MAASTRICHT. May the Faculty of Psychology and Neurosciences adapt the quality agreements? Can the money that has been freed up with the abolishing of the basic grant be used differently than was previously agreed? The University Council does not think so.
In the quality agreements that were drawn up last year, it states that all first- and second-year students should be given at least seven intensive contact hours. These include practicals or tutor meetings. A lecture does not count. Although the psychology students meet that number in some block periods, in others they don’t. They do reach an average of seven hours, but such a calculation is not allowed.
Initially, the faculty wanted to increase the number of contact hours in accordance with the agreement, but the students were unhappy about this. They consider the study pressure to be quite high already and feel it is nice when some blocks have fewer intensive hours.
That is why the board suggested that the money be spent on improving testing, which has been a weak point at the faculty for years. That is also a section in the quality agreements, but a different category. The students in the FPN council agreed with this. The University Council, however, did not, as appeared during the latest faculty meeting. They feel that the plans are not sufficiently detailed and want FPN to stick to the previous agreements. Also not to set a precedent for other faculties.
What probably also plays a role, is the fact that the University Council had objected to FPN’s original plans last year. They then doubted whether Psychology was spending all its money for education on actual education. After an explanation by the dean, the University Council eventually gave the go-ahead.
Psychology is now going to introduce more intensive hours after all. These will be in the form of a seminar in which students will be prepared for the exam.