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Party Programme 2023


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.


Quality of Education is leading
First and foremost, the aim of UReka is to guarantee the quality of education. Each decision made by the University on a policy level will have an effect on the overall quality of education, and UReka will take the educational perspective as a starting point in the conversation. These topics include digitalisation, assessment types, educational models and more. For example, UReka supports small-scale education to ensure that the focus remains on teaching with individual feedback rather than simply broadcasting knowledge. To ensure a high standard of education, UReka sees physical education on campus as the norm. While digital education can offer great benefits when used as an additional tool on top of physical education, it can not serve as a replacement. 
English level has to be up to par
Currently, the University of Twente has English requirements for students which are lower than other (4TU) 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 all students need to be raised to an equal level to that of comparable universities in the Netherlands. In the past years the faction of UReka has already worked on stimulating this initiative by sparking the conversation about keeping English levels to par with the language centre. Last year, English requirements were slightly increased already; but we believe more should be done so that we get on the same level as other universities in the Netherlands. Other proposals to include academic English in a skills course or testing speaking abilities as an application requirement fall short in their implementation. UReka believes that stimulating the English level not only includes increasing the requirements for students but also providing enough support from the university to improve the language skills of teachers. 
Internationalisation & BSA
On a national level, there is a lot of discussion about including the Dutch language more in education at all Dutch universities, and about lowering the BSA to a maximum of 30 EC’s. Last year, UReka wrote a letter to the ministry of education on behalf of the council explaining the position of the UT towards the BSA. UReka wants to continue representing the opinions of students from the UT in conversations with stakeholders to make sure that the quality of education can be preserved for the entire UT community, and to ensure that the decisions, which are made on a national level, are implemented in the best way possible for UT students. 
Life Long Learning (LLL)
Lifelong learning (LLL), a programme that seeks to educate people that are no longer students on topics that are relevant for their work, is one of the targets of shaping2030 and is considered the fourth key operation of the UT. The University intends to expand on their plans for LLL, using part of their existing capacity.  We want to be certain that this is done in such a way that we can be sure that the initial quality of education provided to the students will not be harmed, while not interrupting both teaching and learning processes.


Accessibility of mental health facilities at the UT
Over the last years, it has become clear that the demand for mental health aid is very high all across the UT. Students, who reach out to the departments offering this mental health aid, are experiencing long waiting lists for an appointment with a professional. UReka has demanded that the Executive Board provides a plan on how to deal with (unexpected) peaks in demand and will push for the prioritisation of students’ mental wellbeing at every step of the way.


Currently, the student psychologists are the most used facility. UReka notices that students sometimes ask for help only when they need it urgently, and not as a precaution, to take care of themselves. However, the UT has several lower-threshold facilities than the student psychologists to support struggling students. Unfortunately, many students might not be familiar with these low-threshold facilities, which is a major concern for UReka. UReka will keep urging the Executive Board to communicate clearly which mental health aid facilities the UT offers and how students can reach them. An example of this is a flowchart, which the Executive Board made after the last student well-being initiative was brought forward by UReka.

Stimulating Social safety
UReka sees social safety as one of the key approaches to improving the wellbeing of students. Initiatives at the UT should be stimulated to improve the feelings of safety and wellbeing of students on and off campus. For example, the use of Confidential Contact Persons (CCP) in associations should be encouraged, since the threshold to approach a CCP can be lower than seeking help from a study advisor. Besides that, training should be provided to students and staff that can help them support people who are struggling, and study advisors should be easily approachable. Initiatives that have made a positive impact, such as the Look after your friend-trainings by the Student Union and the collaboration with Amnesty surrounding sexual harassment should be encouraged.    
UT vision on student wellbeing is needed
The UT is currently lacking a vision on student wellbeing despite this being a goal for 2020 (as stipulated in the Student Wellbeing Improvement Plans of the UT). With the current crisis regarding student wellbeing, this vision is urgently needed. An acceptable vision on student wellbeing is needed to steer the UT. The vision of the UT is no longer adequate to deal with the current student wellbeing crisis we have. To create this vision and to be able to help students in a suitable way, the UT should execute regular checks among the student population to get an overview of the state of their mental and physical wellbeing. Furthermore, UReka wants to accelerate the process of helping students in need bybringing up its own initiatives to stimulate the Executive Board to act more quickly on the pressing matter, as done in previous years. UReka also strives to be involved in the working groups/sounding boards which the UT is setting up to tackle the current wellbeing situation. 
Aligning initiatives surrounding student wellbeing
The University already made a great effort to offer trainings and workshops to enhance student wellbeing. 

In order to make sure that students are repeatedly made aware of these trainings, UReka believes that the University should continue to regularly promote and support these programs. UReka also recognizes the need for support following after these training sessions. Students who assist their peers, such as Confidential Contact Persons and those who completed the Look After Your Friend Training, may run into challenging circumstances for which they require support or direction. According to UReka, the UT should be aware of this and take proactive steps to provide assistance, such as designating a SACC contact person for these students.

Housing & Facilities

Comfort at home by choosing your own housemate
Students should truly feel at home in their house. To feel at home, you have to be comfortable with your housemates. Therefore, students on campus should be able to pick their own housemate, the person they feel the most comfortable with in their house. This means retaining the right to pick your housemate (cooptation). However, it is important that everyone gets a fair chance and is aware of how this system works, when starting to study at the UT, especially considering the tight housing market. UReka has advised the Executive Board to communicate to new students how the housing system works and how students can get a room, early. This has been picked up by the UT, but communication and transparency will be further monitored by UReka.
UT has a moral responsibility for housing
The UT does not have the power to regulate student housing in the city, but as a regional institute the UT has the influence to nudge the municipality in its housing policy. We believe the UT has a moral responsibility to help provide student housing when the student numbers keep growing. Therefore we will remind the UT that growth plans must be aligned with an increase in available student housing in the region by including a housing strategy in their plan.
Homebase study facilities as the norm
The UT should ensure that there are enough study spaces for students. Homebases, such as the ones on the second floor of Carré, are a great example of high quality study spaces where students from different disciplines can come together to meet and work on their studies. In discussions on new developments of facilities UReka will emphasize the importance of more study places and will lobby to have them grouped together so that students of all studies can get to enjoy their own homebase.
Growing Sports and Culture facilities for a growing student population
The thriving community of Sports and Culture associations is unique for our campus. Students should continue to have access to the facilities. However, current facilities are designed for 8.000 students, instead of the 12.000 we have now. Associations are forced to have waiting lists or cancel practices and rehearsals for their members. Therefore, the expansion of the  facilities is needed and should be stimulated at a central level.

Recently the UT has also recognized this problem and developed a plan to increase capacity in the short and long term. UReka will monitor the execution of these plans closely. In the annual discussion on the UT’s real estate development plans we will push for the prioritization of Sports and Culture facilities.

Flexible use of lecture rooms
Study places to work with your project group are scarce because of the growing student numbers. Therefore, we want the UT to open up smaller lecture halls for students when not used for lectures. In this way it will be easier for students to work together with their project groups. After advice from UReka, the UT is looking into developing a new policy on using empty lecture halls. We will continue to monitor the progress and want to assure that students also get to know the new possibilities.


The campus is a base for student driven innovation
UReka strives for students to actively work on campus. One of the unique selling points of our University is the campus and the possibility for students to develop themselves in a designated space. Working on campus and being there allows students to inspire each other with their innovative ideas and is also beneficial to their social development. Moreover, project work, student activism, and student entrepreneurship thrive through creative collaboration. We support initiatives that pull students towards actively participating in student life on and around campus.
Students should be better involved with public spaces on campus
UReka will work towards getting the University to involve the student perspective in maintaining and upgrading the campus, to create an environment where everyone can thrive. Each year the University develops new points of improvement to enhance the look and feel of the campus, but new additions to our campus are often carried out with little input from students. This not only leads to possible dissatisfaction among those who spend most of their study life on the campus, it is also a missed opportunity to not use the experience, inspiration, and creativity of students, for example in art works, infrastructure, and facilities.
The campus is both a place for celebration and concentration
We see events on campus as a highly beneficial addition to the vibrant atmosphere of the University, especially those organised by and/or for students. UReka encourages that these events and new initiatives are organised. However, we also see that the timing of these events does not always benefit the studying schedule; for example, loud events should not take place during exam weeks. We want to push the University to consider the timing of external events, in every instance whilst still maintaining the possibility to host them. This will hopefully ensure that one of the strengths of our beautiful campus environment does not become a weakness.


Ensure small scale education at a growing UT
The University of Twente has seen substantial growth in recent years due to its great name both nationally and internationally, and will potentially keep growing during the upcoming years. UReka acknowledges that growth is crucial for the University from a financial perspective. However, small scale education, interactive learning, and personal contact is what the University advertises, and why a lot of students choose the UT. UReka believes that the University is lagging behind in keeping up with the growth of our student population while staying true to its educational identity. Therefore, we see the need for a strategy to ensure that there will be enough staff and space to supervise and educate a growing student population. To ensure that the needs and desires of students are met, student input and clear communication should be prioritised in these plans.
Increase in students is increase in study facilities
The University is a great place for both learning and socialising. UReka wants the educational buildings as well as the library to have enough open spots for students. As the student population grows, the facilities should expand to ensure a spacious and comfortable study atmosphere with study spots and lecture locations close to the study associations, creating a homebase for students. Because of the capacity problems at the UT,  a concrete plan should be written to resolve the shortage of lecture rooms. UReka thinks it is unacceptable that a significant part of the lectures must be given online because of this shortage, when most students want and need physical education. Besides, UReka does not support evening lectures as a solution for the capacity problems that arise with a growing University.


Embracing the Digital Transformation of Higher Education
The UT is currently lagging behind in efforts to embrace blended learning, digitilisation, IT resources, and new approaches to teaching and learning that are fueled by emerging technologies. Improving our efforts in this regard is essential to staying up-to-date and ensuring a continuous educational quality. To maintain our people-first-university approach, it is crucial to monitor developments and remain critical while still being daring enough to reinvent ourselves in this transformation process. This will help us ensure that we keep the best interests of our students and staff in mind at all times. Seeing that also the awareness of dangers from the Internet has been dropping, with many falling for the LISA phishing mail, creating more awareness for the dangers and unintended consequences of the new technologies, AI, and the internet is key. 
Increasing student input on digitalisation
At the University different digital solutions are part of students every day life and impact the way we work and study. We therefore think that it is crucial to ensure that, if new changes in the IT and software are made by the UT, a broad range of students are consulted and included in the decision-making process. A recent example is ChatGPT, where UReka believes that student input and persepctive should be one of the starting points for creating a policy, that underlies a transparent developing process. It can also be applied to more direct digital problems where student voices must be heard and acted upon. Such as the issue of  double roombooking where teachers and students book the room in parallel resulting in students not being able to meet on campus or the current UT website and the difficulty students have navigating it.
Facilities for hybrid & online lectures should be aligned with demand
We want to facilitate an overall effective provision of online and hybrid lectures, but only when they are necessary. This requires both a general technology proficiency of staff members, as well as fitting support staff, facilities, and equipment. We expect that recording equipment is provided and maintained in all lecture halls and that the provision of lecture recordings will be streamlined. Specifically we envision sufficient facilities and assistance provided on campus, such as Light Boards inside of proper ‘recording rooms’ allowing lectures to create online content as an additional tool. We deem the provision of general workshops on how to design such online content as very crucial and suggest that such opportunities are provided to staff to make effective use of the aforementioned facilities.
UT in the digital domain
Students at the University rely on different online facilities such as the online library. We want to make sure that these facilities are maintained and made readily available to all students at the University. Furthermore, we also think that it is crucial to evaluate current access to databases for online papers. We believe that the access is currently too limited for the wide range of research and graduation projects carried out at the UT. We, therefore, deem it crucial to encourage the University to enhance the current digital facilities by, for example, expanding the existing online library.

Moreover, we must also pay attention to the tools and software utilized within the courses. Thus, it is essential to remain up to date with state-of-the-art software licenses in order to ensure students at the University of Twente have access to the latest tools and resources that can enhance their learning experience.

In parallel, we aim to improve the applications used throughout the University to ensure their relevance and smooth functionality in terms of user-friendliness, efficiency, and responsiveness.


Activism is an essential part of our University
UReka values student activism as a way of shaping the UT according to the wishes of students and therefore believes it is an essential part of our University. Activism enables personal development of students and helps to expand students’ social networks. 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. 
Grants to deserving Full-time boards
As the University is growing every year, more and more students become part of study associations. Because of this, study association boards need to grow to fulfill the tasks they have. However, with the current FOBOS policy, it is only possible for 5 board members to get fully compensated for certain. In the past year, UReka has contributed to a change in the FOBOS policy where more money was made available for the compensation of boards that have more than 5 members. In the future, UReka will commit itself to ensuring board members get compensated fairly for their efforts. UReka views a fair compensation of student efforts as vital to the student activism at the UT. 
Activism supported and stimulated by University
UReka aims to lower the threshold of becoming an active student by emphasising the need for communication from the University to create awareness about the different possibilities of becoming active next to your study. When students want to organise something themselves, it can be a burden for them, that they do not know what resources are available to them. Adding to this, UReka finds that the University should make enough spaces available to students to facilitate this extracurricular work, such as meeting rooms which you can book for committee meetings or having enough open working areas where you can confer about an event you are organising. UReka works to create an understanding at the UT on the topic of study delay due to student activism. In the past year, UReka sat together with the committee for personal circumstances to discuss this. In the future, UReka will keep working towards this goal. 


Sustainability plan
In order for the University to meet the goals it has set out to make the UT more sustainable by 2030, we think that the University’s sustainability plan should be embraced as the priority of the institute. To make steps for its realisation, we believe that the plan should be made known to the student body and involve students in the process of both the planning stages and implementation. Additionally, we believe that through collaboration, the University and its partners can adopt more sustainable practices to replace more conventional ones.
Sustainable Consumption on campus
Firstly, we believe that the UT should promote bringing reusable food/drink containers, such as Billie cups or others more actively. Secondly, we stand behind offering vegan, sustainable, and local food options as the standard on campus and stand behind embracing this as soon as contractually possible. By prioritizing local plant-based options we can immensely reduce the environmental impact of the food served on campus. Finally, we urge the University to improve recycling processes on campus to enable circularity and to align this with other stakeholders on campus, such as the housing cooperations.
Stimulate & spread awareness about sustainability
In line with the UT’s goal to have more challenge-based learning, the UT should encourage CBL-based projects in collaboration with local communities that promote sustainable values and incentives. The sustainability related courses taught at the UT should align with the sustainable development goals and clearly define how they fit in the sustainable development goals to students, in order to further curate an understanding of them and what they mean in practice. 
Sustainability in organizations and associations
Endorsing changes that are more sustainable, we feel that lowering thresholds for accessing funds for sustainable events and initiatives is a way to promote the shift to more sustainability in associations and other organisations. To assist in this development, we think that the University should closely monitor aspects that are risky and related to an increase of sustainable options (e.g., high cost, inaccessibility), to ensure that these are available and appealing.
Sustainable Buildings of the UT
To begin, the UT should prioritize energy efficiency and work to reduce energy usage in all of its buildings. This includes improving lighting, electricity usage, heating, insolation and water usage. To facilitate this, the University should focus on prioritizing renovations of all buildings with low energy labels and encourage other stakeholders on campus to join these ambitions. Renovating not only reduces the University’s carbon footprint but also creates a more comfortable and sustainable environment for students and staff.

Furthermore, the UT needs to create awareness about responsible energy usage among the UT community through an active campaign emphasizing the importance of responsible energy usage. Creating a culture of sustainability on campus in combination with innovative technical solutions is key to realise our goals as the UT.

Communication & Transparency

Increasing visibility of the University and Faculty Councils
UReka represents the students at the UT. This is our task as Faculty and University Council representatives. In order to do so, students should be aware of the existence and role of the Councils. We endeavor for the UT community to have a clear understanding of what the University Council is and what we do. UReka wants to make sure all students of the UT can understand what the different councils do and what type of decisions they can influence. This way, UReka strives to get more input from their constituents and better represent the students of the UT. It is our aim to have the councils as well known and visible participation bodies within the UT.
Establishing more transparent communication
Related to increased visibility is transparent communication. To effectively represent students, it should be clear to the UT community what the Council is discussing. Students and staff should be able to assess whether they are properly represented and that the relevant topics are discussed. Concise, understandable, and transparent information provision and an open and proactive communication culture is key in UReka’s view. Although the UT is already very open in sharing the relevant documents related to policies with the public, some of these documents are very long and hard to read. To pursue more transparent communication, UReka is summarizing the important topics of every meeting cycle and sending these to students in a newsletter. UReka will continue this endeavor in the hope to better inform students of the UT.
Creating an accessible UT website
A majority of University students struggle with finding the desired information on the UT website and opt to navigate the site by searching through their search engine instead. Despite the UT acknowledging this problem and having reworked the website in the past years, it is still not fit for intuitive use. UReka encourages the UT to effectively rework the website based on student input. More specifically, we envision a tailored website experience, based on people’s role in relation to the University (e.g. student, researcher, lecturer, business). Important information for students should be easily accessible, such as information about psychologists, career services, or housing and not hidden within a muddled web of submenus.
Organising and coordinating initiatives in the UT
The UT is filled with various different initiatives, organised by different working groups, associations, and other organisations. It frequently occurs that different parties are working on a connected or very similar project, but are not in contact with each other. As UReka, we see it as the task of the Executive Board to improve coordination, alignment and exchange between different initiatives. This not only fosters fruitful collaboration but additionally creates a transparent overview, allowing students to raise new initiatives and place them effectively in the landscape of the UT. Facilitating this should be done in close collaboration with all involved parties, ensuring that student perspectives are incorporated.
Information provision
Every (international) student at the UT faces challenges when integrating with the Twente Education Model, UT culture, and/or Dutch culture. Organised, clear, and timely distributed information throughout one’s academic career is important, and not only limited to massive information dissemination at the start of one’s academic career. UReka supports and encourages personalised guidance in programmes and organised and timely information provision for (international) students, in addition to the general information the UT should provide to (international) students. We believe this can be achieved by constantly monitoring and evaluating the process of information provision together with students. 
Linking policy making to student needs
The Executive Board makes decisions that include finances, strategy, and academic policy. UReka acts as the students’ voice in decision-making processes, but we believe the Executive Board should do more to involve students in policy processes. Visibility of the Executive Board, for example through ‘luches with the Rector’, are events that UReka supports and wishes to see more frequently. By increasing interaction with students, UReka believes students will not only feel more heard, but that will feel that their opinions are actually listened to more sincerely. 

Next to gathering student input more actively, the UT should also facilitate student initiatives. UReka especially observes that many students have great ideas, but do not know who to contact to realise them. Hence UReka desires more clarity on who can be contacted within the UT when students have ideas or initiatives. The goal is to make it easier for students to work out their initiatives together with the UT. UReka itself is always open for ideas and student initiatives and connects students with the right UT departments and employees when we receive student input.

Diversity & Inclusion

Embracing Diversity, Fostering Inclusion
UReka strives for an inclusive campus environment that embraces diversity. Our party believes in fostering a sense of belonging, where every student feels valued, respected, and supported. As UReka we will, therefore, actively shine light and work towards creating platforms, events, and initiatives that encourage interaction and dialogue among students from different backgrounds. This can for example be done by organizing events and campaigns to celebrate the diverse cultures and identities represented within our University community. These initiatives will provide opportunities for cross-cultural understanding, dialogue, and appreciation, fostering an inclusive atmosphere for all. This is crucial for creating a vibrant and enriching educational environment but also for preparing students to thrive in a diverse and interconnected world.
Accessibility and Accommodations
UReka is committed to ensuring that our University is accessible to all students. We will advocate for inclusive infrastructure, technology, and resources that support individuals with disabilities, ensuring equal opportunities for every student to thrive academically and personally.
The UT on the (inter)national stage
We cannot pretend that our study and student lives cannot be affected by outside influences imposed by national or international governments. The UT should provide students with suitable support when the (inter)national environment demands us to do so, and maintain good communication with those affected by crisis situations when they arise. Additionally, establishing support networks that create safe spaces where students can share their experiences, seek guidance, and collaborate on initiatives that promote diversity and inclusion is seen as essential.

UT & Society

Companies integrated with the University & Entrepreneurship
UReka values collaboration between companies and the University. This collaboration is of great importance to prepare students for their future careers. This is not limited to ‘career encouragement’ alone, but self-development as well. UReka wants to set up proper collaborations with the UT and enterprises to provide proper career orientation for the students. We also want to support the Incubase, DesignLab and other existing support structures for young entrepreneurs at the UT. UReka strives to support entrepreneurship by students. This is realised by committing ourselves to making sure that students maintain ownership over their ideas.
Kennispark as an extension of the UT
One of the unique aspects of studying at the UT is the ‘Kennispark’ area. Kennispark provides a place for starters and start-ups to develop themselves after their studies and is therefore crucial to keeping talent in Twente and stimulating the local economy. UReka thinks that the connection between Kennispark and the UT should be encouraged and facilitated in the shape of socially relevant project work. The UT should also work together with Kennispark in helping students during their career orientation. Not to take away from, the Incubase which offers support to students who want to realise their innovative business ideas. We will urge the Executive Board to ensure that the Municipality maintains good infrastructure between Kennispark and the campus, to allow a natural flow of students who go from studying at the UT to working at Kennispark. For example, UReka will support the building plans of the new traffic intersection between Kennispark and the UT campus.
Bringing the University back to the region
Both letters in the abbreviation ‘UT’ are of equal importance to UReka. Not only are we a University, but we also hail from Twente and see how our University can benefit the region. Through initiatives such as the Employability of International Students minor, we aim to keep student talent in Twente; even after graduation. We will encourage projects that help students integrate within the regional culture surrounding our beautiful campus. Even though our University is situated in the Netherlands, we also have a close connection with our German neighbours. Collaboration within the region should not be limited to the Netherlands, but should cover the Euregio which includes many German municipalities close to Enschede. Twente is a unique region with a unique company environment, and maintaining contact between the UT and these regional companies is vital to allow the region to benefit from the UT.
Social Responsibility of the UT
As a societal Stakeholder the UT has responsibility to contribute to empowering local citizen, increasing the trust in science, and facilitating dialogues and interaction between Academia and Society. The DesignLab as well as current initiatives regarding Life long learning (LLL) are critical 3rd Mission activities that should continue to have a priority next to the main tasks of Teaching & Research.