Photographer:Fotograaf: Loraine Bodewes
This is the last episode of the series on the new rector magnificus. The process is rapidly reaching its climax. A recommendation has been submitted to the University Council. What do students expect from this manager?
Stephanie Meeuwissen, sixth-year medical student: “It is very important that the rector listens actively to the students, and then not only in the compulsory bodies such as the University Council. Because education can develop differently in practice from how it was once meant. Students have a good insight into this. A lot can be modernised, through blended learning, e-lectures, video lectures, that kind of thing. These days, students learn from YouTube clips and find more information through Google than through the Learning and Resource Centre. The new rector could stimulate the development of formats so that faculties will no longer need to reinvent the wheel.
“PBL has not been a seven-step process for some time now, so how does an actively learning group of students make the most of their contact hours? The rector should play a leading role in this. You can leave things to a vice rector but I think that it is the rector’s primary task to deal directly with education, and also to keep a watch on how plans work out in practice.
“Another thing: the academic debate. Students would appreciate very much if the rector promoted the debate on certain topics. These could be about topical matters, about refugees for example, or closer to home, the study burden or the borrowing system.”
Jeroen Moonemans, first-year master’s student of International Business: “I primarily expect leadership from a rector in creating the feeling of solidarity within the university. That you don’t just come to school to study, but that you also have a sense of pride that you are studying here. The feeling of a community that goes beyond the faculty, a UM feeling. The rector should radiate how he feels about the UM, just how special this university is.
“I am very active within SBE, but as a student you don’t really get to see what the rector does, what his responsibilities are, what his role is. He should be more involved in discussions with students; if he does so at all, it is with a small group, from the University Council for example. He could be more visible to us.
“As far as education is concerned, I see a role in evaluating and innovating PBL, fine-tuning it towards what students want. Everything is quicker these days, young people watch vines [ultra-short clips], the concentration span is shorter, you have to adapt to that. And also how you can stimulate the discussion in tutorial group meetings.”
Julia Dorenbos, third-year student of Fiscal Law: “What does a rector do exactly? Is he mainly in charge of education and research? Education at our faculty is good, students are listened to, and the faculty drums it into us that we have to complete the evaluation sheets, no complaints there. But there are about the library. You need a lot of books for law, easily a few for each block, to the amount of 100 to 200 euro. If you don’t want to buy them, you can go to the University Library, except that there are too few copies and often the copies on loan are outdated. When you study law, this is an important aspect, a book from 2007 is too old. There are more recent copies, but you are not allowed to borrow them and there are only one or two copies available, far too few. I am very satisfied with the UM, but this is bad.”