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A look back at the roundtable discussions on collaboration with third parties at FNWI and ACTA

Published on 25-06-2024
To supplement the policy on (research) cooperation with third parties, such as universities in war zones, the Executive Board and deans of the UvA have taken the initiative to organise roundtable discussions. On Monday, 10 June, the first two roundtable discussions for faculties took place, at the faculties of Science and Dentistry (ACTA).
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From both discussions, it was evident that students and staff feel highly involved in the question of what role the university should play in developing assessment criteria for international collaborations. Participants in the sessions explored this complex issue interactively by formulating pros and cons to statements such as 'the existing Framework for Collaboration with Third Parties is insufficient' and questions like 'Should institutions be assessed based on their academic merits or the context of the country in which they are located?'.

During the reflection that took place after addressing the statements, participants were positive about the pleasant and constructive atmosphere in which dilemmas and concerns could be safely shared. It also became clear that students and staff welcome and wish to continue the dialogue with the Executive Board (CvB) and the ad-hoc working group. The input from the roundtable discussions provides valuable insights for the initial steps toward supplementing the policy framework for collaboration with third parties, which will be used as input by the ad-hoc working group.

At both FNWI and ACTA, the group of participants formed a broad representation of students and staff in various roles within these faculties, including members of the representative advisory bodies. Although the number of participants in the faculty sessions was necessarily limited, the ad-hoc working group hopes that participants will share their insights and experiences more broadly within the faculties so that others can continue to follow the process closely. The roundtable discussions will continue in the coming weeks at the other faculties.

Questions about the open letter from Dutch rectors in Trouw on 8 June

During the first roundtable meetings and other conversations at the faculties, questions were raised about the open letterExternal link from the Dutch rectors that appeared in the newspaper Trouw last weekend. One concern expressed was whether the implicit stance in the letter limits or complicates the conversation within the faculties. Some felt that the implicit stance in the letter suggested that ties with Israeli universities should be excluded from the discussion.

Rector Peter-Paul Verbeek emphasized that the discussion within the UvA is still fully open. The letter was not intended to preempt the outcomes of the internal dialogue process. Moreover, it is precisely in this process that it must be determined which international collaborations should be re-evaluated, from any country.