Policy Plan Pro Geo 2017-2018
Due to the dynamic nature of higher education it is necessary to carefully observe the changes around us and adapt to them. The main task of the foundation Pro Geo (hereafter Pro Geo) is to contribute to and improve the quality of the education at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences (hereafter FSS). Pro Geo believes high quality education should challenge students and provide them with the possibility to develop themselves in their field of education. Furthermore, students should be prepared for and introduced to the working field.
The board members of Pro Geo will use their seats in the Faculty Council by supervising the quality of education for all students at the FSS. This year the increased internationalization at the FSS will be continued. Besides this, employability will remain a key topic. In this policy plan these and other main issues ensuring the quality of the programmes at the FSS are laid out.
1. Monitoring the quality of education
1.1. Programme Committees
This year Pro Geo will extend upon the information document for the Programme Committees (hereafter PC’s). In this document, the core tasks of the PC’s will be laid out. Furthermore, the education and examination regulations (Dutch: OER, Onderwijs en Examen Reglement) will be discussed in this document. Next to this, Pro Geo will motivate an active participation from the student members of the PC’s. An introductory meeting will be organized in the beginning of the academic year to give the PC members an understanding of the current affairs in the faculty and to clarify the information document.
1.2. Interaction Policy
Students whom have any comments or remarks on education-related issues can submit these to Pro Geo. To ensure good interaction, students will be given the opportunity to explain comments or remarks via digital media or in person with one of the board members. This issue will subsequently be discussed with the associated parties and a suitable solution for all will be sought. In addition, comments or remarks that apply to the general student body will be discussed at the corresponding PC meetings.
1.3. Learning Communities
The Learning Communities (hereafter LC’s) will continue to play a significant role in the first year of the bachelor programmes. Pro Geo will monitor the application of the LC’s by keeping close communication with the LC coordinators.
1.4. Study advancement fund (Dutch: studievoorschotmiddelen)
A recent change of law in the Netherlands led to the creation of a study advancement fund. The aim of this fund is to improve the quality of higher education in the Netherlands. The task of Pro Geo is to ensure this fund is well invested in the education at the FSS.
Starting this academic year all first year programmes at the FSS will be taught in English. This process will continue in the coming year eventually making all courses at the FSS English. This process is started in light of the ambition of the FSS to be international. An important issue to keep in mind though is that changing the language to English does not necessarily lead to internationalization.
2.1. Internationalization within the Faculty of Spatial Sciences
The role of Pro Geo is to monitor and reflect the progress of internationalization in two ways. First, Pro Geo has to ensure the quality of English used in the courses is sufficient. Second, the international focus of the content in courses is of importance to Pro Geo.
2.2. Internationalization within Pro Geo
Pro Geo has already begun the translation of the documents and website. This year, the goal is to finish this process and to make Pro Geo more accessible for international students.
Ongoing collaborations with organizations within the FSS will be continued. This year, Pro Geo will organize the Careers Day and two alumni events. These events aim to reduce the gap between students and their future field of work. We want to aid the FSS in improving the awareness of the possibilities which the FSS offers to students, concerning career related services and events. Furthermore, we will explore how the facilities of the Careers Company can be used on a more regular basis. In addition, Pro Geo will take place in the Employability project group, to oversee the process of integrating the working field into our programmes.
3.1. Connection with working field
Pro Geo is committed to a sufficient connection to all programmes at the FSS with the working field. To ensure this, the working field should be incorporated into courses where possible.
3.2 Internship course
To reduce the gap between the working field and the programmes at the FSS, the possibility to do an internship during the minor is of importance. Pro Geo will strive to improve the student awareness of these internships, by keeping close contact with the course coordinator. By exploring the demand for the internship course we will investigate opportunities to improve the course together with the course coordinator.
Starting this academic year the financial collaboration between the FSS and Pro Geo will change. In the beginning of the academic year a budget plan will be determined by Pro Geo and the FSS. This budget plan contains activities for which the FSS will give a financial compensation. During the academic year Pro Geo will finance the activities in the budget plan from their savings. At the end of the academic year the FSS will repay the costs. This is more efficient and will create more clarity. At the end of the year Pro Geo will evaluate the new financial situation together with the FSS.
5. Transparency & awareness
Pro Geo represents the students of the FSS in the Faculty Council. Therefore, it is vital for Pro Geo to be a visible and transparent organization. It is important that students know what Pro Geo is and does, and that they feel free to provide comments and remarks about the education at the FSS.
5.1 Providing information to students
To improve further transparency, Pro Geo will provide information and insight into the affairs of the Faculty Council. This will be done via updates on the Pro Geo Facebook page, website, LinkedIn page and Nestor. For this reason, we will improve the visibility of these channels by promoting them more actively.
5.2 Wall of Fame
To increase awareness and visibility of Pro Geo and the teacher of the year-award on the FSS, Pro Geo will create a Wall of Fame. On this wall the photographs of the winners of the teacher of the year-award will be exhibited.
Pro Geo Board 2017-2018
Casper van Mastrigt
Ilse de Vries
*The entire policy plan 2017-2018 can be downloaded here.