A lot has changed in fifty years
In short, enormous changes have occurred in the Rotterdam Law Faculty in the last fifty years. The faculty started out as a legal learning environment where dialogue with social sciences such as economics and sociology should exist more than in traditional faculties. In those early days, until 1970, the relationships that had grown in the 19th century still prevailed, following the example of Berlin's Humboldt University.
Professors jointly controlled and met in the Senate. Scientific staff had hardly been appointed yet and student numbers were extremely low from the current point of view. Studying was an elitist affair and there was only a very modest scholarship system. Then the period of "1968" came with increasing student participation and a huge expansion in their numbers. At the same time, much scientific staff were also appointed in Rotterdam, who received a civil servant statute and thus enjoyed a high degree of legal protection.
After the Veringa Act (the University Administration Reform Act, the WUB) of 1970, it was all over with the omnipotence of professors. The power in the faculty was exercised by a Faculty Council composed jointly in Rotterdam and everyone could be heard in the meetings of that council. The departments also had their own legal regulation. For example, at the express wish of the students, standards were introduced for the study load of subjects.
The study advisers, originally intended to monitor the study pace of fellow students, were given more tasks and there was much more support staff in a faculty office. A reversal already occurred in the 1980s. In 1980 the study programme at all faculties, except the medical one, was in principle limited to four years. This was a prior announcement of regulation and an attempt to control the ever more expensive funding of the universities. In the midst of this time full of changes and, in particular, an increase in scale, the 25th anniversary of the faculty was commemorated in 1988.
In the course of the 1990s the faculty, partly due to the increasing external control and the abolition of what may have been a bit more advanced university democracy, became more like a traditional legal faculty, where the main focus is on legal core subjects. Like other legal faculties, much more attention is paid than in the past to European law in all its facets. Nevertheless, there are still visible accents of Rotterdam in education and research, which are discussed in more detail in the following chapters. Similarly, the independent critical and creative (ICC) lawyer who was a model in the training in the 1970s, is still present in the background as an ideal type.
The new problem-based education tries to address this independent critical and creative student on his/her responsibility and aims to make students enthusiastic.