Faculties will have a say in the quality agreements
The Board of the University of Groningen has agreed to approach the faculties in the nearby future with a request to think about the realisation of the Quality Agreements. The quality agreements is a framework, created by the government, that states how the academic universities and universities of applied sciences can invest funds that are generated by the abolition of the basic grants in 2015. Starting next year, the UG gets additional funds every year to invest in the quality of the education. These funds are quite a large sum of money: in the year 2019 the UG will receive 7.7 million euros to be spent as part of these quality agreements. These funds increase every year up until the maximum of 22.3 million euros in 2024. But these funds are only released if the NVAO, the organisation responsible for the educational accreditation of the universities and her courses, agrees with the plans of the UG. What’s important is that solid plans are created for the investment of the funds.
In these quality agreements it is emphasized that it is important that students and personnel are included in the way these in investments take shape and are accountable to the Minister of Education, Culture and Research (OCW). The UG has received six themes as part of the quality agreements where they can invest these funds in:
- Intensive and small scale education;
- educational differentiation;
- further professionalisation of teaching staff (teacher education);
- fitting and high quality educational facilities;
- more and better guidance of students;
- study success (including throughput, accessibility, equal opportunities).
The UG has to invest in one or multiple themes or has to argue why investments aren’t necessary in one of the themes. As Lijst Calimero, we think that the needs of different faculties are important and should be a leading factor in the discussion of the distribution of the additional funds. In the process of distributing these funds, brainstorming sessions within the faculties are of key importance for the process of agreeing on the quality agreements. By collecting the input of all the involved parties (students, staff, etc) and by using this to create a general plan that meets the different needs of the faculties. Through these means, we can guarantee that the quality of the education of every UG student improves.