An open and accessible university is important for and contributes to an open and accessible academic climate. It is also important that prospective students can follow a study that is in line with their interests. The introduction of a numerus fixus by a certain course can ensure that the accessibility of the course is at stake. Moreover, this can lead to students being excluded from participating in a certain study program and therefore not being able to follow the study program they want to follow based on their interests.
Because of this, the FSR-FMG sees a numerus fixus as something that should be prevented. When setting a numerus fixus, it is therefore important to carefully consider why such a method is chosen. Internationalization is one of the reasons why potential capacity problems may arise during a training course and it is necessary to deviate from selection criteria at the gate, such as setting a numerus fixus.
In addition to whether or not to set a numerus fixus, the selection criteria for programs that already use a numerus fixus must be carefully considered and evaluated. Good evaluations can be used to check whether the set criteria are full and whether the selection methods test what needs to be tested. In this way it becomes possible to make the selection procedure as independent and fair as possible.
File holders: Casper Colenbrander & Evi de Rover
Masters selection means that additional conditions are imposed on the student on top of the bachelor’s degree on which the master builds. English-language masters attract international students. This international influx can have a positive influence on the learning environment of the students. However, we consider the increasing trend in master selection to be negative. The FSR-FMG believes that the influx of international students should not be at the expense of the accessibility of a course for Dutch students. We strive to ensure that any selection procedures are fair and transparent for the student. It must be immediately clear to the student what is expected of him or her to meet reasonable criteria. The Council is also committed to retaining connecting Masters for each Bachelor’s degree.
File holders: Lise Lathouwers
The FSR-FMG considers the existence of bridging programs important for the accessibility of education. In the light of lifelong learning, the promotion of ambition and diversity, it is important that there are sufficient and good transition processes. In this way, late bloomers also have the opportunity to develop further. More and more is being cut on switching processes, putting them under pressure. The council will work to preserve the transition processes within the FMG. For example, the linking processes are a point of attention when reviewing the budget. In addition, the FSR-FMG wants to contribute to a solution by talking to both link students and those responsible at faculty and central level. In this way we wish to gain more knowledge and dedication to this theme, as well as to draw attention to the need for relevant, accessible link processes.
File holders: Evi de Rover
Flex studying is a new way of studying where the student pays per course and does not have to register for an entire academic year. This means that you only pay for the education that you actually follow at the university. If you register for more than 60 credits you never pay more than the statutory tuition fee. This is beneficial for students who have other obligations besides their studies such as work, their own company, caregiver, a board year or another study. This year, the FlexGudding pilot has started at the FMG for five master’s and two bachelor’s programs. Moreover, there is a need for more and clear information about this development. A good evaluation of this pilot is of great importance because the UvA as a pioneer enjoys interest from other educational institutions, but also from The Hague.
File holders: Daniël Ellis & Casper Colenbrander
The UvA-matching program is a preliminary process for prospective students who are introduced to a study program in this way. This contributes to real expectations and making a good study choice. The FSR-FMG believes it is important that this matching takes place, provided that it does not become a covert selection procedure for the gate and future students are not bound by advice that follows from this process. It is important to evaluate the added value of UvA matching and how it relates to binding study advice. This year the file is extra important because there is a large-scale evaluation of the matching process.
File holder: Nina Salomons
The university welcomes two studies at the same time. However, it is not made easy for these ambitious students. This has to do with, for example, awkward scheduling. Something annoying, but hard to come by. The FSR-FMG is committed to speaking with these students and coming up with policy solutions together with them, for example by looking at the relaxation of lectures and exemptions for this group or for certain subjects.
File holder: Daniël Ellis
In an internationally oriented city such as Amsterdam, it is important that the largest university in the city also looks outside. A diverse university can be an enrichment for the academic climate. Something that can be of great value both socially and scientifically. However, the quality and accessibility of the training are of paramount importance. The internationalization of a study program must therefore be a well-considered decision that raises the quality of education to a higher level, without compromising accessibility. It is therefore important that training courses are aware of the consequences with regard to the capacity of the training course. Due to the internationalization of Communication Science in the 2016-2017 academic year and the internationalization of Political Science in the current academic year, many (international) students have joined our faculty. For current international students it is important that the information facilities and accommodation are of sound quality and that it is clear to them how the academic climate in the Netherlands works. After all, Dutch academic culture can differ greatly from academic cultures in other countries.In addition, it is important that education remains accessible to Dutch-speaking students. In addition to paying attention to students, teachers must also be taken into account. This is in the interest of both students and teachers. If teachers are properly prepared for the English language and the possible cultural differences between students, they are more confident for the students and they can provide good tailor-made solutions. It is also important for students that teachers are properly prepared for internationalization, so that there are no language barriers.
Furthermore, the consequences for study associations must be taken into account. It is important that study associations are taken by the department of the relevant study program at an early stage to ascertain what changes must and can be made in order to also open the association to international members.Finally, internationalization does not work in one direction. Students who are going to study abroad are also part of the internationalization of the UvA and the Faculty of Social and Behavioral Sciences. It is important that the information facilities and conditions for studying abroad are clear. Moreover, it is good if students are informed at an early stage of their studies about the possibilities to study abroad. This way they can read about this and make a well-considered decision.
File holders: Nina Salomons, Christian Manuputty & Evi de Rover
Free choice of minors
Some students are looking for a challenge by taking a minor outside their field. This not only contributes to their own development, but also to the UvA’s interdisciplinary academic climate. The FSR-FMG therefore wonders whether students can choose the freedom of choice for their minor according to their own needs and interests. The FSR therefore proposes a study among the students, so that the policy can be determined in this.
File holders: Lise Lathouwers & Rinke Ploeger