Every year, AKKUraatd writes a new Party Program. The whole program is thoroughly worked out by everyone involved within AKKUraatd. The new candidates for the elections create the Party Program and the fine tuning is done by other AKKUraatd members and members of AKKU, with different backgrounds and studies. This way, we create a Party Program that contains the most important points of improvement for the Radboud University. It’s not too long, but no too short either. It prepares us for all things to come during a year in the University Student Council. The whole Party Program can be read below.
Download the Party Program here or read the points below.
Good education has priority at AKKUraatd. We believe that students deserve high-quality and challenging education. AKKUraatd values the opportunities the university offers in terms of broadening and deepening knowledge and wants the university to offer this to all students. We support improved study facilities, a qualitative digital learning environment, and high-quality education. This is why we argue in favour of customised education and an individualised treatment for every student.
- An urgent, instead of a binding study advice
The current Binding Study Advice (BSA) puts students that bloom later in life at a disadvantage and paves the way to calculating studying. The BSA also promotes the idea that the university’s responsibility ends after a negative study advice. Partly due to the effort of AKKUraatd, an investigation regarding the effectiveness of the BSA has started this year. AKKUraatd pleads for an urgent study advice instead of a binding study advice. On top of that, AKKUraatd believes that students deserve improved supervision towards a new education programme. This can occur after an urning study advice, but also earlier in the year at request.
- Pay for each study credit
AKKUraatd wants studying to be accessible to everyone. Education also ought to be accessible for students who cannot study full-time, for instance due to having a secondary job, protracted illness, or a board year. At present, these students pay full tuition fees whilst they only partly make use of the university’s education. AKKUraatd therefore wants to enable paying tuition fees per course. The price will bear a proper proportion to the amount of study credits of courses that students enroll in, with a maximum of the legal rate of tuition fees.
- Ample supply of study- and workplacesAKKUraatd thinks it is important that there is ample supply of study workplaces for students. We have multiple ideas to realise this: 1) Chameleon rooms: In exam periods, libraries and other study workplaces on campus are extremely busy. However, classrooms are being used less during exam periods. AKKUraatd therefore pleads for so-called chameleon rooms: regular classrooms which can be transformed into fully-fledged and pleasant study workplaces. 2) Insight into available rooms: It is often unclear to what extent study workplaces on campus are occupied or not. AKKUraatd therefore argues in favour of a system that provides insight into available rooms so that an overall picture can be constructed of all the space that is occupied. This way, available rooms can easily be located by students. 3) Ergonomically justified workplaces: AKKUraatd believes that the ergonomics of work- and study places can be improved in many cases. Therefore, AKKUraatd pleads for better chairs during exams and more comfortable workplaces on campus. This way, students have a pleasant seat and enough room which makes studying a lot more comfortable. 4) Borrow a laptop at university: Lastly, AKKUraatd wants to enable students to borrow a laptop from the university everywhere on campus. Computers in libraries are often occupied and students are therefore not always able to use Radboud University’s software services. This can be a nuisance for students who might need this software for certain projects. Borrowing a laptop can also be convenient for students who wish to work on a group project in a room without computers and do not have their own laptop.
- Honours for more students
The Radboud Honours Academy (RHA) is being paid for by all students, but is not yet as accessible to all students. Even though improvements have been made this year, many honours programmes still last two years whilst many students cannot or do not want to commit themselves to this. To increase the accessibility of the RHA, AKKUraatd wants that short honours labs are being offered to more students at Radboud University.
- Digitalisation as support for current teaching methodsAKKUraatd believes that digitalisation should support, and not replace, current teaching methods. Next to that, AKKUraatd argues that a clearer university-wide policy is employed with regards to the transition to digitalisation. This is translated into the following points: 1) Not physically present? Attend your classes online: AKKUraatd thinks that the possibility of attending classes should always be present. This form of teaching is an important component of acquiring knowledge for many students. However, not every student is always able to attend physical classes, for instance due to illness. That is why we argue in favour of recording all lectures. To throw some more light on on the possibilities of weblectures, AKKUraatd wants that concrete guidelines are formulated as to when weblectures are made available. 2) Online exam perusals: Currently, physical perusals of exams are obligatory. In large education programmes, however, this causes overcrowded perusal moments in which there is not enough time for students’ questions. Next to that, students cannot always be present at this physical perusal. To provide students with the possibility to have their results clarified, AKKUraatd argues for offering online exam perusals next to the physical exam perusal. By offering an online exam perusal, students can see where they can improve at any given moment. 3) Weblectures and instructional videos for everyone: At present, some courses offer weblectures or instructional videos, but these are only accessible to students who are enrolled in these courses. AKKUraatd pleads for making these weblectures and instructional videos available to all students. This way, students can expand their knowledge on topics that are not dealt with in their own curriculum. Next to that, weblectures and instructional videos offer students the possibility to get acquainted with other education programmes or disciplines. This allows students to properly weigh up whether they intend on gaining more in-depth knowledge of other education programmes or disciplines.
- Less pressure of work for teachers = better education
Employees’ well-being at Radboud University has a direct effect on the quality of education. Teachers who experience too much pressure of work have difficulties with teaching optimally which causes them to work less accurately. This is at the expense of the quality of teaching and examination, but also impacts the publication speed of results and feedback. AKKUraatd therefore supports the initiatives of the employee representation in the field of employee well-being if possible.
- Interdisciplinary education
AKKUraatd thinks that all students should be given the opportunity to look beyond the boundaries of their own field of education. This leads to the exchange of knowledge and connections for both students and the university. Therefore, AKKUraatd wants to stimulate taking courses, minor programmes of even entire education programmes at other faculties via the establishment of an easy-reference system for interdisciplinary education.
- Language of instruction: don’t force, but facilitate
Many education programmes at Radboud University will be, or are already, re-evaluating their language of instruction. In this process, AKKUraatd thinks that a balance should be created between the quality and the accessibility of the education programme for both current as well as future students. Therefore, we believe that education programmes can only be offered in English on the basis of reasons concerning education content. AKKUraatd thinks that students and teachers’ expertise ought to provide the foundation of this assessment. This can be realised by organising discussion evenings or having a consultation with students and teachers. When offering an English-taught education programme, the current level of English of both students as well as teachers needs to be taken into account. In sum, AKKUraatd believes that the language of instruction cannot have a negative influence on the quality of education.
- In-depth seminar groups: support students who teach
In order to provide qualitatively solid education, teachers with expertise in their discipline are of the utmost importance. At present, many seminar groups are hosted by (master’s) students who receive little guidance from the university. AKKUraatd thinks that Radboud University should guide these students who run seminar groups so that they develop didactic competences more adequately. This ascertains better seminar groups that are more useful and interesting to students.
- Purposeful examination
Due to financial and practical reasons, many large education programmes currently employ multiple choice exams, even though this is not always the best way to test students’ knowledge and skills. This is an example of assessments in some courses that do not fit the skills that ought to be tested in exams. AKKUraatd therefore argues that examinations, and therefore the assessment system’s quality, cannot be dependent of the size of education programmes.
- Radboud in the cloud, everywhere you are
At present, it is rather difficult to access documents that have been saved to the university’s computers. Next to that, maps and documents cannot be shared via the university’s current system, which would come in handy for group projects. This is why AKKUraatd pleads for a cloud service in which students can safely and easily access their documents off-campus. They can also share documents with fellow students whilst safeguarding students’ privacy. This system could, for instance, be integrated into Brightspace so that students can easily access the course material.
- Raise the graduation fund: reward efforts
AKKUraatd thinks that students should be given ample opportunity to devote themselves to, for instance, student representation or a board year at an association next to their studies. Due to the abolishment of the basic study grant, the costs of study delay are more and more a reason for students to not dedicate themselves to extra activities at university. Radboud University’s graduation fund ought to compensate active students for their study delay with sufficient funds. At present, these funds often have shortcomings. AKKUraatd therefore argues in favour of raising the graduation fund so that everyone is at liberty to gain experience in addition to their education programmes.
Student life is about more than just studying. The university is an environment in which you can develop yourself in various ways. It is important that students who dedicate themselves to the student community are supported and that facilities are continuously being improved. Next to that, AKKUraatd wants more attention for students whose well-being is not at best. Students’ well-being is an important condition for a good student life. AKKUraatd therefore argues in favour of improved facilitation of counselling and support for students. This way, students can both enjoy their student days and acquire experience outside of their studies.
- Student support: be sure of your well-being with accessible counselingProper student support is essential to students’ well-being. AKKUraatd thinks it is very important that every student receives the support he or she needs, whenever it is needed. It is important that it is clear who students can contact for guidance so that this guidance is as approachable as possible. We argue in favour of four improvements: 1) A trained student mentor for every student: Many faculties already work with teachers who are a mentor to students at the same time. However, they experience a lot of pressure of work which causes them to have only limited time for students. AKKUraatd therefore wants to experiment with the introduction of student mentors: students who keep looking after first-year students, even after the orientation period. This way, first-year students have an approachable confidential advisor who can support them in the onset of their studies as well as their life as a student. Trials have been carried out already, but there is room for improvement in terms of training and preparing students who want to become a mentor so that they will perform their tasks well. 2) Accessible counseling: It is quite a big step to approach counselling for students who require it. To reduce this, AKKUraatd argues in favour of the possibility to contact someone who immediately answers your well-being questions via WhatsApp or the Radboud App. This contact point can also refer students to a professional, if necessary. 3) Concrete overview of aid and support: AKKUraatd thinks that the support of students with a functional impairment at Radboud University can be improved. We think the university ought to take more initiative to discuss the aid and support possibilities for these students at the beginning of their studies. This way, students have a detailed overview of all kinds of support possibilities the university has to offer. 4) International exchange of well-being expertise: Radboud University tried to cut a dash by conducting a survey about our students’ well-being in 2017. At the time, the university was among the leaders within this domain. The university has a well-being week now, but students’ well-being does not receive the attention it should. AKKUraatd therefore wants the Radboud University to join an international project in which universities exchange knowledge and experience regarding (student) well-being. Participating universities can use an easily accessible online tool for students, which may possibly relieve the pressure of student psychologists. The more universities join, the more knowledge and solutions can be offered, hopefully.
- Training and support in managing privacy, for teachers and students
AKKUraatd thinks privacy is a strict condition for both managing students’ personal details as well as for the way students deal with data themselves. To protect students’ personal details, AKKUraatd wants that (new) teachers are trained and supported in managing students’ personal details in a privacy-proof manner, for instance when returning students’ grades. To make students themselves more conscious of privacy, AKKUraatd wants to include seminars on privacy in the current curriculum.
- Adapted studying: manage your own curriculum
There currently is a pilot for adapted studying in force for students who are limited in attending classes. This regulation allows students to be less bound to obligatory attendance and deadlines. They are also counseled to formulate a personal curriculum. The pilot for adapted studying is only possible in fairly exceptional cases, however. AKKUraatd believes that adapted studying and formulating a personal curriculum should be made possible for all students who commit themselves to additional study-related activities such as internships, a second university degree, or clinical clerkship. That way, every student is provided with the opportunity to develop him- or herself in his or her own way.
- Flexible sports- and conference hall
Many students believe that sports and exercise are very important. The sports centre regularly has a limited capacity to meet students’ needs, however. AKKUraatd therefore believes a new sports hall should be built. Next to that, students also have the need for rooms to host cultural activities in such as a large conference hall or rooms in which associations can host their members’ assemblies. AKKUraatd wants to find out whether a hall with a flexible layout for both sports and cultural activities can be made possible. This sports and conference centre can also be made attractive for local residents and organisations in Nijmegen, so that contacts outside of the university are stimulated.
- A bar at every faculty, run for and by students
AKKUraatd believes that a campus should be a place where, besides studying, students can relax, meet one another and develop new initiatives. That is why we want a bar at every faculty, run for students and by students. Students and study associations can have drinks and independently host activities here. Several faculties already have a bar that operates well, such as the Aesculaaf at the Faculty of Medical Sciences. AKKUraatd wants that every faculty gets a similar bar.
- Free language courses
Radboud In’To Languages currently offers language courses with a discount for students, but these courses are still quite expensive (about 300 euros). Some students ought to take courses in English, however, or go abroad and want to learn the native language for this. Vice versa, international students who want to become more integrated in the Netherlands may want to learn Dutch. To help these students, AKKUraatd wants Radboud University to offer free language courses so that these courses become more accessible to all students.
- (pre-) Master’s orientation
Compared to the bachelor’s orientation, the (pre-) master’s orientation is often very limited. A good and comprehensive orientation is essential to making (pre-) master’s students feel at home at university. This way, the growing number of international students in master’s programmes can also be better involved within the university. AKKUraatd therefore argues in favour of an extensive substantive orientation programme for (pre-) master’s students. This way, all students can kick-start their studies at Radboud University.
- A bustling campus outside of teaching periods and in weekends
The facilities at university are currently limited in their opening times. In weekends, the Cultuurcafé, the Spar and the Refter are closed and the University Library is only limited in its opening times. AKKUraatd argues in favour of extending on-campus catering establishments’ opening hours. This way, the campus becomes a place where students can both study and relax, also during weekends.
- Upgrade the Radboud Student App
Radboud University offers several apps: the Radboud Student App, the Radboud Sports Centre App, and the Radboud Introduction App. AKKUraatd advocates for adding new features to these existing apps. This may reduce the distance between students and student representational bodies as course evaluations can be filled in, complaints can be made, and reactions to programme committees’ stances can be provided via this app. Practical information such as a digital campus map and opening times of buildings can also be added to the app.
- Not at home? Pick up your parcel at uni!
Students order relatively many things online, but are not always at home to accept their parcels. AKKUraatd therefore wants one or multiple parcel points on campus. That way, students can have their parcels delivered on campus and pick them up whenever they please.
- Improved signposting
Radboud University’s campus is full of many facilities. However, many a student is not informed of the possibilities that this campus offers, such as the bicycle repair shop near the University Medical Centre (UMC). Rooms in university buildings are also often numbered inconsistently, which results in students not being able to find them. AKKUraatd therefore pleads for improved signposting on campus and in university buildings. This way, students are better informed of the possible facilities and are also on site more promptly.
Climate change is one of the most serious challenges society has nowadays. This issue asks for a different kind of policy than the current one. The field of education ought to coach future generations to take on a relevant role in society in which sustainability occupies a key position. AKKUraatd believes that Radboud University should lead the way in the field of sustainability. We argue in favour of integrating sustainability within the core business of universities: education and research. Building on the university’s available knowledge, AKKUraatd wishes to contribute to making the university more sustainable. We also want to strengthen the university’s position as a platform where innovative ideas in the area of sustainability are formulated.
- Towards a greener campus: Erasmus Park
AKKUraatd argues in favour of a greener campus where students and employees are stimulated to go outside during their break, but also during their studies or work. That is why we strive for more study workplaces in the open air, including facilities such as power outlets for studying, but also barbecues for more informal activities. This can be realised by the development of an Erasmus Park: a green, centrally-located environment on campus. AKKUraatd also wants that more bicycle sheds are placed undergrounds to ensure that there is more space for green outside. Lastly, AKKUraatd aims for planting more overgrowth on top of buildings if possible, which is for instance already the case for the Lecture Hall Complex.
- Cheaper vegetarian food
The meat industry is responsible for a significant percentage of greenhouse gas emissions. Given that eating vegetarian is better for the environment, AKKUraatd wants that vegetarian options are always available and also cheaper than meat options at catering establishments around campus. This way, students and employees are not forced but rather stimulated to make a more sustainable decision.
- More sustainability in university policy
AKKUraatd thinks that Radboud University ought to set a good example in terms of sustainability. Therefore, we want that Radboud University not only bears expenses in mind whilst making policy, but also considers the environmental impact of their policies and publishes their results. This way, sustainability is also considered more concretely within the university’s policy.
- Digital teaching materialIn order to reduce the consumption of paper at university, AKKUraatd wants that Radboud University provides more possibilities to offer digital teaching material to students. This way, students can choose between purchasing hard-copy books or using the digital version of their teaching material. At the same time, AKKUraatd urges that handing in essays, papers and other assignments is digitalised completely.
Furthermore, AKKUraatd pleads in favour of the development of an online platform via Radboud University where second-hand books can easily be leased and sold. Many books are only used a couple of times before they end up on students’ book shelves. AKKUraatd thinks this is a shame. Digital versions of teaching material can be offered via this platform as well. Students can also purchase digital and hard-copy books via the online platform, so any unnecessary book purchases are being countered this way.
- More sustainability in education
Sustainability in teaching is a necessary condition for contributing effectively to a liveable world and a green economy. AKKUraatd believes that the current curriculum insufficiently prepares students for climate change and the revolution of renewable energy. AKKUraatd therefore argues in favour of more attention for sustainability within the university’s core business: education and research. To realise this, AKKUraatd strives for the inclusion of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) within curricula. This is a first step towards education in which sustainability is at the centre.
- Clear-cut waste sorting: a waste separation guide
On Radboud University’s campus, it is now possible to properly separate your waste in several places. This is not yet the case for every building, however. It is also not clear which kind of waste should go in which trash can. This way, waste may end up in the wrong bin and separating waste has no effect. To counter this, AKKUraatd remains devoting itself to the realisation of clarified waste sorting around campus. This clarification can be put into practice via a waste separation guide. Like this, you always get the chance to throw away your waste in a sensible manner.
For the organisation of good education, student representation is of the utmost importance. Especially at universities where students and employees make improvements together, it is important that consultations run smoothly. AKKUraatd dedicates itself to the structural improvement of the student representation climate. We focus on programme-specific, faculty-wide and university-wide student representation.
- Opinion polls: express your opinion!
AKKUraatd wants that Radboud University enables opinion polls amongst students. Via these polls, issues and questions that the student representation may have, can be directly submitted to students and employees. These polls can be canvassed by student representational bodies on programme-specific, faculty-wide as well as university-wide level and are initiated by the representational body of that level. These polls provide the student representation an overview on the prevalent opinion on campus about various matters. Subsequently, the student representation can stake these opinions within their existing stances and make more representative decisions. Next to that, these polls’ statistics can be used to re-enforce or adjust any stances that student representatives have.
- Student representative support on every faculty
At present, student members of almost every representation council need to find their way in the university’s management without guidance. To offer them help with this, AKKUraatd wants to establish a student representative secretariat on every faculty. Here, members of various representative councils can get help with substantive or procedural questions. This way, students who are a member of representative bodies can focus more on promoting students’ interests as a whole.
- Equal vote for students and employees (on every level)
In faculty-wide representative bodies (faculty student councils), employees have sixty per cent of the vote whereas students have forty per cent of the vote. AKKUraatd wants to end this uneven division and believes that employees and students should both get fifty per cent of the vote, similar to other universities. Next to the fact that students and employees of a university ought to be equal to one another, education and policy on education will improve when both people who teach as well as people who receive education have an equal vote.
- Involving international students in student representation
AKKUraatd wants that everyone has the possibility to participate in student representation within Radboud University. International students currently fall outside this scope, particularly because of their often limited knowledge of the Dutch language. That is why we argue in favour of translating all relevant documents within student representation into English. Combined with the free language courses for both international students as well as Dutch students, international students are offered more possibilities to take part in student representation. This way, the student representation becomes a better representation of all students at Radboud University.