TOF is a decentralized party, that consciously chooses to focus solely on the FGw. The unique character of the Faculty of Humanities can only be guaranteed when the decisions are made at Faculty level as much as possible. TOF chooses subsidiarity: decisions must be made at the lowest possible level. Ideally, this is the level of the programme itself, where experts can keep an eye on the high quality of education. Our credo: decentral where possible and central if necessary.
Faculty wide deliberation
TOF believes students and teachers know best what is good for their programmes. They have to be involved in as much as possible in shaping policy at the Faculty of Humanities. Decisions should not be made behind closed doors, but in public meetings. Where possible, TOF would like to see the opinion of teachers and students to be heard and taken into account. We believe that the vision of the faculty should always be formed in public policy documents that everyone can give input on. When it comes to shaping a plan for the longer term, consulting the members of this Faculty must be a requirement.
At the lowest level of decision-making at the Faculty of Humanities we find the Programme Committee (OC), which equally consist of teachers and students. The OC advises the programme director and guarantees the quality of education at the lowest level. Because it is important for the programmes that the OC is as strong as possible, TOF believes that the following changes should be made:
- The OC must be better informed about the new rights it has acquired since the legislative amendment of September 2017. Not just new student members, but also teachers that have been long time members should get information about the rights of the OC, for example through workshops.
- OCs must obtain right of consent on the budget of their respective programmes.
- OCs must receive better official support. Although all OCs now have an official secretary, they do not get enough hours in practice.
- The OC must receive a training budget.
- Teaching members of OCs need to get more hours for the task.
- The Education and Examination Regulations must be translated on time so that English-speaking OCs have sufficient time to give their advice.
- All OCs must have a canvas page to reach students and teachers of the program.
Programme Committee elections
Since a legislative amendment in 2017, the programme committee has officially obtained the status of a representative advisory body. More and more far-reaching rights have been granted to the OC and the OC is now expected to represent teachers and students of the programme. TOF thinks that the student section of the OC can best perform its task and will be more motivated to listen to students if its members are elected. For this reason, TOF advocates resolving the practical difficulties regarding the election of OC-members as quickly as possible. Although elections are preferred, practice has shown that there is often not enough enthusiasm among aspiring OC student members to participate in elections which leads to vacancies in OCs. TOF is therefore of the opinion that OCs should also be filled with enough student members who carry expertise and support if there have been no elections. OCs that are not elected should pay more attention to involving their supporters. The Faculty Student Council and the Faculty can help OCs to establish contact with their supporters.
A democratic curriculum
Because students and teachers must be able to exert influence on the content of the curriculum, TOF believes that the programme committee should be actively involved when the curriculum is changed. Their possible objections can be eliminated in a more timely manner by involving the OC earlier in the process and this will gives the programme committee a change to consult their peers.
A decentral CSR
The Central Student Council of the UvA currently consists of 14 members. Half of these members are directly elected by the student population of the UvA, the other half are delegates from the seven faculties of the UvA. TOF believes that all 14 members of the CSR should be delegates. Only then will the CSR truly be in service of the faculty and will the central UvA policy be checked by students who will keep an eye on the interest of the faculty.
When it comes to decentralising the CSR, TOF believes that a number of central dossiers should be appointed to the faculty level. This includes for example rules about selection and numerus fixus arrangements, regulations that apply to specific programmes. The Executive Board should also be cautious to install rules for the whole UvA in general. In addition to the right of consent that the central council has on the budget, TOF believes Faculty Student Councils must also approve the budget before it can be adopted.