News - May 23, 2016

Pilot evening classes will continue despite protest

Text:
Rob Ramaker

Around two hundred students protested last Thursday against evening classes. Despite this, the experiment with the measure will still be held. Rector Mol did meet some of the students wishes.

‘The University is not an Albert Heijn’, one of the banners read. Thursday around two hundred students gathered in front of Atlas during lunchbreak. Speaker after speaker proclaimed the same message. Evening classes would negatively affect activities. They do not want the university to use this means. Or as Dorina Lauber, chair of the student choir and orchestra WSKOV said: ‘Don’t make the music stop.’

Rector Artur Mol could not be present at the protest because he had to receive an ambassador from Laos. He emphasized that the protest did not change his intention to run a pilot with evening classes. He does want to listen and discuss with the student council.

Formally we do not require permission from the student council for the pilot, but they are in discussion with the university about the set up.

After the protest the board and rector talked, while a large number of students watched from the audience. The university wants to experiment in the 1st and 2nd period of the next academic year with evening classes between half past 6 and 9 pm. This should help to cope with the growing number of students. Formally we do not require permission from the student council for the pilot, but they are in discussion with the university about the set up.

Mol understands that students are not enthusiastic about evening classes, but sees no alternative. ‘We are going to cope with the growth with three solutions’, he says. ‘Using the schedule and space more efficiently, education innovations and extension of the education schedule. And I think we will need all three.’

The rector did agree with a couple of things. For example the freshmen would not immediately be confronted with the evening classes. He also promised to take a critical look to judge whether there are enough places to get food in the evenings. Meanwhile, the student council stressed the importance of good communication. Also the student politicians require that a good look is taken at alternative options to cope with the growth.

Mol understands that students are not enthusiastic about evening classes, but sees no alternative.

Regarding the big picture students and the university sometimes seem to be talking a totally different language. For example the student council wondered aloud whether the university should continue to grow at all. Why not stop with advertising? The rector however believes that the university needs to be open for all students. Also the university would not be aiming for growth, but only accommodate it.

He agitatedly reacts to the suggestion that the result of the pilot is already known. ‘We want to learn from it, we will take the results seriously.’ An independent agency will look at the effects of the evening classes.