More, but also better jobs for students within Maastricht University, is what UCM student Tobias Bünder, member of the university council for Novum, is advocating.
Students working for the university is not just good for the students concerned, but also for the institute, says Bünder in line with official UM documents such as the latest Strategic Programme. He wrote a memo on the subject, which is now in the hands of the university council. He argues that students learn from their UM jobs and thus promote their chances on the labour market, while the university benefits from flexible, motivated and temporary staff focussed on innovation. It is unclear how many students have jobs - big or small - at the UM. Bünder spoke with faculty directors and others, and found that exact figures are not available. It is clear, however, that most students have organisational and administrative jobs. A smaller group works in teaching and research. For the latter category - the actual student assistants – employment conditions are clear, for the others – which is the group on which the memo focuses – this is much less the case. Denis Ancion of Marketing and Communication, was one of those interviewed by Bünder because his department employs many students for the promo teams: “It is all very complicated, which has a lot to do with the Dutch legislation. What we have to deal with are questions of health care insurance, student financing, et cetera. A capable central helpdesk would be welcome.”
There is criticism of the role of InterUM, the commercial job agency for the university. It claims almost one third of the hourly wages as commission and thus turns out to be too expensive. Ancion: “If I were to work through them, it would cost me 60 to 70 thousand euros more per year. But if there were a helpdesk to do the searching, InterUM could be cheaper.”
Bünder and others, such as the HRM director Martin Lammers, argue that the Executive Board should launch a Maastricht University campus job programme that really does something about creating more but also better jobs for students, with more responsibility.