In a world where we increasingly see external funding of university research, the Independents support diligent policies with respect to safeguarding the integrity and independence of our research. In this respect, it stands to reason that we also support policies to provide researchers with sufficient time to properly execute the projects they undertake.
We strive to safeguard the quality of research, in particular that of Ph.D. candidates, as a there have been irregularities there in the past. In the university community, the quality of the doctoral degree is assumed to be profoundly influenced by the input of the thesis advisor. We believe that these advisors need to be provided with equitable conditions for providing the best possible input they can.
In the council, we have successfully campaigned for the inclusion of a guarantee of comparable and fitting support to all Ph.D. candidates at our university in the advisory discussions on the dossier “Quality Guarantees for PhD. Programs.” In particular, we resisted the inclusion of mandatory minimum numbers of candidates for Ph.D. supervisors.
We believe it is important for the university to make its knowledge and insight available to society by collaborating with (local) organizations and, for example, by offering programs in “life-long learning.”
Fundamental and applied research should reinforce each other. They are complementary, but must also be properly co-existent: the one needs to provide the proper amount of room for the other. Our university’s motto, “understanding society”, expresses precisely these two aspects. We will continue to drive this point home to the university’s Broad of Governors.
In order to be able to compete internationally, a clear university profile and a well-executed strategy are vital. This profile needs to be based on an inspiring mission and propagated by effective governance, allowing faculties to work together in unison. The Independents, with our broad representation of faculties and services, are ideally equipped to help shape this mission. With an eye to guaranteeing the quality of education, we have successfully argued in favor of controlled growth with respect to the number of students. We played a constructive role in the selection of the new members of the Executive Board. We contributed useful criticism in the process of adopting the most recent Strategic Plan. We will continue to strive for a clear strategic vision and effective governance.
We remain vigilant in guaranteeing that staff and students, regardless of their nationality, gender, or age are provided with equal opportunities to participate in university life.
Our party has made it a point to push for improved levels of English proficiency among employees and to encourage employees from abroad to learn Dutch by providing them with compensation for the costs of courses. We have welcome non-speakers of Dutch in our party and require that all university documents be translated into English, policies we will continue in the coming two years.
An educational institution such as ours, which is over 20000 strong, serves as a role model for both its students as well as the local community. We will continue to stress that the university needs to act responsibly in utilizing both its natural and human capital.
In concert with the student parties, we were successful in pushing through policies that ensure that the university will, in the long term, be CO2- and energy neutral. It remains essential to maintain this progress, in particular with respect to business and commuter traffic. We further stand for a varied, healthy and vegetarian-inclusive selection at the campus restaurants.