UC | Compensation for boards and student teams
The topic of compensation for boards and student teams is a difficult file for TU/e. There are over two hundred associations and more than fifty student teams at TU/e, all having a different and increasing need. TU/e is currently busy conducting an evaluation of the student financial support regulations and setting up policy for student teams.
The student financial support regulations concern among others the whole regulations of board grants. The revised regulations and student team policy will be more in line with what TU/e will look like in 2030. It is our job as University Council to check whether the new regulations will benefit the boards and student teams as well as possible.
TU/e has grown significantly the last eight years. Student numbers have gone up from 8,400 in 2013 to 13,000 in 2020. Associations have grown too, having more members to entertain and having to work more efficiently. New associations have emerged as well. That also holds for student teams: we’ve come from about eight teams in 2013 to around fifty currently. Sports and culture associations also saw a big growth the past few years. The last evaluation of the financial support regulations took place in 2013. Then the TU/e was a very different university compared to now. Therefore the policy was in need of a good evaluation.
Apart from the growth of the number of students, there has been another development going on as well. The contribution of the student community to our university has increased significantly the last few years. The University Council, together with the associations and student teams, have pointed this out a lot.
Study associations for example are doing more and more to contribute to the improvement of education. They actively think along with policy makers in and outside their own department. Furthermore, the increasing importance of personal and professional development, or ‘employability’, lead to more facilitation of career orientation activities. This also holds for the student associations and career organizations. Associations gladly take up these extra tasks, as they are the specialized party in these areas. Students will become better engineers because of these activities, which is the main purpose of TU/e: educate future engineers. TU/e thus has enormous benefits from these activities.
Enough reasons to revise the financial support regulations and increase the amount of resources for these students. Currently, there are also still some requirements for a board year. You need to obtain 15 ECTS or finish the remaining courses of your bachelor or master program in order to be eligible for financial compensation. It can be questioned whether it is fair to ask this from students, when already asking so many favors from them.
For student teams, they are helping to develop and contributing to challenge based learning, facilitate bachelor final projects and playing a key role in solving societal challenges, also giving TU/e a good marketing boost. They give students a platform to develop themselves, get to know themselves, learn to work in interdisciplinary teams and be busy with real societal problems. This also results in TU/e students becoming better future engineers.
Currently there isn’t such a thing as ‘board grants’ for student teams. Some of them do get resources to finance their projects. The lack of compensation sometimes leads to students not being able to participate in a student team. When taking part in a student team, fulltime for a whole year, this could have a big financial impact for a student. You thereby give students who are financially not as fit as others, less chance to develop themselves at such a team. They could have been a great addition to the team, doing great stuff and they could have made large steps in their personal development, but that wasn’t possible because they couldn’t afford a whole year off.
Our university has presented many plans on what our university should look like in the future. One of these plans is the Strategy 2030. The contributions by associations and student teams I just mentioned are included in these plans as well, together with the significance they have for our university. It is therefore not strange that TU/e is looking critically at the resources for associations and student teams.
The purpose of the University Council is to check and make sure these students are compensated as well and equally as possible. To make sure the maximum amount of resources available are used. If you are curious about this and would like to discuss more about board grants, compensation for student teams et cetera, feel free to contact me by sending a WhatsApp to 040-2474207.