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Faculty of Science

In 2018, an objective was written for each of the six themes in the plan for use of the quality resources (study financing resources). Those objectives were in line with the faculty’s strategic plan for 2016–2020.

The key point here is that students are educated in the context of their ‘future selves’. This is a broader scope than a single professional study programme offers, and it can be seen as part of the goal of lifelong learning.

Other ongoing concerns of the faculty are study success and the feasibility of the study programmes.

Even before the quality resources plan was formulated, the faculty had already committed itself to quality improvement, particularly focused on smaller-scale education, facilities and feasibility. The actions and associated resources are included in this report as ‘own resources’ and allocated to the six themes.

In 2019, the Advisory Committee for Quality Agreements (AKA) was established to coordinate the use of own resources and new resources (see section 3.2). For some actions, the four educational institutes (Biosciences; Molecular Sciences; Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy; Computing Science and Information Sciences) were given the freedom to deploy them as appropriate to the study programme.

In spending the new study financing resources available from 2019, the Advisory Committee mainly focused on education innovation and feasibility. These topics are closely related to the six themes but also transcend the individual themes.

Most of the investments therefore contribute to more than one theme. This especially applies to two long-term initiatives: Education innovators who are permanently embedded in each educational institute and assistant lecturers who aid lecturers in the study programmes. Where staff appointments have been budgeted, the actual numbers often deviate somewhat because when the budget is made available there is usually no clarity about the duration and scale of the appointments.

The report below shows that education innovators, in particular, play an important role: not only in themes 4 and 6, but also in themes 1 and 3.

Table 1: Use of resources in 2019–2021 by theme (% of the action by theme)

2019 quality resources plan

New resources

%

Own resources

%

Theme 1: Intensive, small-scale education

Call for education innovation

100%

 

100%

Assistant lecturers

50%

  

New Devices Lab

100%

Extra practicum coordination

50%

  

Investments in maths education

50%

Theme 2: Supervision

Assistent docenten

50%

  

Investments in maths education

50%

Education support services for internships at Radboudumc

100%

Theme 3: Study success, admission, advancement

  

Use of existing academic staff for innovation

100%

Theme 4: Differentiation

Education innovators

50%

  

Developing science education

50%

Theme 5: Facilities

Training student assistants

100%

  

Extra digital assessment coordinator

100%

  

Cloud computing

100%

  

Incidental material investments

100%

  

Extra practicum coordination

50%

  

Digital assessment coordinator

100%

Theme 6: Professional development

Education innovators

50%

Developing science education

50%

Table 2: Original expenditure plan (October 2018)

x €1,000

      

Expenditures per theme

Budgeted 2019

Budgeted 2020

Budgeted 2021

Budgeted 2022

Budgeted 2023

Budgeted 2024*

1. More intensive and smaller-scale education

406

495

519

512

523

593

2. Increased and improved guidance of students

440

440

490

490

490

794

3. Study success including admission and advancement

440

440

440

440

440

495

4. Educational differentiation

145

153

170

170

170

380

5. Appropriate educational facilities of good quality

159

150

132

134

136

330

6. Continued professional development of lecturers

145

153

170

170

170

380

PM: to be allocated by theme based on final expenditure plan

-

-

503

881

975

-

Total

1,734

1,831

2,424

2,806

2,904

2,972

Table 3: Realisation in 2019, 2020 and 2021, and the current budgets for 2022, 2023 and 2024

x €1,000

      

Expenditures per theme

Realised 2019

Realised 2020

Realised 2021

Budgeted 2022

Estimated 2023

Estimated 2024*

1. More intensive and smaller-scale education

365

403

497

591

593

593

2. Increased and improved guidance of students

456

498

584

819

794

794

3. Study success including admission and advancement

455

463

473

495

495

495

4. Educational differentiation

169

308

393

380

380

380

5. Appropriate educational facilities of good quality

134

381

302

328

330

330

6. Continued professional development of lecturers

169

308

393

380

380

380

Total

1,747

2,361

2,642

2,993

2,972

2,972

Balance

-97

63

-218

-187

-68

174

* In the tables per theme, actions for which own resources were used (or also used) are marked with an asterisk.

Notes on quality agreements expenditure per theme

The budget shown in the following tables is the one from the original plan, prepared in autumn 2018. When the Advisory Committee for Quality Agreements was appointed in early 2019, there was a clearer view of the new resources available and some items were adjusted. Where that happened, it is explained below the table.

Theme 1: More intensive and smaller-scale education (2019-2021)

Theme-related actions

Budget (x €1,000)

Realised (x €1,000)

 

2019

2020

2021

Total

2019

2020

2021

Total

Assistant lecturers

 

83

100

183

 

44

137

181

Call for education innovation

35

50

75

160

6

-

10

16

New Devices Lab*

78

78

78

234

80

81

83

244

Extra practicum coordination*

103

94

76

272

79

84

84

247

Investments in maths education*

190

190

190

570

200

194

183

577

Total

406

495

519

1.419

365

403

497

1.265

Adjustment by the Advisory Committee for Quality Agreements (AKA): In addition to focusing on the development of new modes of instruction,

explicitly ensure that the entire teaching programme can remain small-scale. The use of assistant lecturers plays a key role in this effort. Activities funded by existing own resources, like the New Devices Lab and the extra practicum coordination, were also aimed at this goal.

In the budget, the allocation for assistant lecturers has been increased to 1 FTE (€75k) per educational institute (€300k in total divided over two themes (was €200k)) and, from 2021, the call for education innovation has been capped at €50k (was €75k).

Assistant lecturers

50% of the budget for this theme is allocated for assistant lecturers. From 2020 onwards, an amount of €75k per educational institute will be used for assistant lecturer positions (1 FTE at postdoc level per educational institute). Assistant lecturers are ‘subject adjacent’ (working in the field of the courses in which they are assisting). In particular, they are able to contribute to the content by facilitating and, where necessary, improving small-scale education where this would be jeopardised by an increased number of students. Under the supervision of the course coordinator, assistant lecturers can make concrete contributions to creating, supervising and possibly correcting assignments or improving course materials, among other things. A (varying) portion of the assistant lecturer’s activities directly benefit small-scale and innovative education by giving the lecturer in the course more time to devote to them.

Results: The use of the assistant lecturers differs per educational institute and thus corresponds as closely as possible to existing needs and opportunities. In some cases, the assistant lecturers provide extra support for seminars or practicums involving large groups of students; in other cases, they help to develop and implement updated seminars or improve course materials. The lecturers and educational institutes determine how they are used. Some appointments are short and specific (one quarter) with the aim of improving a certain course. Others are more long term (e.g., to regularly provide more professional supervision in a practicum/course).

Call for education innovation

The Education Innovation Committee explicitly focuses on education innovation and new modes of instruction as referred to in theme 1. The committee’s chair is the Professor of Science Education.

Every year, this committee issues a call for proposals in the faculty for the financing of small projects (maximum €10,000) aimed at educational innovation. All staff members, lecturers, PhD candidates and students can submit proposals. Such a call has proven to be a stimulus for all those involved in education to think about improvements and renewal. Many of these initiatives require only a limited investment. The projects selected by the committee are presented to the faculty’s Executive Board for their formal approval.

The Education Innovation Committee’s duties also include organising education colloquia to share experiences widely.

Results: The first call for projects in 2019 got a great response: 55 proposals, from the well-developed to the unpolished, were submitted from all levels of the faculty. The committee took a critical look and allocated funds from the budget available in 2019 (€35k). However, not all projects used the allocated funds.

The calls and projects in 2020 and 2021 (€50k each year) were severely hampered by the circumstances surrounding the pandemic. Lecturers were forced to work on necessary innovations independently of the call, supported by various other groups within the faculty: the Teaching Information Point, the science education section, digital assessment coordinators and education innovators.

The intention is that the committee will play a role in overcoming the challenges of teaching during the pandemic.

The deadline for the call in 2022 has been extended, and the committee is considering ways to encourage lecturers to submit projects in spite of the pandemic.

Successful initiatives from the call deserve to be continued. To make this as easy as possible, policy space has also been reserved starting from the 2022 budget.

Education innovators

Although the education innovators were not originally categorised under this theme, it is clear that they make a major contribution to the creation of small-scale and innovative modes of instruction at the educational institutes. For example, the education innovator for biosciences is developing and supporting team-based learning throughout the entire study programme.

New Devices Lab

The New Devices Lab (NDL) is a new form of education in the Computing Science study programme with a special focus on small-scale education and creativity. The new devices in this course include smart home systems, wearables, VR glasses and 3D scanners and printers. In this course, students work in teams of two to four students on a project of their own design and choice. The NDL was already launched before 2018 using the faculty’s own resources.

Results: In the beginning, the course was a compulsory part of the software track in the study programme. Now it is also compulsory for the data track and is popular among students in the security track. The capacity of the course has increased over the years from around 20 students to 96 students this year. Despite this, the course has been so popular in recent years (also beyond computing science) that not all interested students can participate. The contribution from the quality resources is being used to purchase new devices and fund 0.6 FTE of technical support.

The NDL works and successfully contributes to the computing science study programme and beyond. This action can remain unchanged, and the staff is expected to expand. This will allow the capacity to be expanded to such an extent that all interested students probably will be able to participate again.

Expanding practicum coordination

Practicums play a crucial role in all study programmes at the Faculty of Science. They are the ideal way to activate small-scale modes of instruction. The expansion of practicum coordination has made it possible to modernise this education and continue to provide adequate supervision. For example, this makes it possible to use new techniques. The expansion involves various positions in three practicums (physical, chemical, biological).

This action was already launched in phases before 2019 using the faculty’s own resources.

Investments in maths education

Mathematics is at the heart of the science faculty, and the Mathematics department offers courses for all study programmes. Investments in maths education from our own resources allowed the staff to be expanded so both the successful mathematics study programme and other study programmes with maths courses can receive the quality and small scale at the desired level.

Results and plan: Increasing numbers of assistant lecturers were appointed from autumn 2020 and into 2021. But the appointments fell short, especially in the first year. That was partly because the capacity of the lecturers was not always sufficiently clear, or because there were no suitable candidates to be found within the PhD/postdoc contingent. In Computing Science, for example, the latter situation was largely due to the job market for computer scientists: few PhD candidates extend their appointments to take on a teaching role. The goal and expectation are that the number of appointments will continue to increase.

In Computing Science, the budget could possibly be used differently for the same purpose. When experiences are shared within the faculty, more lecturers will see the possibilities and advantages. There is no reason to change this action substantially as long as the use of it increases.

As soon as the Education Innovation Committee once again can issue a call in the normal way, we expect that sufficient projects can be generated there as well. Then, monitoring the progress of the projects will have to be carefully ensured.

Because of the identified underspending, the advisory committee decided to increase material expenditures (theme 4) in 2020, such as the purchase of graphic tablets for distance learning. See below.

Theme 2: Increased and improved guidance of students (2019–2021)

Theme-related actions

Budget (x €1,000)

Realised (x €1,000)

 

2019

2020

2021

Total

2019

2020

2021

Total

Assistant lecturers

   

-

 

44

137

181

Investments in maths education* 190

190

190

190

570

200

194

183

577

Education support services for internships at Radboudumc* 250

250

250

300

800

256

260

264

780

Totaal

440

440

490

1.37

456

498

584

1.538

Intention of the original plan: Renew and improve the portfolio and set up a Student Well-being Task Force.

Adjustment by the Advisory Committee for Quality Agreements (AKA): From 2020 onwards, also focus on strengthening guidance within all courses by allocating a budget for assistant lecturers. They were not included in this theme in the original budget. In the realisation, 50% of the costs are allocated to this theme.

Each of the faculty’s study programmes has a portfolio component. It is intended to teach students to reflect and plan, and to better prepare them for future choices in Master’s programmes and their profession. The study programmes have all searched for a suitable format and have arranged guidance in the form of tutors or lecturer mentors, for example.

A focus on student well-being has become more important and the ambition to prepare students even better for their future selves requires renewal of the portfolio courses and an emphasis on the coaching aspect in the study programme. In parallel, a work group for the Student Guidance 2023 project is active on the university level.

Results: The renewal of the portfolios has been limited so far, partly due to a shift in focus caused by the pandemic and partly because we are awaiting the outcome of the university work group.

In relation to the pandemic, a work group conducted research into student well-being for the Education Policy Committee in 2020 and asked the educational institutes to pay attention to the connection with students during the lockdown. That research required no additional budget. For example, educational institutes actively used mentors to keep in touch with their students. The study associations also played a crucial role by organising adapted activities.

Coaching pilot project

In the 2021–2022 academic year, the budget for assistant lecturers was used to start a pilot project about coaching first-year students in the biosciences. The evaluation of this pilot project and the findings of the central work group will jointly determine whether and how coaching can be made a permanent part of the study programmes.

Assistant lecturers

The use of assistant lecturers is 50% allocated to this theme because the extra staff in many courses directly benefits the guidance. Here too, as in theme 1, the use of assistant lecturers is easier at some educational institutes than at others.

Investments in maths education

Also see theme 1. Even before 2019, we made investments in staff for teaching mathematics from our own resources. Expanding this staff contributes significantly to student guidance in maths education.

Education support services for internships at Radboud university medical center

Some of the students in the Medical Biology, Biology and Molecular Life Sciences study programmes specialise in an interdisciplinary way at the intersection of the life sciences and medical sciences. They do their internships at Radboud university medical center, for which the Faculty of Science pays the education support service costs. These come from our own resources.

Internships are not only an essential part of students’ education, but also their (professional) development. That is why these funds are allocated to theme 2. The number of internships decreased slightly in the past two years.

Results and plan: The portfolio action and coaching are on track with delays. Both are linked to the central work group for the Student Guidance 2023 project. If coaching proves to be a successful form of guidance, it will be implemented more broadly. We will have to examine whether regular resources can be used for this or whether there is room in the quality resources.

The use of assistant lecturers meets a need and has been going well since 2021. The exchange of experiences between educational institutes should lead to even more initiatives.

Theme 3: Study success (2019–2021)

Theme-related actions

Budget (x €1,000)

Realised (x €1,000)

 

2019

2020

2021

Total

2019

2020

2021

Total

Use of existing academic staff for innovation

440

440

440

1.32

455

463

473

1.391

 

Total

440

440

440

1.32

455

463

473

1.391

Intention of the original plan: Removing duplicate Master’s specialisations, setting up the International Office & Admissions Office, and focusing on the integration of international students. The goal was to achieve a clear and attractive range of Master’s programmes and a larger inflow of Master’s students.

These objectives have been realised within the faculty policy and from regular resources. There is a clear range of unique Master’s specialisations, a new information structure and a streamlined admission procedure in the existing Admissions Office. No specific budget from new resources was used to achieve these objectives. In the coming years, it will become clear whether the inflow of Master’s students will benefit from these actions.

The science education section participates in a meeting between the university and secondary schools about the transition from secondary education to university education.

Use of existing academic staff for innovation

For the study success and advancement theme, it is standard practice to invest in the capacity of academic staff to free them up for innovation and improvement of teaching and curricula.

There is a strong incentive to provide education as efficiently as possible with the usual funding, which often leads to large groups, fewer choices and as little change as possible. This is not necessarily what lecturers want. When extra staff are made available, lecturers can invest properly in the development of new, small-scale education. They are given the space to integrate stimulating forms of learning into their teaching and to develop themselves as lecturers. This extra attention to the courses should benefit study success.

Results and plan: The fixed item from our own resources makes a standard increase of staff available for education. That not only contributes to theme 3, but to all themes 1 to 4. There is no need to adjust this item.

Theme 4: Educational differentiation (2019–2021)

Theme-related actions

Budget (x €1,000)

Realised (x €1,000)

 

2019

2020

2021

Total

2019

2020

2021

Total

Education innovators

75

83

100

258

39

107

113

258

Developing science education (*)

70

70

70

210

130

201

280

611

Total

145

153

170

468

169

308

393

869

Intention of the original plan: Increase the number of courses in which general skills are developed and introduce (campus-wide) minors.

Adjustment by the Advisory Committee for Quality Agreements (AKA): In addition to focusing on skills education, educational institutes and lecturers must be encouraged to innovate and broaden their education on all fronts. This works best in an approachable and, above all, actively cooperative manner. Lecturers should not only receive advice, but also concrete help.

The budget has been adjusted accordingly from 2019 onwards by creating extra room for both actions. This is reflected in the realisation.

Education innovators

Each educational institute has been given 1 FTE in scale 11-12 to appoint education innovators. They have a broad mission: to stimulate the educational institutes and the lecturers on every front and help them innovate where that is useful. It is essential that the innovator collaborates with the lecturer in a practical way – where possible even in terms of content – to amend the course.

The education innovators are didactically proficient and have a background in the study programme’s subject area. They help to introduce new modes of instruction in the lectures, integrate ICT in teaching and, together with the faculty’s Teaching Information Point, make a major contribution to the rapid transition to online education by supporting online teaching tools like Discord for seminars and Open Broadcaster Software for video lectures.

They are involved in all aspects of the curricula and teaching and thus also contribute to the professionalisation of the lecturer team (theme 6).

Within the narrower objective of theme 4 (skills education), initiatives have been developed by setting up new courses (at the Institute for Molecular Sciences) and team-based learning (at the Institute for Biosciences and the Institute for Mathematics, Physics & Astronomy) as well as supporting aspects of study skills and general skills in the normal learning paths.

The innovators also act as partners to the boards of the educational institutes in their reflections on the curriculum. The education innovators from the institutes meet regularly with each other and with the Teaching Information Point.

Finally, in 2021–2022 they will provide training sessions for student assistants to help them contribute to the betterment of education and develop their didactic skills as students.

Developing the science education section

The science education section was largely set up using our own resources, but its further development in 2020 and 2021 was partly funded by new resources. This section is now active. They have developed a didactics minor for all study programmes and are responsible for the Master’s programme in Science and Education.

Starting in 2022, the section will offer didactic training to student assistants and PhD candidates. The section is also actively involved in developing teaching methods with the education innovators.

Results and plan: We still need to examine how other (campus-wide) minors can be set up and what the needs are. Part of that initiative will also be at the central level.

The appointment of education innovators has not been quick to materialise at all educational institutes. The costs of the appointments also turned out to be partly lower than budgeted (innovators are in a lower scale than budgeted). At three of the four institutes, the staffing has now reached approximately 1 FTE, usually spread over more than one person. In this situation too, Computing Science is disadvantaged by the attractive job market for computer scientists. On the other hand, the investment in the science education section is now higher than originally budgeted.

It is important that the available space for education innovators be filled up further in the coming year. For Computing Science, it may be necessary to find another way to expand the staff in this area.

The education innovators make an essential contribution to the renewal and broadening of education and modes of instruction. Therefore, resources will continue to be allocated for their appointment.

Theme 5: Appropriate educational facilities of good quality (2019–2021)

Theme-related actions

Budget (x €1,000)

Realised (x €1,000)

 

2019

2020

2021

Total

2019

2020

2021

Total

Digital assessment coordinators

56

56

56

168

55

89

149

293

 

Training student assistants

   

-

 

16

6

22

 

Cloud computing

   

-

  

7

7

Extra practicum coordination*

103

94

76

272

79

84

84

247

Incidental material investments: graphic tablets, laptops

   

-

 

177

 

177

 

Lightboards for knowledge clips

   

-

 

15

 

15

 

Practicums: Tablets, server, lab buddy, etc.

   

-

  

57

57

Total

159

150

132

440

134

381

302

817

Intention of the original plan: expanding student workstations, extra opening hours at the library.

Expanding practicum facilities, increasing classroom space for active learning and setting up a Science Education Lab.

Adjustment by the Advisory Committee for Quality Agreements (AKA): The Advisory Committee launched a number of initiatives to promote digital education, partly due to the pandemic. They also approved a number of material requests and expanded the coordination of digital assessment. The committee also took the initiative to better train student assistants.

From 2022 onwards, the budget will include scope to grant requests for material investments and facilities adequately and quickly.

Digital assessment coordinators

The coordination of digital assessment was started from our own resources and then expanded from new resources. These positions quickly became crucial, partly due to the pandemic. The existing growth in digital assessment was further accelerated during the pandemic, when many exams were administered online using Cirrus. That is why a second coordinator was recruited in 2021. The digital assessment coordinators support lecturers in planning and setting up exams in Cirrus. It is also expected that many exams will continue to be administered digitally after the pandemic.

Cloud computing

Cloud computing ensures there is sufficient digital space available for applications, particularly in the Computing Science and Physics and Astronomy study programmes. Space for this was budgeted in 2021, but it was used less than expected. It is expected that more space will be used in 2022.

Incidental material investments

These include some investments in new technologies for the biosciences and molecular sciences practicums. In addition, prompted by distance learning, the AKA invested in the purchase of loaner laptops, graphic tablets with which lectures and seminars can be given online, and Lightboards and studios for recording knowledge clips. These investments in modern education will continue to have a place in the faculty after the pandemic.

Extra practicum coordination

The extra practicum coordination is financed from our own resources and has led to innovation and more support for the practicums. Fortunately, for many students the practicums continued on campus during the pandemic.

Training student assistants

Student assistants play a crucial role in education. They supervise many seminars and practicums. Normally they receive some limited didactic training, but now in-depth training with an important feedback loop has been set up for several courses. The intention is to expand this if it proves valuable.

Results and plan: An active learning room (team-based learning room) has been set up from the regular resources. An education lab has not (yet) been developed due to shifting focus and the layout of the faculty.

The library’s opening hours are continuously adjusted to the needs, partly in view of on-campus versus online education. During exam periods, a few extra lecture halls are available to students as study areas.

Due to recent developments, more use was made of digital assessment coordinators than budgeted. Less use was made of the planned cloud computing in 2021 than expected. The difference in expenditure on practicum coordination has to do with the duration of the appointment and the scale.

The availability of resources, partly via the policy space from 2022 onwards, makes it possible to pay for improvements in facilities and (practicum) tools in a flexible manner. Twice a year, the advisory committee looks at the space available in the budget for incidental requests.

Theme 6: Continued professional development of lecturers (2019–2021)

Theme-related actions

Budget (x €1,000)

Realised (x €1,000)

 

2019

2020

2021

Total

2019

2020

2021

Total

Education innovators 75

75

83

100

258

39

107

113

258

Developing science education (*) 70

70

70

70

210

130

201

280

611

Total 145

145

153

170

468

169

308

393

869

Intention of the original plan: Strengthen lecturers’ participation in the Lecturers’ Advisory Group on Education Innovation and in education colloquia and workshops.

Adjustment by the Advisory Committee for Quality Agreements (AKA): In 2019, the Lecturers’ Advisory Group on Education Innovation was transformed into the Education Innovation Committee. It supports projects and shares their results annually (see theme 1). In addition, the Advisory Committee for Quality Agreements has focused on appointing education innovators who also contribute to lecturer professionalisation (also see theme 4).

The Education Innovation Committee has been broadened and got off to a flying start, but it has suffered greatly as a result of working from home and distance learning. In general, education colloquia proceeded to a limited extent. On the other hand, the acute need for online education led to very active contact with lecturers through, for example, the Teaching Information Point, the science education section, digital assessment coordinators and education innovators. The pandemic and distance learning resulted in an unexpectedly steep learning curve in digital education.

Education innovators

The use of education innovators alongside the updating of courses contributes to the professionalisation of the staff and to the sharing of experiences. A growing group of lecturers is using the opportunities to teach in a different way or at least to reflect on their course. The education innovators from the institutes meet regularly with each other and with the Teaching Information Point and the science education section.

Developing the science education section

The development of the science education section is also partly allocated to this theme because the section is expected to contribute to the development of teaching methodology within the study programmes.

Results and plan: As described in theme 4, the appointment of education innovators is underway but not yet fully achieved. Particularly in 2019 and 2020, expenditure lagged behind the budget. Conversely, the organisation of the science education section is ahead of schedule.

Notes on the realisation process and the involvement of the participational bodies

Before 2019

Up to and including 2018, a Lecturers’ Advisory Group on Education Innovation was active in the faculty. This group was responsible for researching and disseminating local knowledge and initiatives related to education innovation. The deployment of resources to improve the quality of education was directed by the faculty’s Executive Board (the own resources in tables 1, 2 and 3).

2019: Advisory Committee for Quality Agreements

When the Quality Resources Plan came into effect in 2019, the Lecturers’ Advisory Group on Education Innovation was replaced by two committees:

  • an Education Innovation Committee responsible for stimulating and disseminating concrete initiatives for education innovation, now with a budget for supporting projects, and

  • an Advisory Committee for Quality Agreements (AKA) responsible for managing and guaranteeing the use of quality resources.

The AKA includes representatives from the faculty’s Executive Board and participational bodies, as well as the Professor of Science Education and the head of educational support (education centre).

The committee’s chair is the vice dean for education. The Representative Council and the Faculty Student Council are represented by two lecturer members and two student members, respectively. All members of the AKA are appointed for two years.

Within the faculty, structured consultation also takes place in the following bodies:

  • Education Policy Committee (OBC)

The vice dean for education, directors of education, a student representative and an educational advice & teacher development staff member.

  • Educational institutes

The four educational institutes each have their own board that consists of a director, programme coordinators and a student assessor for each study programme.

  • Programme committees (OLCs)

Students (chosen) and lecturers (appointed) from one or more study programmes.

  • Broad consultation

Student members of the programme committees, student assessors from the educational institutes, members of the Faculty Student Council and the student assessor from the faculty’s Executive Board.

Topics relating to the themes and the use of quality resources are shared and discussed in all these bodies. The educational institutes play a crucial role in shaping initiatives because they understand the opportunities and challenges specific to the study programmes they offer. Assessors and OLCs are involved closely.

AKA annual cycle

The AKA has agreed on an annual cycle of planning, monitoring, possible adjustments and accountability. The design of the AKA guarantees that the faculty’s participational bodies are part of the discussions and decisions in each step of this cycle.

The plans and annual accounts are also discussed separately in the faculty’s Executive Board and the Faculty Joint Assembly.

At the start of the quality plans in 2019 and in the proposals for the use of education innovators in 2019 and assistant lecturers in 2020, the educational institutes asked their OLCs for ideas about the areas they could focus on. The filling of these positions has been delegated to the educational institutes, which have communicated internally. The AKA mainly plays an advisory role.

Halfway through the year, the AKA assesses whether adjustments are necessary and whether there are any new initiatives that need to be discussed. These are then assessed for possible impact and contribution to one of the six themes.

Independent reflection from the participational bodies

The AKA always includes a former board member and a current board member from the Faculty Student Council (FSR). This ensures that the FSR is sufficiently informed about previous and current discussions. The AKA also includes two members of the Representative Council, who each have two-year seats on this committee. Those members meet and discuss matters as members of the AKA and then inform the other members of the participational bodies about the matters discussed in the meeting. In recent years, there have been several meetings to plan, monitor, adjust and account for the resources spent. The participational bodies believe they can provide sufficient input and feedback during the AKA meetings.

The FSR has close contact with all programme committee (OLC) student members in each OLC, and with all OLC members together in the broad consultation. The FSR has close contact with Education Policy Committee (OBC) members and takes part in meetings with all institute assessors. At these times, both bodies can keep each other informed about decisions made and changes in the resources spent.

The AKA documents are discussed and commented on in the Faculty Joint Assembly. Because four members of the participational bodies have a personal seat on the AKA, they can – if desired – provide additional clarification to the other members of the participational bodies. At the same time, the FSR and Representative Council members who do not have seats on the AKA can offer critical and independent commentary.

The participational bodies would have liked to have seen an independent reflection from the AKA earlier and would have liked to receive the documents from the AKA at an earlier stage. Be that as it may, the participational bodies believe that the written evaluation is correct and does justice to what has been discussed in recent years.

In short, the FSR and Representative Council are of the opinion that from the beginning (and even before) we have been involved well and in time in the decision-making process and the control of the spending of the funds up to now. We also expect that to be the case in the future, both because of our strong representation on the AKA (two FSR and two Representative Council members) and because the plans will also be discussed in the Faculty Joint Assembly (as mentioned above). We therefore have a sufficient say in the entire process.

Dennis Löwik, Representative Council
Hamzah Al Zubi, Faculty Student Council