Additional Investments in Research and Education
Alongside funding shortfalls, the sharp rise in the number of students is increasing the workload for academic staff. This creates the risk that the quality of research and education will eventually come under pressure. This calls for a financial impulse from the government. However, like the other universities, Erasmus University Rotterdam is already taking steps to deal with urgent problems.
An additional budget or macro budget from the public authorities is required to maintain the accessibility of university education and the quality of education and research. However, according to the problem analysis presented last year, all universities have agreed to invest - within their means - more in research and education. Erasmus University is also taking steps.
Reducing the Workload
Firstly, the Executive Board encourages the faculties and institutes to take on more permanent staff. By decreasing the number of temporary contracts, we are able to provide staff members with a greater sense of security and are better able to maintain the level of quality of our staff. The university is also taking on more staff to assist scholars in applying for research grants. This decreases the workload of academic staff, enabling them to focus more on what's essential, namely research and education. These measures should also help decrease the workload.
EUR is also taking care of the fundamentals by increasing the budget for the basic IT infrastructure. This infrastructure is becoming increasingly important for regular research and education activities and educational innovation.
Finally, the university will further improve the student facilities. The number of study places will be increased, particularly in the Tinbergen Building. As from September 2019, this building will have about 560 additional study places. Moreover, the 310 existing study places will be made more attractive.
'EUR has already invested substantially in all kinds of projects and initiatives in order to improve research and education'
Roelien Ritsema van Eck, Executive Board Member
Because of the urgency of the problems, Erasmus University carefully checked whether there was still some financial room to make these additional investments in research and education this year. Fortunately, this turned out to be the case: these past few years the number of students has been consistently higher than what the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science expected. We therefore did not receive any additional funds from the ministry until later on in the financial year. These funds still give us some financial room.
Roelien Ritsema van Eck, Executive Board Member: “Apart from the additional investments, EUR has already invested substantially in all kinds of projects and initiatives in order to improve research and education or in support measures in order to further facilitate research and education. For example, think of the recently opened Community for Learning and Innovation (CLI), the three Erasmus Initiatives (multidisciplinary research programmes), sustainability, the implementation of the new strategy and the renovation of the campus.”
See also the interview with Roelien Ritsema van Eck (Executive Board Member) in Erasmus Magazine regarding the additional investments.