First-year students will have to sign a social contract in 2023

Starting in 2023, first-year students will have to sign a social contract. The UG, Hanze University of Applied Sciences, and the municipality hopes this will curb disturbances caused by students.

The contract is intended to clearly indicate what kind of behaviour is acceptable and what kind isn’t, said rector magnificus Cisca Wijmenga during a university council meeting in April. ‘They’re both students and residents of this city’, she said. ‘It’s time we properly express the behavioural rules that we have.’

The council supported the idea, but it also had its critics. They felt that while it was a good idea to make students aware of the consequences of their behaviour, making them sign a contract is a step too far.

Many questions

Will signing the contract be mandatory? Are there consequences if they refuse? What if they sign the contract but don’t abide by the agreements in it? Isn’t the university overstepping its bounds by holding students responsible for behaviour that takes place outside university property?

These questions will remain unanswered for now. According to the rector, a meeting with mayor Koen Schuiling to discuss the details of the plan is in the works.

‘As far as I’m aware, we’ll be including a flyer in this year’s KEI week information packet’, said Wijmenga. ‘The flyer serves as a precursor to the actual social contract. But we’ll introduce that for real next year.’ 


Onno de Wal with student party SOG is surprised that the plan is still a go after the criticism it received. He was one of the plan’s critics on the university council. ‘It feels forceful to me to make students sign something that pertains to their lives outside the university walls.’

According to the rector, the plan will be submitted for the university council’s approval one last time before it’s implemented.

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