Chairs Executive Board and General Council receive research report 'Participation strengthened!' 

How can we structurally strengthen formal participation within THUAS? That is the question Registry Participation has put to the World Citizenship Research Group of the Global & Inclusive Learning Centre of Expertise. Mid-December, Elisabeth Minnemann, chair of the Executive Board, and Diederik Brink, chair of the General Council, received the research report ‘Participation strengthened!’ from the hands of the researchers, Carien Verhoeff and Barbra Bos, and registrar Gofrie van Lieshout.  

How do you ensure that the diversity of backgrounds, opinions and perspectives that THUAS is rich in are even better recognised and acknowledged? That this diversity has a place in decision-making and that everyone feels connected to the community? How can we connect individual perspectives, desires and drives to collective decision-making on issues that affect us all? The study ‘Participation strengthened!’ answers the question of how to strengthen participation in The Hague University of Applied Sciences.  

Participation is at the heart of the institution 

The study maps how important students and employees in the learning environment consider participation to be, how they currently value this participation (what goes well, what could be better) and what is needed to strengthen this participation. Carien Verhoeff says: "Support and effectiveness can and should be strengthened. Not only at THUAS, but also throughout higher education. The survey shows that the importance of participation is not in question. Students, lecturers, researchers, employees, management, board and supervisors: everyone agrees that participation is part of what makes up the heart of the institution. And that participation makes decisions better." She continues: "In addition, participation gives insight into competences needed to influence. Participation lets you experience what helps you in this and what you may have to develop in it, where exercising influence is possible and where it is limited. Participation is thus part of critical vocational preparation." Elisabeth Minnemann adds: "Having an impact and making a difference in the classroom, within THUAS, the profession and society cannot be done without committing to shared choices we have to make as a university of applied sciences. These are issues that no one alone has the solution to. Joint decision-making cannot happen without dialogue, precisely because diversity is our strength. Constructive and critical participation in a diverse community should be part of the professional conduct of students, employees, management and administration." 

Providing insight 

Participation can be encouraged by providing insight into THUAS' (participation) structure and processes, offering compensation and support, and above all making it clear what happens to input and how this input becomes meaningful in the bigger picture. THUAS embraces the core values Curious, Caring and Connecting. Students and employees feel welcome at THUAS, but are sometimes critical about how they can feel really committed to the collective. This supports the call for work on critical participation. This is also underlined by Diederik Brink: "This is a very interesting and relevant study. Participation is about more than just authorities. It's also about the timely and right conversation, taking each other along the road to decision-making. With sufficient attention to each other's roles and responsibilities, you have to take the time for support and involvement." 

More information 

Want to know more about the study and its recommendations? Read the research report here (the report is written in Dutch). If you have any questions, contact the registry via