Party Program 2021

Our Vision

Through strong connections with study associations, participatory bodies, and national politics, UReka strives to voice a well-informed, critical opinion on the policies presented by the executive board and initiates the change the student community of the UT desires to see. UReka sees the university as a platform for self-development and inspiration, where students should receive a world-class education from motivated professors in coherent modules, where internationalisation creates a new perspective and teaches all students what it means to be inclusive and live in a globalised world, learning from each other through face to face interaction.

Education

Innovation on Education
When transitioning back to physical education, it is of great importance to critically assess which educational components should be reintroduced first. UReka prioritises the quick reintroduction of physical project-based education.
After transitioning back to regular education, UReka supports initiatives to keep innovating in educational methods. The university should explore the options to provide more cooperation possibilities with companies as it would allow students to gain real-life work experience.
As an example for this, the UT can look into the option of providing opportunities for bachelor students to get more experience in a working environment, for instance in their minor space.
English level of students and staff
Currently, the University of Twente has English requirements for students which are lower compared to other Universities in the Netherlands. To uphold the academic position and quality of the education at the University of Twente, UReka believes that the entry requirements regarding the English level of students need to be raised to an equal level to that of comparable universities in the Netherlands. The current faction of UReka has already worked on stimulating this initiative. In addition, to improve English levels across all parts of the university, UReka wants to motivate staff across the University of Twente to follow additional language courses to increase their level of English proficiency, and with that, the level of education.
Professional and fair assessment
Currently, Teaching Assistants (TA’s) play a significant role in the reviewing and marking of examinations, partly to reduce the workload on the staff. However, UReka continues to have concerns regarding the quality of education in this matter. The examiner should always be able to guarantee the validity of the grades. By digital complementary means, professionalisation of TA’s, and more personnel, the quality of education can be held high and the workload manageable. Furthermore, UReka firmly believes that every assessment must reflect the student as an individual, whilst maintaining the project-based identity of our university. By these means students can be proud of their honestly achieved results.

Student Well-being

Involving all students in a social life in and around Enschede
With the recent pandemic, the social life of the students has been affected a lot. Many students have not been able to go out and meet new people, let alone experience the culture of a new country. UReka feels that it is necessary to actively reach out to students and involve them in a social life in and around Enschede. While the possibility of having a completely offline social life is currently still not possible, UReka understands and wants to work with the students to create an interactive environment, online and offline, which encourages an exchange of cultures and diversifies the environment at the university.
Improving study environments
Study spaces for students are an investment in every student’s and the university’s future. This might be an area that has gotten less attention than necessary in the past year and can have an immense impact on student well-being. We as UReka see that there is a need for more study space and stand for improving the quality of study spaces to create a more focused environment for students to study in. This also includes involving students’ needs when creating these spaces and being aware that different students have different study needs.
Upgrading mental health support opportunities
Student well-being has reached an alarming point, especially now during the pandemic. Mental health surveys help us realise what is going wrong but do not bring on the necessary changes. Reaching out for help when students are experiencing rough times will currently put them on a long waiting list for an appointment with a professional. Students will ask for help when they most need it, and not as a precaution to take care of themselves. We as UReka stand for reducing the stigma around seeking professional help in times of need and making well-being facilities readily available to those who are in need of them.
Investing in Life on Campus
The campus of our university is a unique selling point and our campus should continue to be this for the UT. Therefore we as Ureka see a need to further invest in our campus, to offer facilities that students can also use outside of their studies. Not only the facilities on campus should be in the focus, but also leisure activities on campus which are offered to students. Currently there is a lack of communication on knowledge of what is offered to students. Therefore we would like to see, for example, websites and parties that offer these activities being made more accessible and known to students to increase the student well-being.

Empowering Activism

Activism as an essential part of our University
UReka values student activism as a way to shape the UT according to the wishes of students and thinks this makes it an essential part of our University. Activism enables personal development of the students and helps expand students’ social network. This stimulates students to be proactive in their life which has a beneficial impact on the future of every active student. UReka strives for a University that values and encourages activism accordingly.
Low-Threshold Activism
UReka recognises that some students may not choose an active student life; however, we believe that all students should have the opportunity to become involved and be represented. Thus, we aim to lower the threshold to become an active student by focusing on recognising students’ effort. Furthermore, UReka aims to make experiences of activism more accessible by enhancing the communication about these opportunities to become involved and improving on how these opportunities are shared with the students.

Inclusion and Internationalisation

Inclusion in and out of the classroom
University of Twente has introduced its vision for 2030 of being a more inclusive and (inter)national university for students. With this vision in mind, UReka wants to take the front seat and work alongside the university and the students to create a more stable, tolerant and inclusive environment. Creating an atmosphere where the students are able to exchange ideas within their studies and/or different platforms is a necessary step towards becoming a truly inclusive university. UReka is focused on promoting inclusion in and out of the classroom.
Intercultural competencies in education
The University of Twente is a broad and diverse community. The students, therefore, get a great opportunity to prepare themselves for the (inter)national job market. However, cooperation in an (inter)national environment is a skill, not a given. At UReka, we want to stimulate opportunities for students to develop these skills. By working on improving these competencies, UReka strives to improve the employability of all students to both the regional as well as the international job market.
Employability of students
With the recent pandemic environment, it has been a challenge for many students to financially support themselves and have a professional outlook within the university. UReka believes that it should be possible for any student to take up a job as a student assistant or contribute to a good reputation of the UT by joining their workforce.

Growth

Facilities - A strategy on the growing student population
The University of Twente has seen substantial growth in recent years due to its great name both nationally and internationally, and it will keep growing during the upcoming years. UReka believes that the university is lagging behind in keeping up with the growth of our student population. Therefore, we see the need for a strategy to ensure that there will be enough staff to supervise and educate the growing student population.
Study Spaces - A spot on campus for everyone
The University is a great place for both learning and socialising. UReka wants both the educational buildings as well as the library to have enough open and reserved spots to meet the demand from students. As the student population grows, the facilities should expand in order to ensure an enjoyable study atmosphere. On top of that UReka supports the Homebase initiative, which offers students study spots and lecture locations close to their study association creating a set home for students.
Housing – Co-optation
In order for students to be able to thrive and excel in their studies, having a good home is detrimental. It is important that students feel comfortable in their own home. To provide this comfortable atmosphere on campus, students should have a choice where they would like to live and with whom they live. But to ensure that each student has a fair chance, the process of finding a house on the campus should be clear to everyone. With this UReka strives to keep the campus a place for a great student life with a comfortable atmosphere.
Housing - More students means more houses
Students should be able to choose whether they want to live on campus or prefer housing elsewhere. But with the growth of the number of students this choice is being put under pressure. Therefore, UReka wants to see a corresponding growth in student housing facilities, this means that the quantity of campus rooms should scale with the number of students.

Digitalisation

Online Education
“Never waste a good crisis”. With the COVID-19 pandemic seemingly coming to an end, we have gained significant experience with online education. Going back to normal, we need to critically evaluate what we have learnt, and explore how we can use the newly gained experience in the near future. UReka emphasises the benefit to keep innovating in online education, while remaining vigilant, to ensure that digitalisation does not compromise social interaction and personal development. Specifically, project-based education facilitates social interaction, and cannot be substituted for an online counterpart.
Examinations
UReka acknowledges the urgent need to critically evaluate how digitalisation influences exams. Firstly, proctoring should not be a structural solution because it requires students to give up much of their privacy which can be experienced as stressful, on top of that proctoring is still susceptible to fraud. Secondly, we must explore the options for keeping online exams when it benefits the student and does not decrease the quality of examination. New innovations that make online exams a valid assessment of an individual’s skills should be explored.
Travel
Incorporating digitalisation into the university’s system of education has introduced benefits, especially to students living abroad and students who have to commute to university on a regular basis. Taking the accessibility that digitalisation can create into account for all students studying at the UT, UReka sees great value in reducing the need to commute on a daily basis. Not only does the incorporation of digital education into the students’ study experience increase the accessibility of education, it also facilitates a more sustainable UT.

Communication

Providing information to new students
The amount of information the UT provides to incoming students is very extensive and spread out. To illustrate, new international students receive a document of 100 pages of information with everything they need to know on studying in the Netherlands. Such documents provide way too much information to process all at once. UReka aims to make the information more accessible by condensing it and placing it all in one easily accessible central place.
Highlighting information
The UT has lots of resources available to students. This can be information on study or housing related issues, but also more practical matters such as counselling opportunities or job vacancies. Currently, information about these resources is spread across a large amount of different UT or UT related platforms. UReka strives for a clear and easily accessible platform where all information on these resources can be found.
Links between layers of governing
There are many different layers of governing within the UT. Initiated by UReka, a communication platform has been created to stimulate efficient discourse between students in these different layers of governing. UReka wants to keep stimulating and supporting communication between students in participatory bodies to increase communication, transparency and quality of participation within all governing layers.
Cycle updates
To UReka it is very important to inform students on what is happening in the University Council. In order to do this UReka provides one update from the faction per cycle to interested students via email.
Continue Improving the clarity of the UT website
Have you ever struggled to find the contact information of your study advisor or do you have a hard time finding all your available master courses? UReka observes that a large part of the student population encounters issues when navigating their way through the website of the university. We believe that the website should be more logically structured, such that all new and current students can easily access all the information they need. Since this year, a committee has been founded by the UT to improve the clarity of the UT website. UReka wants to stay involved with this committee to make sure the UT website will become more clear and accessible for students.

UT & Society

Sustainability
Sustainability is a topic of paramount importance both inside and outside of the UT. Global challenges related to climate change, waste management, energy efficiency, food (in)security and many more should be at the top of every policy maker’s agenda. That’s why we believe that sustainability should be encouraged in every possible way at the UT. UReka supports and advocates for sustainable initiatives and policies in the University Council that work towards shaping a greener UT and having a positive impact on the planet.
Entrepreneurship
The University of Twente prides themselves on their entrepreneurial spirit. In order to maintain and expand this spirit for all students UReka thinks that the university should support students in going beyond their studies. The UT should play a part in connecting student initiatives with opportunities in and around Twente.
Bringing Twente back into the University
Twente is a beautiful region full of interesting projects and businesses and is described in books as ‘land that makes you lyrical’. This is why UReka wants to encourage the UT to aim for more connections between organisations in Twente and student projects. UReka wants to encourage the UT to support initiatives in the region and to enable students to start their future in Twente.

On-Boarding

Supporting all incoming students
The start of student life can be difficult, getting on board with student practices requires proper guidance. UReka wants incoming students to be fully prepared for their time at the UT and feel supported in starting their life at the university. This means that new students should be guided through the opportunities the UT offers, in areas such as activism and social life, housing, entrepreneurship, and study support. A part of that is getting comfortable with the campus culture, and improving information flow throughout their academic life.
Guiding Corona-affected Cohorts
Due to the coronavirus, alternative introduction programs to student life and education were introduced. Many students have not experienced all possible opportunities that our university can offer. UReka strives to have all students of the UT informed on possibilities in different directions, despite the challenges that the pandemic has introduced.