Dante in faculty council TSHD

The importance of student participation

Student wellbeing, quality of education, and digitalization; those are just a few of the topics Student Party Dante covers during the faculty council of Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences (TSHD). Student Party Dante contributes greatly to all matter going on in their respective faculty, they enjoy the right to vote on current issues, oversee plans to the faculty board, present their own initiatives, and most importantly, represent all students within TSHD during all of this. Ellen van Gisbergen and Isabelle Henck are two of this year’s candidates, embodying number 1 and 2 respectively election list, and are looking forward to represent their fellow students next academic year. “Currently, we’re trying to improve our visibility; students should know who we are, what we stand for, how they can communicate with us and give their input.”

Isabelle is a first year student from Germany, currently studying Liberal Arts and Sciences at University College Tilburg. Ellen has already been studying at TSHD a little longer and is currently enrolled in her studies Communication and Information Sciences (CIS). In total, the faculty council will consists of 5 student members (all of them represented by Student Party Dante), 5 staff members and the faculty board.

The place where change is made

Since Ellen has been studying at Tilburg University for quite a while already, she has done, and does, plenty of activities next to her studies. Some of these activities she carried out at her student association Flow and the education committee of CIS. “I like to give my opinion and help students improve their studies. As part of the education committee I have experienced that the staff of TSHD takes students very seriously and values our input. For example on the topic of internships and how to spend the extra money university received to invest in the quality of education.” Becoming part of the faculty council is a logical next step for her. “I’d like to look at more than my own study.” Isabelle stumbled on Student Party Dante and the faculty council a few weeks ago. “I thought: how come it is such an important board and I have never heard of it? All TSHD-students should know about it because it’s the place where they can change things.” She is the only non-Dutch student on Dante’s list. “So, I will focus on internationalization, the fields of study are becoming increasingly more international and therefore it is important to actively involve non-Dutch students as well as. This guarantees that we really represent the student body and it also creates a greater variety of inputs.”

Labor market preparation

If Ellen gets elected, she would like to focus on preparation for the labor market. “More specifically, on skills such as how to speak in front of a group and how to present yourself. We are trained for being researchers but a lot of students end up pursuing a totally different job. Developing soft skills can be included in several of the courses we already have.” Furthermore, digitalization is a matter which needs continuously attention of students in de council. Isabelle: “It’s not mandatory to hand assignments in on paper but there are still teachers asking for it. Sustainability is an important topic for us, so we like to try to use as little paper as possible.”  

Improving communication

Improving communication underlies all subjects Dante finds important. Communication between the faculty and the students, between teachers and students and between the student party and students.  Before every faculty council meeting, Dante organizes a platform at which students can give their opinion about matters that will be discussed during the faculty council. Ellen: “We’d like to see more students there so we can hear their opinions and use their input in faculty council meetings.”

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