The UvA is continuing its efforts to strengthen the Programme Committees and decentralised participation in decision-making, e.g. through training and support. Decisions about research and teaching are made at the lowest possible level in the organisation.
The UvA embraces the Programme Committees' role as representative advisory bodies, as laid down by law. To this end, it has asked a programme group to issue an advice. Knowledge-sharing meetings have been held and much work has been done at the level of the faculty as well as the degree programmes to facilitate the role of the Programme Committees. Additionally, the group has examined the facilities and the support that the Programme Committees require (e.g. meeting rooms, website, secretarial support). Student and lecturer members have also been allocated more time for the performance of their duties. Finally, points of reference have been provided for the manner in which the Programme Committees will be formed in order to ensure more suitable representation.
The law provides that the composition of the Programme Committees should be determined on the basis of elections. These elections are held at the central level. Faculties are offered the option to provide for an alternative procedure for determining the composition of the Programme Committees in the Faculty Regulations. This is subject to the right of consent of the Faculty Student Council (FSR) and the Works Council (OR).
The Executive Board's point of departure is that the quality of university education and research is realised at the programme and research group level. Staff, lecturers and researchers take the lead, provided that this situation does not harm the interests of present or future students and complies with legislation. The more education and research are decentralised, the more important it is that representative advisory councils are also decentralised. The faculties have taken the necessary steps to ensure this. The position of the Programme Committees has been reinforced and the faculty representative advisory bodies are being involved in the policy process at an earlier stage. In the first half of 2017, the Executive Board conducted working visits with each faculty in order to discuss matters such as increasing the involvement and participation of staff and students, problems that people are having and good practices that currently exist or are in development. Regular consultations are conducted between the chairs of the Faculty Student Councils and the Programme Committees, the Rector and the President of the Executive Board.