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    Election  Program   SOG:  more  than  just  studying!    

2013-­‐2014                 Studentenorganisatie  Groningen   Sint  Walburgstraat  22b   9712  HX    Groningen  

Worldwide RUG:  create  the  perfect  international   environment  for  students!  

The RUG  is  not  only  defined  as  the  perfect  international  environment  for  students  because   of  its  various  English-­‐taught  degrees  and  its  lively  atmosphere  around  the  university;  but  it   also   aims   to   offer   the   right   solutions   for   students’   needs.   The   SOG   are   the   voice   for   internationals  at  the  University  as  they  are  the  only  party,  for  the  second  time  in  a  row,  that   is   putting   forward   an   international   student   as   a   candidate   for   the   University   Council.   For   the   purpose   of   being   close   to   internationals’   desires,   SOG   comes   up   with   new   ideas:   summer   school   possibilities   all   around   the   world,   better   internship   opportunities   and   always   the   chance  for  internationals  to  become  an  integrated  part  of  the  Dutch  community  during  their   studies.  On  top  of  this  we  propose  more  participation  of  the  university  on  abroad  studying   affairs  to  stimulate  the  application  of  students  from  around  the  world.     Helping  internationals  find  their  way  in  Groningen  

SOG understands  the  needs  and  the  issues  that  internationals  face  even  before  their  arrival   in   Groningen.   And   the   SOG   are   trying   to   overcome   them   by   getting   involved!   Answering   questions  such  as  ‘Where  to  stay?  How  to  get  a  part  time  job?  How  to  travel  cheaply?  Are   there   any   other   students   from   my   country?’   are   essential   for   an   easy   transition   to   Groningen.   The   solution   to   this   would   be   the   establishment   of   a   platform   between   the   prospective  students  and  the  current  students  so  that  the  ‘new  arrivals’  could  benefit  from   the  best  student  tips  beforehand  and  make  the  best  use  of  them.  Access  to  Facebook  groups   like   ‘housing   in   Groningen’   ‘for   sale   in   Groningen’   could   prove   to   be   really   useful.   Moreover,   the   accommodation   problem   could   be   solved   by   the   university   in   another   way   as   well:   finding  Dutch  families  that  are  willing  to  offer  a  room  in  their  house  for  exchange  students   and   putting   them   in   contact   with   the   prospective   students   before   arrival.   Consequently,   the   exchange  students  would  easier  pick  up  the  language  while  enjoying  an  ‘all  inclusive  Dutch   experience’.   Dutch  courses     A   better   integration   in   the   local   community?   Learn   Dutch!   SOG   considers   it   essential   that   every   international   is   offered   the   chance   to   acquire   a   certain   level   of   Dutch.   For   this,   we   have   already   fulfilled   part   of   our   mission   by   getting   50-­‐hour   free   language   courses   for   those   internationals  that  follow  any  degree  at  the  RUG.  Furthermore,  the  SOG  even  ensured  that   students  who  are  already  fluent  in  German  will  have  access  to  a  “Dutch  for  German  native   speakers”  track,  allowing  for  more  efficient  results.  However,  as  the  saying  goes,  ‘the  more   the   better’.   Therefore,   we   would   like   to   go   further   and   set   our   goal   in   providing   the   same   opportunity   for   exchange   students   as   well.   Moreover,   we   will   strive   for   getting   more   affordable   courses   at   the   language   centre   for   those   students   who   are   willing   to   put   more  

effort in  order  to  upgrade  their  level  after  completing  the  free  basic  track.  The  project  will   result  in  a  better  integration  of  the  students  in  the  local  community  and  would  enable  the   students  to  get  a  job  alongside  their  studies.   Internships   Make  your  way  to  the  top  with  better  preparation  for  your  career!  In  order  to  support  and   facilitate  our  students  accessing  better  jobs  in  the  near  future  and  to  help  them  effectively   determine   their   area   of   interest,   SOG   wants   to   implement   the   ‘internship   program’   both   during  and  at  the  end  of  the  studies.  We  consider  the  university  should  be  actively  involved   in  providing  us  with  the  possibility  of  gaining  a  certain  amount  of  experience  in  our  field  of   study  in  order  to  become  valuable  candidates  for  the  remorseless  competitive  job  market.   Why  do  we  want  this?  Because  we  aim  for  higher  employment  rates  for  our  students!  We   aim  for  easier  access  for  our  students  to  the  labour  market!  We  want  to  assure  that  a  degree   from  RUG  comes  with  many  long  term  benefits!   Summer  schools  

In order   to   gain   a   broader   understanding   of   the   subjects   covered   by   the   RUG;   and   for   enabling  them  to  experience  different  approaches  to  those  matters,  SOG  proposes  summer   schools!   The   perfect   opportunity   for   the   motivated   student   to   enhance   an   international   experience!   And   it   comes   with   multiple   benefits:   gaining   more   knowledge   in   their   field   of   interest,   enabling   worldwide   connections   with   students   from   different   countries,   exploring   new   cultures   and   expending   one’s   perspectives.   In   exchange   the   project   will   take   place   in   Groningen   as   well,   so   students   from   other   universities   will   come   here   for   2   weeks,   something   that   would   act   as   international   promotion   for   the   RUG.   So   these   summer   schools   offer  a  great  alternative  for  spending  2  weeks  of  your  holidays  in  an  efficient  and  fun  way   abroad.   The   RUG   University   is   already   highly   popular   among   international   students   as   the   rate   of   foreign  students  is  increasing  every  year  by  10  %.  This  is  partly  due  to  the  RUG  successfully   satisfying  students’  needs  by  providing  them  with  studying  rooms,  an  on-­‐line  library,  virtual   learning  ,  academic  and  financial  advice.  Additionally,  SOG  would  be  glad  to  put  into  practice   more   useful   projects   concerning   life   at   RUG   in   order   to   make   the   students   feel   more   part   of   the  community  and  to  make  their  years  as  a  student  in  Groningen  be  the  time  they  ever  will   have.  

Excellent facilities  are  essential  for  the  SOG  

The SOG  proudly  announces  that  the  opening-­‐hours  of  the  UB  will  be  expanded  because  of   the  efforts  of  the  SOG  this  year.  In  order  to  safeguard  this  implementation,  we  will  keep  an   eye   on   it   so   that   it   remains   like   this.   During   the   past   years,   we   have   seen   more   and   more  

students appreciate  studying  at  the  RUG  Libraries.  Because  of  this  increase,  there  is  now  a   shortage   of   available   workplaces   in   the   faculty   libraries   and   in   the   UB.   This   year,   we   will   make   sure   that   the   availability   of   workplaces   won’t   dwindle   further   and   we   will   do   everything  possible  to  create  more  workplaces.    In  addition  to  this,  there  are  often  no  vacant   computers   available   so   students   are   left   without.   We   plead   for   more   outlets   for   laptops   and   tablets  to  reduce  this  problem.  Also,  we'd  like  to  enable  wireless  printing  at  the  university   libraries,  in  order  to  create  the  possibility  to  print  directly  from  your  own  laptop.  Lastly,  we   have   noticed   that   the   website   “MyUniversity”   is   not   easy   accessible.   We   therefore   would   want  to  ensure  that  this  website  will  become  clearer  for  every  student!   The   canteens   of   the   RUG   also   draw   our   attention.   Healthy   nutrition   is   important,   and   the   SOG   therefore   stands   for   an   affordable   and   a   quality   array   of   food   in   the   RUG   canteens!     In  addition  to  this,  we  would  like  to  plead  for  the  expansion  of  canteen  opening-­‐hours,  since   it   closes   already   at   4pm   (or   even   earlier)   during   exam   periods.   In   these   periods   the   UB   is   crowded  and  the  majority  of  the  students  prefer  to  study  in  the  library  all  day,  therefore  it  is   essential  that  the  canteen  opening  hours  be  expanded.  The  SOG  is  also  currently  setting  up  a   Food  &  Drinks  Committee.  

The SOG  wants  a  quality-­‐upgrade  of  professors  and  student-­‐ assistants  

As students   we   need   to   pay   more   and   more   for   our   education,   and   of   course   we   want   good   professors   in   return!   The   SOG   aims   therefore   for   well   qualified   professors,   who   should   be   assessed  and  need  to  have  obtained  a  basic  teaching  qualification  (BKO)  if  they  want  to  work   at   the   RUG.   One   of   the   SOG’S   goals   is   that   the   level   of   English   of   professors   should   improve,   since  not  all  of  them  master  the  English  language  to  an  acceptable  level.  In  addition,  the  SOG   wants  more  stringent  quality  requirements  for  student-­‐assistants.  In  this  way  the  SOG  hopes   to  achieve  a  quality-­‐upgrade  of  teachers  at  the  RUG.  

Studying is  personal  development  

The presence   of   student   associations   in   Groningen   creates   a   better   student   climate   within   the   university   and   the   city.   We   want   students   to   always   have   the   opportunity   to   become   an   active  member  of  any  association  next  to  their  studies,  whether  that  is  a  sports-­‐,  study-­‐,  or   student   association.   We   are   of   the   opinion   that   such   opportunities   for   extracurricular   activities  should  remain  in  existence  to  strengthen  the  personal  development  of  all  students.   As  well  as  this,  the  SOG  demands  that  it  should  be  possible  to  excel  within  your  study.  This  is   one  of  the  reasons  that  we  cherish  the  Honours’  College  program  and  we  strongly  support   the  expansion  of  the  faculty  Honours’  programs.  Next  to  this,  the  SOG  pays  a  lot  of  attention   to   the   sport   associations   and   sport   facilities   in   Groningen.   Top-­‐athletes   should   always   be  

supported through  proper  regulations  in  cooperation  with  the  Hanze  University  of  Applied   Sciences  and  the  municipality.      

No Binding  Study  Advice  (BSA)  in  year  2  and  3  

Students should   not   be   deterred   and   burdened   with   unnecessary   obligations.   The   university   should   be   a   place   where   you   can   develop   yourself,   without   too   many   restrictions.   Good   education  will  not  be  achieved  with  a  higher  BSA,  it  will  be  achieved  through  improvement   of  education  itself.  We  stick  to  this  belief  and  we  will  under  no  circumstances  accept  a  BSA  in   year  2  and  3.  

A link  between  education  and  your  career  

Students should   be   supported   in   their   search   for   suitable   posts   for   an   internship   and   should   be  able  to  get  advice  easily  concerning  their  future  career  plans.    For  this,  the  SOG  strives  for   the  wider  availability  of  internships,  both  at  companies  and  at  the  RUG.  We  also  plead  for   better   use   of   the   facilities   that   can   be   offered   by   the   career-­‐office   “Next”.   The   SOG   is   of   the   opinion  that  every  student  should  be  able  to  prepare  themselves  for  the  labour  market  and   their  future  career.  

More freedom  in  choosing  the  contents  of  your  minor-­‐space  

It should  be  possible  for  students  to  choose  courses  for  their  minor  that  interest  them:  fixed   packages  that  force  you  to  follow  certain  modules  are  undesirable.  The  SOG  pleads  for  more   freedom  to  customise  your  minor  and  would  like  to  create  more  options  to  fill  your  minor-­‐ space   with.   That   is   why   the   SOG   wants   space   for   the   specialisation   and   the   deepening   of   subjects  the  student  is  interested  in  most.  Through  more  exchange  programs,  cross-­‐faculty   minor   packages   and   internships   (at   firms   and   at   the   RUG)   the   quality   of   education   will   definitely  increase.  

Entrepreneurship during  your  studies  is  an  investment  for   the  future  

In the   coming   years,   there   will   be   a   greater   need   for   starting   student   enterprises   and   the   SOG   is   of   the   opinion   that   the   RUG   should   contribute   to   this.   To   encourage   students   to   start   their  own  company,  the  RUG  should  award  a  prize  for  the  best  student-­‐entrepreneur.  This   prize   will   motivate   student   entrepreneurs   to   pursue   their   ideas   further   and   it   will   acknowledge  the  outstanding  achievement  of  the  entrepreneur.         The   SOG   is   an   advocate   of   a   centrally   organised   organ,   within   the   RUG,   to   stimulate   entrepreneurship.  It  is  important  that  every  student  will  come  into  contact  with  knowledge   concerning   entrepreneurship.   Through   guest-­‐lectures   by   successful   student   entrepreneurs,   students   could   become   inspired   to   create   their   own   firm.   In   this   way   we   hope   to   not   only   prepare  students  for  jobs  on  the  labour  market,  but  also  to  create  jobs  themselves.  

No 'school-­‐year  system',  but  rather  Learning  Communities  

The school-­‐year  system  is  not  a  good  solution  to  bump  up  students’  success  rates.  The  SOG   is   of   the   opinion   that   this   system   operates   at   the   expense   of   students   and   the   quality   of   education.   Learning   Communities   can   be   seen   as   a   more   appropriate   tool   to   improve   the   quality  of  education.  A  learning  community  will  provide  small-­‐scale  education  in  which  study   associations  should  play  a  central  role.  Through  active  participation  in  seminars  and  lectures,   students   should   receive   better   understanding   of   the   subject   matter   and,   creating   more   discussion.   It   should   be   made   clear   that   this   participation   is   a   choice   and   no   obligation,   in   this  way  the  freedom  of  choice  of  students  will  be  guaranteed.  

Election Program 2013-2014