MAASTRICHT. The School of Business and Economics will do the best they can to participate in the UM-wide minors programme, states dean Philip Vergauwen. The matter was discussed again last week by the ‘management team’ of deans and the Executive Board. Prior to this, Vergauwen was not too optimistic: “I don’t want SBE to be seen as the one who is being awkward, that because of us there will be no minors policy. I don’t like that atmosphere.”
A week later, it appears that the air has been cleared somewhat. SBE is struggling with the so-called compulsory time spent abroad: students must spend six months studying at a foreign university. Vergauwen: “We don’t want to give that up, it is important, students come to Maastricht especially for this reason and they do not want to lose that on any account. The problem is that as a result there is not a lot of room to creatively schedule subjects and plan minors with other faculties.” Nevertheless, SBE will do its best, says Vergauwen. The solution could lie in the elective courses being placed in the framework of a minor, or in the student traineeship abroad as such. Vergauwen is, at any rate, thinking of a curriculum that is less rigid. “Our accrediting bodies say: ‘the future is in Liberal Arts, even Business Schools will have to broaden their academic programmes,’ so this is the direction in which we should be heading.”
In the meantime, SBE’s participation in the minors policy is not a done deal, he acknowledges, not within his own faculty or with the Executive Board.