Board Meeting, 9th of March 2015
Last Monday our monthly meeting with the Executive Board of the TU Delft took place. A couple of interesting topics were discussed:
- Pulse (new learning centre)
- the Ras (Graduation Support Scheme)
- extra study costs besides tuition fees
- a reflection on the open discussion between students, the Central Student Council and the Executive Board
- ‘6000 euro exams’.
Several staff members of the TU Delft joined the Board Meeting to present the plans on a new learning centre, which is scheduled to be built in the near future. The new building is named ‘Pulse’ and will be located in front of the faculty IDE. Several lecture rooms will be included that are flexible in use and can be used for lectures with more digital implementations. On request of the Student Council the staff members agreed on long opening hours for students that want to study until midnight. Besides this the Student Council suggested that the lecture rooms will have the flexibility to turn them into self-study rooms during exam periods.
Fortunately, since Monday there’s more clarity about the regulations on the Graduation Support Scheme, the Ras. Next year you will receive Ras for your committee or board in the same way as this year. Changes that needed to be done to the Scheme because of the disappearance of the student grants for national students are postponed until next year. For the coming year there is an exception made for students that are no longer receiving a student grant. The Student Council is very happy about this decision, but thinks that there are some improvements to be made to the regulations. The most important remark is that March is way too late to inform students on next years Ras.
Extra study costs
In the past weeks the Student Council has received some complaints about high costs regarding for example books. The law in the Netherlands clearly states that education cannot be dependent on any costs besides the national student fees. In some courses the TU Delft does not stick to this law. Examples are the obligation to buy a laptop and the obligation to buy a book with an access code, needed to attend tests. The Student Council thinks that it’s very important that education must be accessible to everybody, and stated this clearly to the Executive Board. The suggestion from the Student Council was to set up a policy on this subject, which prevents the examples given above. Besides this the importance for good communication about the extra costs towards new students was mentioned. This last point the Executive Board agreed on. However the Executive Board thinks that the urgency for a policy must be explored by looking for more examples. That’s what the Executive Board is going to look into for now.
Discussion students and the Executive Board
On Wednesday the 4th of March, a discussion took place between students and the Executive Board, led by the Student Council. Two topics were discussed: democracy on the TU Delft and the focus on profitability. About democracy there wasn’t much discussion. All the students agreed that board members of the TU Delft are open for conversation. Unfortunately there is not always an action on the things that are pointed out by students. In the Board Meeting of Monday the Student Council pointed this out to the Executive Board. Besides this, the Student Council suggested that one of the Student Council members could join the meeting between all directors of education, and could receive the report on the meetings between the deans. Unfortunately the Executive Board didn’t want to grant this, but promised that we will be informed about all topics that are discussed in those meetings.
The second theme, the focus on profitability, was food for a good discussion on Wednesday. A lot of the attending students thought that there was too much focus on the speed of which a student completes their study program, instead of on the quality of the education. After the discussion the students and the Executive Board agreed that all the obligations after the second year, meant for speeding up the curriculum, aren’t desirable. The Student Council hopes that clarity will be given by the Executive Board about this, by setting up policy on this subject. In the Board Meeting the Student Council underlined this again.
6000 euro exams
In the last few days the Student Council received stories about students that have exams in the third quarter of the year, which have no resits scheduled before the 31st of July. This means that failure on the first exam can result in not receiving any more student grants for two years. This means that the exam is worth about 6000 euro. A solution for this is that the resits are scheduled before the 31st of July. The Executive Board promised to look seriously at this suggestion.