Board: Bonus for UG employees

Board: Bonus for UG employees

UG employees can’t use their university-issued IDs right now to get coffee or print documents. The board of directors is considering giving employees a small bonus as compensation.
Door Giulia Fabrizi en Rob Siebelink
22 April om 10:54 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:20 uur.
April 22 at 10:54 AM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:20 PM.

Do you have a question?

Every week, rector Cisca Wijmenga, board president Jouke de Vries, and board member Hans Biemans will be answering the most burning questions from the academic community.

Do you have a question for the board? Send a mail to uk@rug.nl

Working from home means employees spend more money on printing and coffee and tea, as well as an increase in their power and water bills. The University of Applied Sciences Utrecht is paying its employees a one-time working-from-home bonus in the amount of 100 euros. Does the UG have plans to do anything like this?

Hans Biemans: ‘Our employees all have a commuting allowance, which we’re still paying them. You could argue that this is a form of compensation already, since no one is actually incurring any travel costs at the moment. We’re also thinking about compensating people for the extra costs incurred because the lockdown is taking so long. It won’t make up for the inconvenience, but we are discussing it. We’d still have to decide the amount, so we can’t say anything about that right now.’

Education minister Ingrid Engelshoven has eased up on the bachelor-before-master rule, allowing students who won’t finish their bachelor this year to start their master next year anyway. How will the UG handle this?

Cisca Wijmenga: ‘Students will not have to prove that their delay was caused by the corona crisis, since that would get very complicated very quickly. But they’re not allowed to be delayed by more than thirty ECTS. They should be able to make up the ECTS that next year, because students need to have their bachelor’s degree before they can finish their master.

Those are the guidelines the board is issuing, but the faculties can set separate conditions for each master. We have so many different master programmes, with some of them lasting just one year and others two. It’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. We’ll announce the conditions for each degree programme before May 15.’

Not all students own a good computer or have access to a fast internet connection. The Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences has made equipment available in some of their buildings. Would something like this be possible at the UG?

Jouke de Vries: ‘That’s not likely, since we decided to move our education online. It’s also important to prevent people from travelling. We have been asked about it, but because we don’t know how many people would need it, we decided not to do it. We might be able to access our funds to help out students who really need it.’

Cisca Wijmenga: ‘I’d like to add that we haven’t had many signals of students who didn’t have the necessary supplies.’

The board has asked faculties to come up with different scenarios concerning the influx of new students. How is that going?

Hans Biemans: ‘We have to make a distinction between two things in this regard. On the one hand, we’re talking about students signing up for degree programmes. That’s something they do themselves. Like every other year, we’ll have to wait and see how many of the students who signed up actually enrol. We’ve seen no great changes to the number of students signing up. There’s some fluctuation, but overall it’s stable.

We asked the faculties to consider the various possible scenarios. For example: what effect would it have on a faculty if fewer international students came to Groningen? Would it spell trouble? Could the faculty adapt? We asked them this question two weeks ago, and they’re still working on it.’

Jouke de Vries: ‘We don’t know what’s going to happen over the next few weeks. There might be fewer international students, but it’s also possible that Dutch students take longer to finish or decide to start another degree programme. We don’t know at this point, we’ll have to wait and see.’

Nederlands

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