Blog & Opinion
21 December 2018 • Leonard Geluk
Christmas is period for reflection. It’s a good time to step back and pause amid all the pressure of our hectic lives. What did 2018 bring us? What does the year ahead have in store?
I am extremely positive about many things. In early new year, I will publish an article here in which I will also share some of my concerns about the way in which the ‘system world’ is standing in the way of personal attention. But that’s coming in January. Right now, a focus on the positive: 2018 brought financial and social stability to THUAS:
- The financial issues that arose in 2017 do not exist anymore. The Hague University of Applied Sciences is financially sound through and through. And it will continue this way in 2019 and beyond. I am pleased that we have been able to tackle this together.
- The issue of social security is no longer manifest. Staff members gave THUAS a score of 6.7 for Social Security. Several areas scored lower, but we are working intensively on improving collaboration in the team on these areas.
- Students are reasonably satisfied with THUAS. We hear this in discussions with students and see it reflected in the student evaluations.
This means we have a solid foundation that we can continue building upon in 2019. Of course, there is still room for improvement. Staff members from THUAS noted in Kompas that as a university of applied sciences we do not focus sufficiently on students. That is something we need to improve. The quality of the education must further increase, and we want to see this expressed in the evaluations and surveys. The workload also deserves much attention and to achieve the objectives in the educational vision. I also hear calls for this in Erik van der Molen’s response to my previous blog and in Karel van der Lelij’s blog on lecturer satisfaction.
Agenda for improvement
Erik called on us to work more with specific targets. He made a good point. We are working on clear targets without creating any new bureaucracy that shows that we are on the right track. Karel’s idea for a lecturer survey also strikes me as a good one. In addition to the student panel, we also want to start a lecturer panel in 2019, through which we can make a concrete improvement agenda to remove any sources of stress. Collaboration between the executive board, education and services is critical.
I traditionally open the new year with a New Year’s speech that is brief and to the point. My message? Every day we are making THUAS a little better and also a little more personal. Are you curious about what I am referring to here? If so, come to our New Year’s get-together on 7 January. We will start the programme at 4 pm in Speakers’ Corner. Many students will be on the stage. Doors open at 3.30 pm. Until then!
For now, I would like to wish you a wonderful festive period and a lovely holiday!
Leonard Geluk has been Chair of the Executive Board since 1 April 2014. Prior to this, he served as alderman of Education for Rotterdam and chair of a Regional Training Centre in Utrecht.