University Council Blog Bianca Jadoenath

Creating an environment where Erasmians can connect
Bianca Jadoenath

By Bianca Jadoenath, a policy advisor at the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague who is responsible for several projects related to innovation in education and different topics within the Master Programme such as internship collaborations, career services, International Student Barometer (ISB), intercultural competences.

Besides managing and improving different processes in the ‘Student journey’`, such as student engagement, personal development, evaluations, steps that comes to introducing a new student to the Netherlands, the University- I ensure that processes are executed and developed in the best interests of the faculty and its community. Thereby making sure that the strategic input is translated into the tactical level of the processes in the journey so they reflect the ISS strategy. In so doing, the strategic input is aligned with applicable policies related to the journey. Not to forget all this in close contact with our students, in collaboration with our student association SCHOLAS.

I joined the University Council (UC) in 2017 to be more involved and participate in the EUR community and gain knowledge about the EUR and its ‘central’ policies. On the council my aim is to ensure that different points of view are explored. Triggering members to think and decide beyond the ‘obvious’.
The core of the University Council membership, as elected representatives of the Erasmian community, begins with visionary work, taking initiative and creative action to implement change.

Within the UC I am also a member of the Community, Research & Education Committee (CRE).
Topics primarily discussed in this committee include investments made for improving educational quality, innovation in education, research support, financial support for students,  and cooperation with external parties. Other topics also cover academic integrity, cancellation or addition of programs, and the working of Community for Learning & Innovation.

The participation of employees and students is vital in improving the quality of decision-making and ensures that policies are supported by staff members and students of the university- By Erasmians for Erasmians. It ensures that the entire community's interests are at the heart of decision-making and improving the university environment.

Within the UC and committee Internal & External affairs (IEA) we are finding ways to connect with, and help build the University’s community to increase participation. The IEA committee looks after, for example, the communication and identity of the University Council to the university community. It is responsible for conveying the purpose, impact, and knowledge of the University Council. This is done in numerous ways, like these blogs sharing our views

I might be a good example of an Erasmian that didn’t know anything about the UC and its work before I became a member. A colleague suggested to look into the UC to participate, and after gathering some information I decided to join the UC, share my thoughts on policies and offer my advice to several decision-making bodies.

The main challenge facing the university council is how to achieve central decision making for the entire Erasmian community without the direct input of the entire EUR community. Through UC participation you can communicate central topics of discussion to, for example, your faculty. You can then gather the knowledge of the stakeholders involved, be a critical friend, but also a co-creator in cooperation with the Executive Board thereby promoting representative decision-making.

I hope that with this blog I have informed you more about me, our University council and that we can start creating  an environment where all Erasmians can connect.