26 April 2017 • by Lotte Hoes
The Institution Plan: ‘Now’s the time to take the right steps’
Are we on track with the Institution Plan? And what do we need to do to achieve the goals set in 2014? To answer these questions, THUAS asked nine independent experts to spend four days at our main campus assessing the current state of affairs at THUAS. They presented the first conclusions of the midterm review on Friday.
‘The foundation has been laid; now it’s important to take the right steps from this point on. One thing is essential here: the focus must be on the students,’ says Albert Cornelissen at the start of the presentation. For many years, Cornelissen served as chair of the Executive Board at the Windesheim university of applied sciences and chaired the panel, comprised of seven lecturers and professors and two students from research universities and universities of applied sciences from around the country. The panel members spent four days scrutinising THUAS, which entailed holding interviews with employees in order to provide feedback on the situation at the school today, three years after the launch of the Institution Plan and the reorganisation.
Not everyone is on the right track
The interviews made clear that some degree programmes have not progressed as far as others in implementing the new Institution Plan. Without focusing specifically on any one degree programme, Cornelissen concluded that there are front runners within THUAS in terms of implementation. ‘But there are also degree programmes that want to do this in phases, because the implementation does not align well with the current status of the programme,’ says Cornelissen. ‘Some of the service departments are also trying to figure out the right approach to the implementation.’
Time to concretise
In addition, it is still not clear to many of the team leaders and programme managers what exactly their role is, such as in terms of the WIN themes. The panel considers this a task for management. ‘You need to be more concrete,’ says Cornelissen. ‘There needs to be stability. Management comprises a team of very strong and driven individuals. Do not keep changing the composition, but talk about each other positively and, above all, remain confident about the framework of the plans; don’t keep making adjustments. This also provides the programme managers with effective support.’
Strengthen the network
Cornelissen concludes with a last bit of advice: also express the notion of a networking university of applied sciences within the school instead of primarily externally. ‘This school has an excellent network, but collaboration among the staff can be utilised and encouraged more effectively,’ he says. ‘This lets you extract more knowledge and expertise from the institution.’
After the presentation, Leonard Geluk, the President of the Executive Board, commented that all of the conclusions and recommendations are understandable. ‘They’re easily translatable into actions for the next two to three years. We’re going to use this “snapshot” to brainstorm about how we will put these recommendations into practice!’