Diana Heijnerman.

UR | Is it a piece of cake?


Having read the columns of Vincent Merk about internationalization of TU/e I was triggered to write this column in English. In one of his columns, Vincent asked if other forums in the university are prepared for the international community.

Is the University Council (UC) prepared? To be honest, not completely. All correspondence, reports, minutes (apart from the official documents of the Graduate School) etc. are written in Dutch. When an international employee would like to read the ‘openbare stukken’ and ‘besluiten’ available on the website of the UC, there is no translation if you press the English button.

During my walk around during election time in December 2013 in Potentiaal, knocking on office doors and talking to my colleagues to urge them to vote, it became clear to me that a lot of the non-Dutch people were not aware of the existence of the University Council. For some, in their countries of origin, employee participation still doesn’t amount to much or is even prohibited. Apart from the language barrier a culture barrier has to be taken. Communicating in English is not the biggest hurdle to take, but creating awareness and establish interaction, “that's another cook”, as Louis van Gaal (coach of Manchester United) would say.

So I'm curious to know in which way we could attract the whole TU/e community to interact about matters that concern the University and thus the University Council. Every Monday morning the staff fraction (PUR) of the University Council meets. You are more than welcome to visit and share your ideas with us. Just contact Rianne, the chairperson of the personnel group and visit www.tue.nl/ur for the details.

By the way, for those who don’t know Louis: he is famous in England for his hilarious, often wrong translated Dutch sayings into English causing lots of confusion during his interviews. Actually the meaning of the Dutch saying “dat is andere koek”  is the opposite of the meaning of the English saying “a piece of cake”.  To be honest, writing this column in English wasn’t either. ;-)

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