DUT is working intensively together with Leiden University and Erasmus University Rotterdam. This yielded several joint bachelor and master programmes and minors, and furthermore, collective research is done. A new development is the plan to move a master programme from the faculty of Technology, Policy and Management to Campus The Hague of Leiden University.
Leiden University has moved its faculty of public administration to The Hague within a few year. By now about 2.500 students are educated here. The master programme of DUT which is planned to move to The Hague is called EPA (Engineering and Policy Analysis) and operates at the border of technology and society. At this moment the intake of students is not as high as desired.
The move to The Hague bring several advantages which we also endorse. Many public debates are dominated by people who do not have an engineering background. By moving this programme, cooperation with ministries, NGOs and international organisations for peace and justice will be enhanced. Not only for EPA, but also for DUT as a whole an interesting new connection will be created.
At the same time we think there are several drawbacks. We think that the TU Delft engineers do not only distinct themselves by the contents of their study programmes, but also in particular by the unique culture in the city of Delft. Many students live and study in a relatively small city which has created a strong community. For instance, by organizations like study-, student- and sports associations students from different backgrounds can meet each other easily. The results in a vivid culture in the city and on campus. A feeling of pride is created among everyone caused by the countless number of unique initiatives organized by DUT students.
When moving an education programme to The Hague, students will also probably go living there. This results in the risk that students will lose their connection with Delft. At this moment, the greater part of the EPA students has an international background and probably have not done a bachelor programme in Delft. They might recognize the DUT identity to a smaller extent, but nevertheless all the possibilities in Delft will be less accessible for them. Furthermore, the number of opportunities will probably grow by the fading border between national and international students.
At the moment we could take a look at the plans, we were not pleased with the fact that there was not really thought about this point. We think that the preservation of the DUT identity should be an important starting point in these kind of plans. Therefore we have had several meetings with employees from the faculty of TPM last months to think about the preservation of this identity.
Another point of discussion with the executive board was the possibility of new future movements of education programmes. Leiden University has also moved a whole faculty within a few years to The Hague. This is partly caused by the ambition of the city of The Hague to attract more academic education. At DUT there are expressively no plans to move more education programmes.
Except for the contents of the plans we also had a discussion with the executive board about our rights as a student council in these kind of plans. At first we were given advisory rights, but we think that’s not right when taking the idea behind our legal rights in mind. Together with the works council, the student council has right of consent on the roadmap of the University, in which strategic choices should be included. This discussion was focused on the question whether the movement is a strategic choice or not. A few weeks later the executive board gave us right on consent on these plans. Theoretically spoken this gives the opportunity to stop the plans, but this is not our intention because we certainly recognize the benefits of this plan. However, this right makes sure that our ideas have to be taken seriously and should therefore be fitted in the plans. We are contented that we have had good talks about this with the faculty of TPM. Furthermore, we will follow new developments conscientiously and stay involved in a critical and helpful way.
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