Representative Advisory Councils

Out and about with the monitoring teams of the CMR

6 Dec 2021 12:00 | Representative Advisory Councils

Who decides where the money for student loan funds goes? Who monitors our cyber security and educational data? To keep a close eye on these matters, the Central Representative Advisory Council (CMR) sets up monitoring teams in certain policy areas. We would like to introduce a few of these monitoring teams to you.

‘A monitoring team is essentially a kind of temporary committee within the CMR,’ explains council member Kees Post. The Executive Board often asks the CMR for advice in particular policy areas. The CMR will then set up a monitoring team to closely monitor that specific theme or project.

Quality Agreements

Kees: ‘The Quality Agreements monitoring team exists because universities of applied sciences receive extra money, which we call student loan funds. These funds are used at a central level to finance the Well-Organised Education and Student Well-Being projects. As a monitoring team, we are the discussion partner of the Executive Board member responsible for these projects. In our case, that is rector Geleyn Meijer. In these discussions we talk about the substantive and financial progress. We can also ask questions and give advice on behalf of the monitoring team. These quality agreements will remain in place through 2024. The monitoring team will also be disbanded at that time.’

Information Security

Niels Nanning is one of the members of the Information Security monitoring team. ‘Over the past several years, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences has made great strides in the digitalisation of both its educational programmes and its business operations. This has many advantages, but it can also pose risks. We don’t want the data of students or staff to unintentionally end up in the wrong hands. That is just one example.’ Niels lists a number of people whom the monitoring team consults with. They all have roles aimed at safeguarding privacy, data protection and data security. Niels explains, ‘The purpose of the monitoring team is to guarantee the security of the digital world within AUAS for staff and students. There has been a lot of social unrest now that multiple educational institutions have been attacked by hackers, and we do our part to prevent that.’

Educational Data

Anne-Marie Reijnders is one of the people behind the Educational Data monitoring team. ‘A lot of data are available within education, and there are opportunities to make good use of it. The goal of doing so is to improve the quality of education. As a monitoring team, we ensure that student data are used responsibly, transparently and safely within the experiments in this project. The monitoring group also oversees the use of the data. Such use may only serve the purpose of supporting students in pursuing their education. To give an example: our academic advisers invite students to talk to them in case they aren't achieving good study results, just to see what they can do and if action is to be undertaken or not. It's good for the students and in the end for the programmes as well. But we won't provide the same data to somebody else, who might want to use it for other purposes.’