‘If you have a great idea, then let’s have it’
Queuing for the chai latte at West 75, that's where you're most likely to find Tariq Sewbaransingh. ‘As policy advisor for Strategy, I am in the Ovaal building, at the heart of education and research. I am responsible for the support of a number of projects from the new Strategic Plan. You can only do that properly in the place where THUAS life really takes place.’ An interview with an enthusiastic man who likes to mobilise colleagues to get involved.
‘My working day varies quite a bit. I work from the Strategy Support Office. One moment, I'm collaborating on the new educational vision, based on the Strategic Plan 2023-2028. The other moment I'm discussing the sustainability action programme with colleagues. Or I am talking to lecturers and students about how we can improve the quality of student support. In my previous position as Quality and Policy team leader in the OK&C department, I was an enthusiastic Strategic Plan ambassador. Now I am concerned with how we’re actually going to implement that plan. That's a completely different responsibility.’
A cool workplace
Tariq likes to let people know that he’s still an enthusiastic ambassador. ‘As a university of applied sciences, you only have a reason to exist if you are imbued with your mission every day. By teaching and doing research, we want to contribute to solving social issues. But we can’t do that alone. It is a matter of co-creation and all throwing our weight behind it. It’s about contributing to a sustainable and just society. We can mean more in this by being an inclusive organisation.’
These themes are close to my heart. They make The Hague University of Applied Sciences such a cool place to work.
‘These themes are close to my heart. They make me think THUAS is such a cool place to work. The new Strategic Plan puts them in a nice framework. With this plan as a basis, we can remain relevant in the future. Can we offer added value to students and society with our education and research.’
A better world
‘With this Strategic Plan, we have shown our true colours as a university of applied sciences. We have shown that we are in a key position to achieve this sustainable and just world. I especially hope that students who graduate here realise that they can use the knowledge they have gained to shape that better world. Even if you work in ICT or are an accountant. Even then, you can be significant in, for example, developing software that does not discriminate or thinking about how we can make the impact of products or services on society more transparent.’
The Strategic Plan is full of fine words. Tariq also sees that it is quite difficult to give concrete substance to it. ‘Many degree programmes and lecturers knock on my door to ask how they should give substance to the various aspects of the Strategic Plan. My door is always open to them. I like brainstorming with them, to mobilise the energy we have in our university of applied sciences together. I connect them with other people who are already working on implementation.’
I like the idea of working together to mobilise the energy we have in our university of applied sciences.
Step by step
Tariq does not experience insurmountable problems in supporting colleagues who have started working with the Institutional Plan. ‘But I can imagine that it’s a big challenge. That’s why I have given myself the task of monitoring coherence in particular. Not to have to reinvent the wheel in the various projects. To make sure everyone knows what we’re doing and also where they can turn to in order to speed up the process. And of course, we don't have to achieve everything this year or next year. Take the flexibilisation of education or the interconnectedness between education and research. These are developments in which we want to take that adventure step by step.’
Share your ideas
As Strategy Policy Advisor, Tariq enjoys being among colleagues and students. ‘I think the participatory aspect is essential. We do it together. That's how the new Strategic Plan came into being. That's also how it should be applied in practice. If you are in it that way, you also get time from people. If you make it easy for colleagues to participate in its realisation, enthusiasm will grow. So come by if you have questions. If you have good ideas. If you want to get started with them. Together, we'll make something great out of them.’