- Student Department School of Law: 6 seats.
- Student Department U.S.E.: 3 seats.
- Student Department School of Governance: 3 seats.
How can you sign up to be a candidate for the elections?
You can ask any questions to Wilma Mossink (email@example.com), secretary of the electorial committee of the faculty. Keep an eye on the student website and Facebook for information on registration deadlines and other announcements. Please note that deadlines are final and cannot be deviated from.
COMPENSATION FOR BOARD ACTIVITIES
If you want to get involved in a governing or representative body at Utrecht University, you may qualify for financial support from the University in the form of a compensation for board activities.