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Strategic Plan 2016 – 2020

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“Hope for teaching – and research talent”

Interdisciplinary collaboration, Life Long Learning, teaching careers; on intranet employees share which ‘SP-themes’ are important to them and why. Today: Rens van de Schoot, Associate Professor Methodology & Statistics at the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences. 

Most important theme: Talent Development.

Why this theme?
“Because of the enormous potential that younger generations can offer us in terms of both research and teaching. Younger academics do not always feel supported by the new ‘Wet Werk en Zekerheid’ (WWZ). This law is intended to counteract unnecessary and long-term use of temporary contracts. Unfortunately, it often has negative effects. An example: recently, the ‘Jonge Akademie’ asked all Veni laureates from 2015 whether they got steady jobs after receiving their prestigious grants or if they had to leave instead. The figures from that survey paint a bleak image and show how the WWZ can completely drop the ball.”

Does the Strategic Plan give a more positive image?
“Yes, the plan gives hope. There are multiple parts that explicitly state that the university finds (young) talent to be very important. Like on page five: ‘We want talented researchers, lecturers and supporting staff members to continue to choose us as their employer’. And page eleven: ‘The university is an attractive employer for (young) national and international talent’. Talent development is considered important as well, as can be read on page thirteen: ‘Utrecht University is an attractive employer, where cooperation is a central value, where people work happily and where there is space for the development of individual talent’.

Rays of hope that might turn the tide

The plan refers to all kinds of development programmes and even a new tenure-track system is being put in place. All rays of hope that might turn the tide. In any case, talent development and retaining of talent have been given a high priority at Utrecht University and I hope we can see it in practice quickly.”

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