The UG’s plans to decrease work stress over the next three years are working: in this, the first week of the academic year, the university has hired 172 extra staff.
Spokesperson Anja Hulshof says they filled practically all openings. ‘We said we’d draw from our internal stores of employees and that worked out really well.’
This approach means many PhD candidates who only just graduated received a temporary contract. The university also hired new lecturers by asking former employees to come back in a teaching role.
‘We approached people who’d just retired, for example’, says Hulshof. The UG has added 90 FTE to its roster until September 2024. On top of that, many part-time lecturers’ hours have been expanded.
The extra staff is part of the Ruggesteun plan, which the university came up with last year. The Nationaal Programma Onderwijs (National Education Programme), which was created to provide some relief from the effects of the corona pandemic, and other financiers have contributed 23 million euros to decrease work stress over the next three years.
‘Phase one of the plan was recruiting people’, says Hulshof. ‘Now we’re entering phase two: training people where necessary. In August, we organised a summer school to that end.’
But that’s not the only training the university is providing. ‘We’re now entering the second phase fo training, the main goal of which is to help lecturers set up blended learning and educational innovation.’
The temporary reinforcements will support lecturers develop innovative teaching methods as well as classes that will be partially in person and partially online. They will also help out students whenever they need some guidance, says Hulshof.