Where you study

Students should be able to not only gain knowledge from their studies at the UG, but also develop themselves personally. We believe that students can only do so in an environment in which challenges and relaxation are balanced. Furthermore, in a quickly changing landscape where internationalization and diversity are becoming important topics, the UG should make sure it is a good host to all incoming students.

Internationalization

With an ambitious strategy on internationalization, the number of international students at the UG is increasing rapidly. However, internationalization doesn’t only mean changing your default language, it also entails a thorough shift in mentality. The university should do its very best to achieve this. If not, the UG should adjust its aims in their internationalization policy.

  • Spend the same amount on housing for internationals as on marketing for internationals
  • At the moment, the UG spends way more on marketing for internationals than it does on housing for internationals. If the UG is willing to attract internationals to study in Groningen, it should also be willing to shoulder the costs of the housing problem that is created as a result. Therefore, we believe that every euro spent on international marketing should find its equivalence in expenditure on housing for internationals.
  • Encourage landlords to reserve rooms for international students
  • The housing market in Groningen is dominated by landlords. A solution for the housing problem should therefore aim at a cooperation with them. Landlords should be asked to set a number of rooms apart for international students. A subsidy for allocating these rooms could be installed as an encouragement.
  • Appoint a confidential advisor especially for internationals
  • Internationals have to deal with very different problems than Dutch students. Therefore we propose that the university creates a position for a confidential advisor who focuses on creating a safe environment for international students.

Mental health

The pressure to finish your study quickly with above-average results, while building an outstanding resume, is too much for many students. The university should put in effort to help students get through their studies without becoming mentally exhausted.

  • Turn the Well-being Week into an annual campaign
  • The Well-being Week is an initiative of Lijst Calimero, which we have developed with the university and the Student Service Centre. In mid-April, a pilot version of this campaign has taken place. We will do our best to ensure that, starting fall 2018, this campaign week will be held annually.
  • Expand the capacity of the Student Service Centre
  • The Board of the University has acknowledged the need for extra student psychologists. We are glad with the promise of the Board to invest in more capacity, but we want to keep track of the situation at the Student Service Centre. We want student psychologists to be more visible among students and capable of meeting the demand of students.
  • Introduce reflection spaces
  • For those students who want to just have a moment to reflect on their thoughts and feelings in between studying, the university should offer spaces to do so. Everyone should feel comfortable within the university. A reflection space in the UB, a common place where all students are welcome, would be a stepping stone to creating a hospitable environment.

Extracurricular activities

Student life also takes place outside of the walls of the university. Students may be actively involved with student organizations besides their curriculum. We believe that the main focus of the university should be the provision of education, but it should also encourage students to undertake extracurricular activities.

  • Ensure formal recognition of small boards
  • The mere fact that some associations are too small to receive a grant from the Financial Support Fund, should not deprive those board members of official recognition for their efforts. Therefore, we will strive for official recognition for small boards.
  • Continue the support for study associations
  • The university is showing more and more respect for the role that study associations have within our university, as can be seen in the recent decision to increase the amount of money available for board grants for study associations. Bearing the importance of study associations in mind, the university should continue to support study associations in performing their best.
  • Ensure respect for student organizations
  • Student organizations form a large part of student life in Groningen. The university should support and respect these organizations. We therefore oppose regulations that allow the university to financially punish associations or their boards that don’t behave the way the university wants them to, as this creates fear and insecurity among student organizations.

Pleasant study facilities

As a party that cares about the needs of students, we recognise how fundamental good working places are to students. Therefore, we call upon the UG to improve and expand the number and quality of workspaces.

  • Make more workspaces available and traceable
  • In order for students to comfortably study, we believe that the UG should provide enough workspaces. If the capacity of the UB falls short, the UG should make other workplaces more widely available. To help students in finding a study place, a digital system that shows the workplace capacity of buildings and the taken capacity should be installed.
  • Create more information and guidance for disabled students
  • Students with a disability, visible or not-visible, should be able to enjoy high quality education at the UG. We cannot allow a lack of proper facilities or communication to hold them back. Therefore, we urge the UG to strive to provide adequate facilities and sufficient information about such facilities.
  • Make indoor maps of UG buildings available
  • We are in favour of mapping all facilities of the UG in an Indoor Maps application, as it would help students, staff and guests find their way in our buildings. The joint Dutch universities are currently researching the possibilities for such an application. We hope to speed up the process as much as possible next year.
  • Strive for affordable hot meals in UG cafeterias
  • We believe students should be able to get quality food at an affordable price. Therefore we want to lower the prices at the cafeterias of the UG, especially with regard to hot meals.

Transparency in governance

We believe that transparency, accountability and respect for democracy are fundamental to an effective University Council.

  • Ensure a transparent, democratic and accountable university
  • The University Council makes the university a better place by giving feedback and proposing new ideas. In order to do so effectively, it is important that the University Council is actively involved in the policy making process. Doing so will create a more transparent and democratic university, which will incentivize students to become involved with decision-making.
  • Give full accountability for our choices
  • We believe in accountability and transparency at the university, which also includes our faction. In the coming year a lot of choices will be made. We guarantee that all difficult decisions will be explained in full. Furthermore, we are always open to questions regarding our decisions.
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