RAS, or now so called Profiling Fund, has been a real sensitive subject between the Board of University and the students. The Profiling Fund is financial support system which states that every public educational institution has to offer to students who experience delay in their studies due to certain forseen or unforeseen circumstances( e.g., illness, disability, students boards and associations,…). The RAS has changed this year!
Declining investments from the government in higher education and a tremendous rise in the number of enrolments at technical universities, put high pressure on the finances and facilities of the university. A similar reduction in financial aid is felt by the students. Since 2014, the ‘basisbeurs’ has ended for all students and the student loan system was introduced. That is why ORAS is against budgets cuts in the RAS/Profiling Fund for students, and why we have discussed the revision with Education & Affairs, Legal Services, and the board of the university of the university almost every week in the past six months to convince them to abandon the idea to cut the size of the compensation, and certainly lowering the amount of ‘Ras-months’ for students. These conversations have led to an agreement between the Student Council and the Board of the University.
The new Profiling Fund consists of two parts. The first part is about unforeseen circumstances. This is for students who for example become ill or pregnant, have a physical, sensory or other functional disorder,… etc. This part will be enforced in the upcoming academic year (2017-2018). The second part is about foreseen circumstances. This is for students who for example are board members of a student association or organisation. The second part will be enforced in academic year 2018-2019. You can find more information about the new Scheme on ras.tudelft.nl/en. Major changes are for example: a maximum in the number of months for unforeseen circumstances at 12 months per student, the addition of the so called ‘erkenningscyclus’ for all student associations or organisations every 3 years, and a maximisation of the amount of fulltime board members per student organisation.
As ORAS, we are very critical toward the new Profiling Fund. In the coming months, we will work on the implementation, and information provision for all the students of the university. We will monitor the effects of new measurements very carefully and will keep fighting for even chances for all students to engage in personal development.
If you have any questions or remarks, please do not hesitate to contact me: Mathias@oras.nl