On Wednesday 10 July, the Executive Board officially adopted the plans for the allocation of the student loan funds. These funds, which are granted by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, are derived from the proceeds of the student loan system and must be put towards new, innovative education activities. The universities have made agreements about the above with the representative advisory bodies: these are what are referred to as the ‘quality agreements’. At the UvA, a portion of the funds will be used to focus on intensifying contact between students and lecturers, further professionalisation of lecturers, and the establishment of Teaching and Learning Centres (TLCs).
With the student loan funds the universities are implementing the Higher Education Quality Agreements 2019-2024, as laid down in the Sector agreement on higher education. This agreement covers six themes, of which the UvA has selected three: the provision of more intensive and small-scale education, professionalisation of lecturers, and suitable and high-quality educational facilities. The Executive Board has now approved the plans that were developed on those three themes throughout the UvA and the faculties, as well as the accountability framework for the use of the funds.
Given the fact that student numbers, education types and the educational facilities necessary vary between and within the various faculties, the UvA has decided to place responsibility for much of the development of the content of the plans with the faculties. This approach will ensure that justice is done to the differences between the faculties. Plans for the entire UvA organisation relating to lecturer professionalisation and the realisation of suitable, high-quality educational facilities have also been developed and implemented. Teaching and Learning Centres (TLCs) will also be set up for each faculty and at the central level.
The themes to be chosen and development of the plans takes place in phases, in each of which the representative advisory bodies are closely involved. Intensive discussions have also been held with the Central Student Council (CSR) and the Central Works Council (COR) about how the process itself was to be organised. The faculty agreements have all been issued a positive recommendation from both the student councils and the faculty works councils. The joint CSR/COR meeting indicated that while it was pleased with the way in which the process at the central level has moved forward, it suspected that the process at the faculty level may have been under a bit too much pressure due to time constraints. In response, the Board and the representative advisory bodies reached clear agreements about the process going forward.
The quality funds for 2019 to 2022 will be granted on an annual basis; the amount will increase each year. An amount of €7.7 million is available for 2019 and an amount of €9.2 million for 2020. The allocation model will be used to establish how funds are to be allocated within the UvA.
The plans will be implemented in phases in the years ahead. A start has already been made on several aspects. This is necessary as the university was already expected to spend the funds starting in early 2019. In the autumn, the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) will assess the UvA's plans.