The structure of education has a large impact on its quality. Students should always be the centre of learning. Furthermore, the UG needs to adapt to recent developments and should be innovative in its education.
Small-scale and quality education
Small-scale education has been the focus point of Lijst Calimero throughout our existence. This will continue to be one of our top priorities regarding education.
Invest in small-scale interaction
Interaction, discussion and feedback are the best ways to understand and grasp a subject. The focus of the university should be on working groups, seminars and practicals. To achieve this, we want the university to invest in means that support small-scale education, such as expanding teaching staff.
Diversify the way of examination
Knowledge needs to be tested in different ways. One big exam at the end of weeks of lectures is an inadequate way of examining whether a student grasps the subject. Programmes should diversify their way of testing: smaller mid-term exams, essays, papers and practicals where feedback and improvement are given are better ways of measuring knowledge.
Your grade should not be decided by your background, culture or a personal beef with your professor. Therefore, we propose that all exams be anonymized before checked.
Excellent education for all students
All highly-motivated students should be able to apply for additional programmes and courses: A good degree and quality education should be available to everyone. At the moment, certain courses and programmes are not available for students who are not performing well enough. We will strive to ensure access to quality education for all students.
No evening and weekend exams
Lijst Calimero opposes evening and weekend exams. Instead of making students responsible for the lack of exam halls, the university needs to take action. Students should be free to pursue their own activities in the evenings and weekends. The UG should find temporary locations for exams while the capacity is expanded.
Digital innovation provides opportunities that can improve the quality of education. Next to investing in new digital innovations, people need to be taught how to use it.
More digital testing
The university should aim to increase the amount of digital exams, since this way of examining is user friendly, honest and demands less from staff and students.
All lectures should be available online
Lectures should be recorded and made available online for everyone. This way, students with overlap between courses can continue both, and the focus in courses can shift from lectures to small-scale working groups or seminars.
Careful implementation of Perusall
We have consistently championed feedback in education over the past years. Students should receive feedback, because through it we learn from our mistakes. An example of how students can get more feedback is Perusall, an online platform through which students are able to receive more feedback from teachers. However, the university should make sure that there are enough safeguards regarding privacy and the use of IT. Furthermore, we shouldn’t allow algorithms to automatically grade students.
Ensure the privacy of students
As our digital infrastructure expands, more resources should be invested in the protection of data. Furthermore, we want the university to give students a clear overview of which data are collected with their consent.
Internationalization in education
In a globalised world, students should be prepared to work in an international, intercultural environment. The university should adapt to this change and integrate internationalization in a way that improves the quality of education.
Careful internationalization of studies
Making courses available in English attracts international students, which could benefit our university. However, changing the language of studies can also decrease the quality of education. Transitioning to English should only be done when it contributes to the quality. Furthermore, only changing the language isn’t enough. The UG should invest in changing the curricula so that they stimulate inclusion of internationals.
Teachers should be qualified to teach in English
Students learn most when they can communicate effectively with their teachers. An often heard complaint is the ‘Dunglish’ spoken by teachers who have trouble communicating in English. Therefore, the university should take measures to ensure that all teachers who give their classes in English have at least a C1 qualification by offering them English courses within working hours.
More capacity for free Dutch and English courses
As our university is becoming more international, we should enable all students and staff members to communicate without barriers. In order to do so, we propose that both Dutch and English courses should remain free. Furthermore, as the rising demand can be foreseen, the available capacity should be expanded.
Create an introductory workshop for international students
There is a large lack of useful knowledge among international students. An information session that covers study associations, exam preparation, practicing exam questions, and any other matters related to successfully study here should be provided for internationals in the first study week.
‘No’ to Yantai
The faction of the year 2017/2018 gave a very clear ‘No’ to the plans for a branch campus in China. We fully support them in their choice and will continue to oppose a branch campus in Yantai. Yantai was a threat to the quality of education, there were no significant advantages and there was a risk to academic freedom. We want a new internationalization strategy which is supported by programmes and faculties. A branch campus is a project that the university currently cannot manage. We should focus on internationalization in Groningen before we invest in a large transnational project.