The council works hard to keep the ‘binding advice’
- The Executive Board wants an arrangement where not a single student will be sent away.
- Cor Niks, chairman of the Central Participation Council (CPC), thinks that plan is unwise.
Cor Niks has not yet seen a formal proposal from the Executive Board. The text the Board delivered right before the last CPC meeting is seen by him as ‘an outline’. However, if the final proposal were to look like it, makes Niks clear, the CPC will be obstructive.
The Board wants to go from a ‘binding study recommendation’ (in Dutch ‘bindend studieadvies’ or ‘BSA’) to an ‘urgent study recommendation.’ The CPC has consulted the opinions of the study programme committees, unit participation councils and students. Niks: “We were told: keep the possibility to send away students. That is the opinion of the vast majority of the study program committees and the unit participation councils. The same goes for the CPC.”
The CPC proposes an alternative. Niks: “We can live with a study result standard of a minimum of 45 EC. However, the students then need to have passed essential modules. Modules that are unmissable to continue the study programme and tell something about job prospects and aptitude. If a student finds himself below the study result standard and he has failed one of the essential modules, the study programme should be able to give a binding study recommendation. Personally I am convinced that if a student does pass all the essential modules he or she will be able to finish the rest of the study programme.”
But why be against the idea of the Board? “It leads to a significant increase in the amount of students in the first year’s modules and bigger classes. And when students are allowed to muddle along, big financial problems will form after four or five years.” Niks doesn’t find muddling along ‘fair’ towards the students. “And right now if you don’t meet the BSA-requirements, and you can properly explain why, you can always go to the examination board and get an extra year. In other words, what the Board wants to achieve, is already possible.”
Now we wait for the formal proposal. “If that is in line with the ‘outline’ we received, we can say that the CPC won’t give their approval. And then we shall follow up with our counter proposal.’
The idea ‘not binding but urgent’ is an important part of the intention that Windesheim won’t send students away ‘unnecessarily’, a core of the strategic course. Can it still be discarded? Niks: “I think Henk Hagoort is a very good chairman of the Executive Board: he’s sincere, a man with vision who stands by his principles. But right now I find him too ambitious. We can’t agree with this. And the commitment is too important. This we will stand for.’ (MH)