Every 6 weeks UReka hosts a general member’s assembly to discuss the current state of affairs. This can be topics related to documents that are being discussed in the current university council (UC/UR) cycle. Or about our initiatives which later could be submitted to the whole council and maybe eventually be adopted by the executive board.
Update UC : “Wet Studie Voorschot”(WSV)
Since 2015 the Dutch law on higher education (WHW) is changed in such a way that each Dutch student won’t get scholarship(Dutch: stufi) any more from the government. The money that is saved by this will now go directly to each university instead, with the remark that this new stream of income should explicitly be spend on the improvement of the quality of education. The UReka faction has the opinion that so far the UT has not been clear on how this money is spent and thus the UC can’t judge if the extra means are used for the right causes. All members present did agree to some extent with the reasoning of the faction. There were some critical remarks on the effect that this could have. The size of the extra means is not very large, compared to the total budget. Also the point was raised that some faculties need to make cuts in the primal educational budget, so that this money could simply be used to prevent a decrease in quality, instead of gaining a new increase in quality.
Update Initiatives: Student costs other than intuition fee
UReka has come to notice that throughout the years more and more students need to make extra cost, next to the tuition fee, to acquire their degree. According to the Dutch law the tuition fee should be sufficient to (theoretically) acquire a diploma. The faction has made an assessment of nearly each study program. It can be a bit vague to determine if some study material or excursion is theoretically necessary, but there were a large number of study programs where extra purchases need to be made that seem to be crossing the line somewhat. The faction is currently looking at the possibilities on how to present their findings to the board of directors.
Update Working group: Housing for (international) students
During one of the UReka drinks last October, the topic of housing was discussed. During this meeting a lot of problems came up. These seem to mainly focus around a lack of good communication to international students before they start studying here, and the fact that a lot of Dutch landlords seem to favour Dutch students. Since housing (and the lack thereof) is a big and ongoing topic, it is not surprising that after the meeting still a lot of question remained un answered.
In order to get more answers and investigate the scope of the problem the working group on housing has had meetings and discussions with different stakeholders. Among these stakeholders were employees from the housing department of the UT, board members of the Student Union and UniTe and people from the municipality of Enschede. Getting a grip on what problems there are with housing and finding ways to solve them is an ongoing process. Therefore the faction and working group will continue to join meetings with different stakeholders and try to give useful input based on the experiences of both Dutch and international students. In this way we hope to reach that every student can find a place to live, before they have to start studying.