Erik van Heijst and Yoram Meijaard from Groep-één repeat once again why the lunch lectures are so important for the career planning for students. “By attending these low-threshold meetings students can see even in their second and third year which companies may be interesting in connection with their field of study. This may be something they take into account in their choice of a master’s program. Apart from the lectures, of which there is at least one every week in one of the study associations, there is an opportunity to speak to people from the companies involved. For students these are the first valuable contacts. It is that element in particular which threatens to be lost when there is no more than thirty minutes available”, says Van Heijst.
For according to him a lot of time is spent on traveling to the meeting and returning to the department afterwards. “In the most extreme case this may take as much as twice fifteen minutes, although that will be less once the Paviljoen is abandoned this year”, says Van Heijst. “If companies drop out because of this, it will harm the career perspectives of our students and the study associations will lose the income they generate by means of these meetings.”
“However, for all the co-determination bodies or groups that work together on a project , the midday break is actually the only moment when they can talk to each other”, Meijaard adds. “They are affected as well if their lunch break is reduced by those fifteen minutes.”
Van Heijst and Meijaard say that the discussion with the Executive Board was enlightening for both parties. Van Heijst: “We have succeeded in explaining the importance of the lunch lectures clearly to the Executive Board. They were not really aware how important the lectures are for students. We are much more familiar with the reasons why it is impossible to start fifteen minutes earlier. This is to do with students coming by train, with lecturers who have school-going children and with the fact that everybody wants to go home again as early as possible.”
It has been agreed now that it will be investigated how companies can still present a high-quality lecture within a one-hour lunch break. “The UR and the Executive Board are jointly taking this initiative and any communication about this will also be jointly communicated”, says Van Heijst. “All parties affected will be involved in this investigation.”
The Executive Board has also indicated that it actively wants to contact companies about this issue.
Van Heijst himself thinks that an important part of the solution can already be found in designating a central location on campus for holding all the lectures. “We are thinking of a room in MetaForum or in Atlas. Usually it concerns groups of twenty to thirty students, so it should be possible to find accommodation for that. The Executive Board has also indicated that it wants to approach companies actively about this issue. In three years we want to evaluate the new timetable and the lunch lectures will then be an element in this evaluation.”