Policy Plan Pro Geo
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 stichting 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 including the digital skills used in the working field.
The board members of Pro Geo will use their seats in the Faculty Council to supervise 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 themes affecting the quality of the programmes at the FSS are laid out. This year we decided to come up with a policy plan for long term goals and to make a short term vision. See below for the short term vision.
1. Core task: Education
1.1. Programme Committees
Every bachelor and master programme at the Faculty of Spatial Sciences has his own Programme Committee (hereafter PC) in which two or three students take place together with staff of the faculty. The PC’s are discussing and appointing various topics related to the quality of the Programmes given at the Faculty. After each term, the PC meetings take place in order to evaluate the courses and provide feedback to the lecturers and the Faculty. The PC is also responsible for reviewing and providing feedback on the Teaching and Examination Regulations (Dutch: Onderwijs- en Examenregelingen, OER). Every student studying at the FSS can take place in the Programme Committee. 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 proper interaction, students will be given the opportunity to submit comments or remarks via digital media and to discuss this in person with one of the board members. Any raised 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. Faculty organizations
Pro Geo will keep close contact with all the involved organisations of the faculty, such as Ibn Battuta, Geo Promotion, the student assessor, Girugten, Career Services and Real Estate Club Groningen. This contact will be done on a formal as well informal basis. An example of a formal basis is a monthly meeting with the chairmen of the organizations. Furthermore, we will monitor the application of the Learning Communities by keeping close communication with the LC coordinators.
2. Transparency & visibility
In order to function properly as representatives of the students of FSS, 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 the students feel free to provide comments and remarks about the education at the FSS.
2.1. 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 strive to improve the visibility of these channels by promoting them more actively.
2.2. Teacher of the Year (Wall of Fame)
To increase awareness and visibility of Pro Geo and the teacher of the year-award on the FSS, a a Wall of Fame is created. On this wall the photographs of the winners of the teacher of the year-award are exhibited.
In order to provide services for the students whom Pro Geo represents, Pro Geo makes occasional use of personal data. If data are requested of individuals, it will be made clear why the data are collected and whether the individual agrees with the collection and storage of personal data. Pro Geo will never save your personal data for longer than strictly necessary to realize the goals, for which your data are collected.
Starting this academic year all courses for the first and second year of the bachelor programmes at the FSS will be taught in English. This process was started in light of the ambition of the FSS to provide an international classroom. This process will continue in the coming year eventually making all courses at the FSS English as of the academic year 2019/2020. An important issue to keep in mind though, is that changing the language to English does not necessarily lead to internationalization.
3.1. Internationalization within the Faculty of Spatial Sciences
The role of Pro Geo is to monitor and reflect the progress of internationalization in two ways. Firstly, Pro Geo believes the quality of English used in the courses must be sufficient. Secondly, the international focus of the content in courses is of importance to Pro Geo.
3.2. Internationalization within the Faculty Council
To ensure that international students and international staff members can fully participate in the Faculty Council, Pro Geo only discusses translated documents in the Faculty Council. We see it as important that language should not be a barrier when participating in a representative function, such as the Faculty Council.
This year, Pro Geo will organize the Careers Day and one Alumni Event in corporation with Ibn Battuta. These events aim to introduce the students to their future working field. 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. In order to encourage students to visit career related events, a passepartout card has been created. 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.
4.1. 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.
4.2. 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. Furthermore, Pro Geo will keep close contact with the course coordinator.
4.3. Digital skills
The digital environment of geographers and urban planners is developing rapidly: new techniques, new software and new data sources. Pro Geo will strive to implement these digital skills to the study programmes. Furthermore, a development of skills of staff also needed. To ensure the most applicable skills will be teached Pro Geo will investigate among alumni which skills are needed in the working field.
Pro Geo Board 2018-2019
Jeppe de Vries Chairman
Joram Wijnstra Vice-chairman
Welmoed Claus Secretary
Jim Klooster Treasurer
Charissa Andringa PC-commissioner
*The entire policy plan and the short-term vision can be downloaded here