Our 2011 Annual Report
For the Executive Board, 2011 can be described as the year of profiling. We described and determined our profile against a backdrop of social debate regarding the quality of higher professional education. A profile must be recognisable, and we have therefore initiated broad discussions with all sections of the university of applied sciences and with external stakeholders. We would like to thank all those involved for their input, which helped us to determine our profile.
The recommendations of the Veerman Committee in relation to the profiling of universities of applied sciences and research universities, educational quality and study success, are closely in line with the ambitions we have been pursuing for many years. A progress report on our profile description was published and discussed in November 2011. Following on from this, a new education agenda is being determined and translated into a review of the 2004 educational framework.
The year 2011 ended with the formation of the outline agreement between the State Secretary for Education, Culture and Science and the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences (HBO-raad), as a basis for performance agreements for 2012 and onwards.
2011 was also marked by the aftermath of the debate regarding diploma and educational quality. The Hague University of Applied Sciences did not escape media reports in 2010 concerning complaints from students. The Executive Board responded by closely investigating the complaints and by holding probing discussions on compliance with the Programme and Examination Regulations with many sections within The Hague University of Applied Sciences. These investigations and discussions revealed that the rules and processes governing graduation were not in any way whatsoever being applied irresponsibly within the institution. The investigation launched in 2010 by the Inspectorate of Education following media reports about one of our study programmes concluded in 2011 that there had been no threat to educational quality. Although this provides some satisfaction, we are aware that our organisation is vulnerable. In addition to well-organised processes and clear procedures, a continuous focus on quality at all levels is essential. This focus must determine how our employees think. The importance of this was highlighted in February 2012 when the graduation path for a study programme at our university of applied sciences received negative media attention.
2011 was also a year of re-evaluation of the implementation of the new management information system with the aim of ensuring sounder data. By doing this, we hope to establish conditions for the reliable management of teaching and research activities. 2011 therefore saw the proposed reorganisations of the Financial and Economic Affairs and ICT departments to this end: major steps towards achieving the desired operational management and up-to-date teaching support.
Over the past few years we have sought to create a sound financial basis for our university of applied sciences. A financial basis that enables us to make essential investments in teaching and operational management in order to boost our teaching and research and to improve the quality of our organisation. In order to achieve this, we must continue to develop and reinforce our strength as a policy-maker. Only then can we successfully establish our profile and comply with the performance agreements to be reached.
In December 2011, the Supervisory Board decided to change the composition of the Executive Board with effect from 2012. As a result, we have had to say farewell to our colleague Els Verhoef. Our institution is greatly indebted to Ms Verhoef. Over many years she has tirelessly endeavoured to shape and to boost our profile, and has been a member of the Executive Board for more than seven years. We would like to thank her for all her hard work, and particularly for her contribution during the profile-determining year of 2011.
The Executive Board,
The Hague, June 2012