14 July 2020

University Council discusses Black Lives Matter and approves Framework letter 2021 after four adjournments

On 29 June, the University Council had his fifth meeting of the academic year with the Executive Board.

Black Lives Matter

As University Council we also want to take our responsibility, both by ensuring that university wide actions are taken and by taking a critical look at ourselves and what we can do as a council. During our most recent meeting with the board, we asked what actions the university will take, whether more resources will be allocated to combat racism, including the consultation of outside experts with specific expertise on this issue, and how staff and students of color will be heard.  

The board answered that the Diversity Taskforce is planning several activities, including a debate series that will take place in the fall. No extra resources will be allocated on top of the normal budget of the Taskforce. These answers did not reassure us that an effective and pervasive anti-racism policy will be implemented within UU during the coming years. Therefore, we have requested to discuss the issue further in a separate meeting with the Diversity Taskforce. 

Approval Framework letter 2021

After an additional investment of 2.9 million euros for education, the university council has approved the Framework letter for 2021. The Framework letter indicates how much money is available for among others education and research, and how this is divided across the various faculties. This letter was discussed at length, after which the council argued for an increase in the ‘course credit rate'. This is the amount of money that each faculty receives for the course credits their students obtain. Over the past couple of years, the course credit rate has steadily decreased, when corrected for the increase in wages and student numbers. On the other hand, the education budget rises because of the ‘quality funds’ (related to the introduction of the loan system) and higher tuition fees. The council's position was that it is incorrect to compensate a declining funding of education with the compensation for the basisbeurs and the revenues from tuition fees, which originate directly from the student's pocket.

After long talks and four adjournments, the council agreed to an addition of 2.9 million euros to the general educational resources (fixed base), which de facto compensates for the decrease in study point rate.

Gender quota

In June, the vast majority of the University Council submitted a proposal in which we advocated for a gender quota. It purports that by 2030 at least 40 percent of all employees in all different positions at the university are women.

The proposal was discussed in the Finances, Staff and ICT committee, in which the board indicated to interpret this as support for the diversity policy of the university. However, the proposals themselves were not adopted. The discussion on (gender) diversity will continue after the summer, when the evaluation and plans of the Taskforce Diversity and Inclusion are known.