26 May 2020

The University Council votes against an increase in the ‘beleidsruimte’

On April 20th,  the University Council had his fourth meeting of the academic year with the Executive Board.

Financial report fourth quarter

During the UR + on April 20, 2020, the university council discussed the Q4 report with the executive board. The University Council had a right to consent on three points. One of those points, the increase in the “beleidsruimte” by adding the budget that was not spent during 2019, raised a point for discussion. A majority of the Council decided not to agree, which resulted in a rejection of the addition of € 4.7 million to the “beleidsruimte”. The Council would like to see proposals what the money will be spent on. The council will discuss this further with the executive board.

Corona and the university council

Since the beginning of the ‘intelligent lockdown’ and the close-down of Utrecht University, theuniversity council aims to address the problems students and staff might encounter, and to think about solutions with the executive board. What exactly are we doing?

Online teaching

Most goes to plan already, but we know that not everything is going smoothly with digital education.. We pay attention to these problems. We particularly want to ensure that teachers have access to proper support in online teaching, paying attention both to the quality of education, as well as privacy concerns (e.g. ‘proctoring software’ and Zoom).

Research

Many Bachelor’s and Master’s theses need(ed) to be adapted, as sources are no longer accessible or experiments no longer possible, and research from, amongst others, PhD candidates has to be changed or postponed. We will monitor this process and ask for a proper solution.

Students

  • Lower criteria for entitlement for the profiling fund. Students who experience study delays as a result of the corona crisis, can get easier access to extra funding by Utrecht University.
  • Transition bachelor’s-master’s. It will be possible to start a Master’s next year, even when a Bachelor’s degree has not yet been obtained due to corona. Conditions will be set by the faculties.

Staff

The corona crises brings along a lot of extra (work) pressure, especially for caretakers and parents of young children. We will continue to monitor this process. No extra leave has to be taken on by staff members who are unable to fulfil all their tasks.

Strategic plan postponed

The executive board has due to the corona crisis decided to postpone the taking effect of the strategic plan and the required consent of the university council till after the summer, which is expected to be are around October/November 2020.