Quality agreements - Educational program committee
What are the rights of the educational program committee (EPC) in terms of the quality agreements and how can you make optimal use of these rights? As an educational program committee, you can form the bridge between the educational program board or coordinator, the students, and the study associations.
- Educational program committee as a bridge
- Rights of the EPC: information, advice and sometimes consent
- Four tips
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Educational program committee as a bridge
The educational institution has made decisions with students, teachers and other stakeholders. As an educational program committee, you can form the bridge between the educational program board or coordinator, the students, and the study associations. The educational program board may involve the educational program committees for decisions concerning the implementation of the quality agreements within the program, but this is not required.
Rights of the EPC: information, advice and sometimes consent
As an educational program committee, you have the right to information and the right of consultation, as stated in the Higher Education and Academic Research Act (HEARA, Dutch: WHW). In some cases, the right to consent to the quality agreements lies with the educational program committee. This happens if the central board decides to leave the substantiation of the quality agreements up to the educational program boards. However, often these consenting rights are held at the central council or a faculty-, domain-, or academic council.
Right to information
For the purpose of gathering more information about the implementation of the quality agreements of the educational program, the right to information exists. This means that the educational program committee can submit a request for information. The educational program board is required to provide the requested information, or to demonstrate why the EPC would not need said information. This right empowers you to get more clarity regarding the board’s spending of the money for quality purposes, for instance whether the money for ‘educational facilities’ actually goes towards additional workplaces, lecture halls, or computers.
Right of consultation
As an educational program committee, you can provide both solicited and unsolicited advice to your educational program board or coordinator. Sometimes, you will be asked to provide advice regarding the implementation of the quality agreements. In addition, you may provide unsolicited advice, for instance based on the earlier solicited advice. The educational program board is required to provide a substantive response to this advice.
- Utilize the knowledge of your predecessors. They are often able to tell you a lot about what has happened in previous years in terms of quality agreements.
- You can also approach your colleagues in the central council or in the faculty-, domain-, or academic council to ask questions or to share your experience with the quality agreements. Make sure to put these experiences on paper: verbally communicated input is often lost quickly.
- Do not hesitate to provide unsolicited advice to your board about the quality agreements. This comprises the most powerful tool the educational program committee can employ.
- It applies to both the right of consultation and the right to information that the board is required to respond, and to argue why it decides not to follow an advice given by the EPC or why it refuses to provide requested information. Therefore, make sure that the board complies with these requirements.