'The first milestone is everyone making this Strategic Plan their own'
General Council chair Youri Hemelop would like to see progress now
“There is a great new Strategic Plan. Its realisation requires action from everyone. Don't be afraid to start the conversation about that realisation. In the end, we'll come out stronger.” In addition to being a student of Software Engineering, Youri Hemelop is also chair of the General Council. His role is to function as a counterweight when desired. He is pleased with the Strategic Plan. “It will change the dynamics of education and research. We look at that with a critical eye, while being aware that changes can bring about great things.”
Youri can often be found in the gym lifting weights. “That puts pressure on my muscles. They are getting bigger and stronger because of the resistance they face. That is also how it works between management and staff and student participation councils. As the General Council, we provide a counterweight to make THUAS even better and stronger.”
Now that the Strategic Plan is ready, he would like to see progress. “We still have a long way to go. How are we going to realise the plan? I see a key role for the staff and student participation councils in that. During the realisation process, we pass on the voices of students and staff members and check whether we are staying on the right route.”
Getting and taking room
Youri participated in the development of the Strategic Plan. “In that, the staff and student participation councils were given the room to emphasise certain topics. Consider sustainability and inclusion. But we also provided some insight into how the ambitions of the plan can best be implemented. As a participation council we are pleased with that.”
What does the new Strategic Plan require from the organisation? Youri: “The plan can only succeed when everyone has made it their own. Then we can incorporate it into the lectures, into our working methods. Maybe we should take a little more time here and there to make that happen. Perhaps some reflection is needed in the workplace to achieve proper implementation. With this plan, we want to innovate, and improve our education and research. This requires that lecturers and researchers are given and take the room to think together about that proper implementation.”
With the new Strategic Plan, THUAS has the potential to grow.“The ambitions are substantial. I also have that when I'm in the gym and attaching extra weights to the bar. But you always have to be careful not to succumb to those weights.” Youri is pleased that the management really intends to involve the staff and student participation councils in the implementation of the Strategic Plan.
He is also pleased that research and education will come closer together through the ambitions of the Strategic Plan. “This will ultimately ensure that we continue to grow in terms of quality. We would all like to combine innovative research with education, in order to offer students up-to-date knowledge. We also want to give more substance to the sustainability policy. We think carefully about what we emit, what we use. We also want to become more sustainable in the implementation of policy and develop policies that can last longer than a few years. Also, take further steps in the field of inclusivity and diversity. We are already well on our way. But we can do even better. This Strategic Plan will help with that.”
Don't forget to celebrate
Are your fellow students interested in what the Strategic Plan entails? “No, I don't think so. But they are interested in the effects of the Strategic Plan. For example, if an effect is that everyone feels that they belong, regardless of race, religion and gender, then that is good for the students.”
The Strategic Plan determines the direction and route. Youri: “But we should not underestimate the journey ahead. We will still encounter obstacles. Then it is important to involve as many people as possible and to listen to what they have to say. As more people support it, the chances of success only increase. And don't forget to celebrate when you have really achieved something. The first milestone we should celebrate is if everyone sees the success of this plan as their responsibility.”
In Stories of The Hague, we share portraits of colleagues and students, in which they talk about the connection between their own motivations and the Strategic Plan.