13 January 2020 • Clemens Berendsen
Back on Track Blog: The New Year’s resolution that we will actually keep
2020! A new year that, for many of us, is accompanied by resolutions, i.e. intentions to improve our lives. In 2020, for instance, I’d like to take the stairs to the second floor more often, drink fewer glasses of white wine and snack less.
Today is 13 January and you’ve probably already forgotten many of your New Year’s resolutions. Personally, I’ve already taken the lift a few times since it was conveniently available. Not to mention that package of biscuits I finished off… But other resolutions have survived the first two weeks of the new year. During the New Year’s Reception, I drank soda for a change!
Why are we able to keep the one resolution but not the other? Making improvements means making changes, which requires taking action. And taking action, in my opinion, requires two things: 1) You have to realise the necessity: you know that if you don’t do anything, things will go wrong, and 2) You have to feel energetic and motivated: you’re enthusiastic about the anticipated results.
At THUAS, I predict that Back on Track is one resolution that we’ll actually keep! This past year, I saw a bit of hesitation, which is understandable since we still have a long way to go. But now that we’re making good progress, I see that people are understanding more and more the usefulness and necessity of this programme. There is more motivation, more progress and the changes are really starting to take hold.
We realise the necessity: Now that the faculties have started to take action, more and more examples confirm the necessity. A few examples: Exams in which the same question is asked ten times, exams that are cancelled because they were not ready in time, internship and account managers who lose valuable time retyping vacancies and students who are asked to evaluate subjects they didn’t take. The facts are sometimes hard to swallow, but it is important to be open about these things and face the facts. Otherwise, we cannot move ahead and create a culture in which we are honest and feel comfortable talking about what went wrong – and finding solutions together.
We’re motivated: Obviously, we can’t expect to get everything right the first time. We’ll always encounter obstacles along the way. But slowly but surely, I see a more positive energy transpire among people. We’re all eager to make improvements. I’m fully aware that I’m positive by nature, but I also see my positive attitude reflected in others to an increasing degree. Why? Because more and more people have heard about Back on Track and because many people have been involved in the programme for quite some time now. We still have a long way to go but, thanks to the initial results, more and more people are realising that it’s all about quality and not cost-cutting.
The year 2020 is an essential year for Back on Track, one in which we will be taking important steps forward. This is one New Year’s resolution that we can keep – together. I’m positive about this (as usual) and wish everyone an energetic and enthusiastic 2020!
Clemens Berendsen, Back on Track programme manager
Back On Track Blog
Published every two weeks, the Back on Track Blog reflects on current issues, opportunities and challenges of the Back on Track programme. The blog combines a regular contribution by Clemens Berends (the Back on Track programme manager) with various guest blogs.
About Back on Track:
Back on Track improves the efficiency and quality of key educational processes. This is achieved through these four programmes: Education Scheduling, Internship and Graduation Process Optimisation, Period Evaluation and Examination Process Optimisation.