Photographer:Fotograaf: Janneke Swinkels
MAASTRICHT. From January 2020, all Maastricht Associate Professors who have obtained a doctorate degree will receive the ius promovendi: the right to act as a PhD thesis supervisor. Until this year, this was restricted to professors or, in exceptional case, those who had obtained a PhD and had permission from the Board of Deans.
The immediate result of this adaptation is an alleviation of the work pressure for professors. The group of promotors will become almost twice the size it was (in 2018, there were 201 FTEs of professors and 196 FTEs of Associate Professors). In addition, this amendment of the regulations provides an opportunity for women and young researchers to prove themselves. Professors are generally older than Associate Professors and only a quarter is female, while the percentage of woman among Associate Professors is higher.
“Will the new regulation not be at the expense of the quality of the supervisors,” University Council member Maarten van Wesel wondered at the beginning of October in a committee meeting of the University Council. The new additional measures to safeguard quality – for example that from January, Assistant Professors who want to become Associate Professors must have proven experience supervising PhD candidates – don't actually apply to scientists who are already Associate Professors. “Is that not an issue?” Van Wesel wanted to know.
President Martin Paul doesn't think so. The PhD committee ultimately decides whether a supervisor is suitable and that committee will pay extra attention to this issue, Paul said to the University Council.