THUAS continues to work on security
Security is an important issue for educational institutions in 2018. It is an issue that requires constant vigilance. The Hague University of Applied Sciences strives to take its responsibility vis-à-vis the security of its staff and students. To this end, the University of Applied Sciences’ Crisis Management Team (CMT) recently had a drill which covered various potential crisis situations.
To enhance security, new protocols for worrisome behaviours have been developed for staff. For students, the studying and doing internships abroad page covers in detail what to do in emergency situations during internships abroad. These are aspects of security that show that THUAS is keeping an eye on the situation.
Security is a basic requirement for providing good education. Situations may arise where the perceived need for security is greater, even though there may be no direct evidence for this. An example is if a lecturer has a gut feeling about a student who starts displaying unusual behaviour, shows signs of psychological problems, responds aggressively to certain situations or seems to be radicalised. Lecturers must discuss this with their supervisors. Should they be in agreement that help is required, they must approach the Safety Reporting and Advisory Centre for advice
The right help
One of the people at the Safety Reporting and Advisory Centre is the security advisor, Marjon Gielisse. “We support the faculties and degree programmes in implementing security. Supervisors can always discuss cases with us to ensure that the student in question gets the right help and does not sink further in a downward spiral.”
Staff can quickly see what to do in cases of aggression, radicalisation, situations that require immediate psychological care etc. For these cases, THUAS has updated its security protocols and has added a few new points. Marjon Gielisse: “We have designed each protocol as a flow chart on one A4 piece of paper. Staff can quickly read the best way to deal with aggression, radicalisation, situations that require immediate psychological care etc. They can of course always call the emergency number on campus if necessary.
The Hague University of Applied Sciences’ security concerns also cross the border. Marjon: “As a university of applied sciences that prioritises internationalisation, we encourage students to do internships abroad or do part of their studies at a partner institution abroad. We expect students to prepare well for their international experience. We expect them to: check which countries are safe for them to travel to; read about the culture of the country and to think about safety aspects in advance; and to adhere to the travel advice issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They are also required to use Osiris to inform us where they are and how we can reach them in case of emergency.
The Hague University of Applied Sciences has a crisis hierarchy headed by a Crisis Management Team. The team must take appropriate action if there is an emergency at The Hague University of Applied Sciences or outside it. Marjon: “Imagine that the KNMI weather service issues a code red for extremely strong winds in the middle of an examination period. The CMT may then decide to cancel the examinations that day. The CMT also takes action in the case of a data leak, serious incidents with one or more students abroad, a fire at one of our campuses or if there is a violent incident.” The CMT recently went through some of these scenarios. Who are the first to be involved and when? What decisions need to be taken to handle the emergency as quickly as possible? It is good to practice with each other like this. It helps you anticipate each other’s actions better and makes you more aware of possible emergency situations.”
Security encompasses several aspects. It could be an emergency responder who can administer first aid in the case of an injury. or a staff member or student who knows what to do in cases of evacuation. But it could also be taking action in case of earthquakes or volcanic eruptions that affect our students abroad. Marjon: “it is important that the University of Applied Sciences takes responsibility in all these cases.”