As a university, how can you find out what your students want? And whom should you reach out to if you have ideas for the university from a student’s point of view? To offer a solution to these questions, the Student Service Centre (SSC) and Marketing & Digital (M&D) established the student panel.
‘There was no low-threshold way for students to offer their ideas’, say communication advisors Nadieh Tubben and Hannelies Bögemann. ‘We therefore established the student panel: to check whether what we offer students actually meets their expectations. Before the student panel, we would generally evaluate our activities through data instead of the students’ opinions.’
Technically speaking, there are three student panels: one for all Dutch students, one for international bachelor’s students and one for international master’s students. The plan is for the panels to meet four to six times a year. ‘During these meetings, the students will have the chance to share their ideas and experiences, and we will have the opportunity to ask the students questions directly. We will also make sure that their messages reach the right people.’
The students’ ideas reach further than simple remarks about the schedule or questions about the university’s growth. For example, one person suggested to make the online booking of lecture halls available to students as well. The student concerned came up with a QR code system that requires people who book a hall to check in. If they do not do so within fifteen minutes after the start of their reservation, the hall is released for other people. The idea was submitted to the schedule makers. They are playing with the idea of checking in and releasing, but they said that something like that could not be realised before 2019 and would require a new software system.
According to Bögemann, this is a perfect example of how the student panel could be used: an instrument to keep the lines between the students and the university as short as possible.
If you want to participate in the student panel or have an item for their agenda, you can reach them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org