In 2015 the Dutch government cancelled the study grant and replaced this with a social lending system. The budget which was made free by cutting this grant, was promised to be made available for structural investments which were to benefit the quality of education. In order to make sure that this agreement is kept, the faculty councils were given right of consent on the allocation of tuition fee resources of TiSEM. During the last faculty council, ECCO was happy to provide its consent on this matter. This was, amongst others, due to the investment in learning analytics and the increased budget for the supervision of students through the Tilburg Education Profile.
At the moment all functionalities of the new Scriptiedossier, which is to manage future supervision on the writing of theses, are ready for implementation. We are happy to hear that the system is technically ready and able to improve thesis supervision. However, we also pressed upon the issue of not implementing the system faculty wide before it has been tested extensively. The management team of TiSEM shared this opinion and has promised that a representative pilot will be run in order to hopefully implement the system in September 2019.
At the moment a pilot is being run for Canvas, which is to replace Blackboard. This pilot is being run at several pre-master programs of TiSEM. The intermediary evaluations which were held have been positive so far. Thus, we are optimistic about the future implementation of this new system. Besides this, it was made clear that lessons have been taken from the OSIRIS implementation and nothing will be implemented without knowing for sure that the system is ready.
Capping of the reserves
In 2016 Tilburg University set a new policy on the size of the financial reserves of the faculties that would be initiated in 2018. This policy entails that the financial (general) reserves of a faculty have to be between 15%-25% of its total costs. The goal was to make sure that faculties spend their reserves instead of letting it be unused, but also to guarantee that there was a buffer in case of disappointing results. The new policy also meant that in case of surpassing the 25%, the surplus would be capped by the university and be added to the general reserve of the university. As of 2018, TiSEM’s reserves are slightly above the allowed 25% which means that close to 1 million euros will be capped and thereby leave the faculty. Right now we are looking for opportunities to make sure that this surplus spend in interest of TiSEM students.