Organisation - November 22, 2019

Go-ahead for loan system money plan

Luuk Zegers

WUR’s plan to invest the loan system money in teaching quality has been given the go-ahead by the evaluation committee. The money — over 40 million euros in the period to 2024 — will be spent on small-group teaching, students’ personal and academic development and the professional development of teachers

© Marte Hofsteenge

The investment plans had already been announced but still had to be evaluated by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO). An accreditation panel visited the university on Thursday 7 November for this purpose. That panel has now given its approval. The NVAO’s recommendations are usually adopted.

The loan system money is money that became available due to the abolition of the basic grant. It is being shared among the universities and has to be invested in teaching quality. Students, staff and the university board decide jointly what the money should be spent on. The accreditation panel concluded that this process was conducted properly in Wageningen and that the investment plan aims are realistic.

Over half the money will be invested in small-group teaching, by taking on additional staff. One sixth will go on support and professional development for teachers. A further sixth will be spent on educational differentiation — for example, skills teaching and student challenges. One tenth will be for additional study advisers and student psychologists. The rest will be spent on teaching facilities such as MyWorkspace for students and other software licences.

Over half the money will be invested in small-group teaching

The accreditation panel was impressed with the dashboard that is used to monitor progress in the teaching quality investments. Policy officer Eva Verschoor: ‘It lets you see exactly how many of the measures have been implemented in each quality theme and how much of the budget has been used.’ The dashboard is due to be published online soon.