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Programme Committee Information Studies

Guarding the quality of education

  • What is the Programme Committee?

    A Programme Committee is an advisory and consultative body at degree programme level, instituted by law. Programme Committees can cover one degree programme or a group of related degree programmes. The Programme Committee consists of an equal representation of both lecturers and students.

  • What does the Programme Committee do?

    The Higher Education and Research Act (WHW) defines the tasks of the Programme Committee as follows:

    • To issue advice on the Teaching and Examination Regulations
    • To assess the manner in which the Teaching and Examination Regulations are implemented each year (the Programme Committee carries out an assessment by examining the teaching evaluations, the course catalogue and the course syllabi)
    • To issue both solicited and unsolicited advice to the programme director, or the College or Graduate School director on all matters concerning the education within the study programme

    The Programme Committee performs above tasks by giving solicited and unsolicited advise on educational policies to the programme director or dean. The Programme Committee does this by:

    • Gathering information (e.g. from course evaluations and panel discussions)
    • Advising on among other things the Teaching and Examination Regulations and courses
    • Substantiating their advice with arguments
    • Calling attention to bottlenecks in the degree programme:
      • Curriculum (connection of courses, exit qualifications)
      • Organisation (schedules, rooms, computers, etc)
      • Monitoring the connection between prior education and the curriculum

    In summary, the Programme Committee guards the quality of education, and the input of both students and teachers is crucial for that.

  • I would like to become a member of the OC. Is that possible?

    Students who want to discuss the organization and quality of the education can become member of the Programme Committee. New members are offered a course by the Faculty of Science which explains the workings of the representative bodies and the role of the Programme Committee. If you want more information or are interested in membership, you can find more information below.

  • Would you like to join the Programme Committee?

    Do you know the Programme Committee plays an important role in improving the quality of your programme? Do you want to discuss about improvements in your programme?

    Then joining the Programme Committee may be for you! At the beginning of each academic year Programme Committees are looking for new student members.

    What can I do?

    As a student member of the Programme Committee you will:

    • Advise your programme director on the Teaching and Examination Regulations
    • Discuss course and curriculum evaluations
    • Identify and analyse developments within your study programme and make recommendations about the former to your programme director
    • Keep in touch with fellow students in your programme
    • Attend Programme Committee meetings
    • Actively fulfil your duties in the Programme Committee between eight and ten hours a month
    • Receive an invitation for a training day


    If you’d like to become a Programme Committee member, you can apply for a position through the application form.

  • Testimonials

    Are you curious to know what it’s like to be a member of the programme committee? On this page the student member of the programme committee for the Physics and Astronomy Bachelor’s programme share their experiences. If you want to get in touch with the student members of your programme committee, check the contact page.

    Mark Snelders: My membership of the programme committee made the programme even more interesting to me

    ‘I joined the programme committee because I enjoy being in a position where I can critically review the programme in order to make it even better. I make an effort to review all the available information, and so now I know a lot more about the programme. Students regularly come up to me with questions and usually I’m able to provide them with answers. It makes me proud to have become much more involved with the programme. It made the programme even more interesting to me.’

    Ruben van Ruiten: Our input leads to real implementations

    ‘I like that the voice of the student fraction of our programme committee is heard and leads to real implementations. For example, when many students were concerned about the work pressure in the first-year practical, adjustments were made to the course. Another example was when the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO) suggested we include a course of ‘philosophical’ nature in the curriculum (i.e. ethics or philosophy of science). We then surveyed the students to get their thoughts on the matter and based on that wrote an advice for the programme director. He then proposed to amend the second-year final project, to make room for such a course.’

    Fenna van der Ploeg: It would be great if students spontaneously come up to me with suggestions about our education

    ‘I see it as a personal challenge to create more engagement with the programme among students. A lot of students have ideas for improvements, but are not aware they can bring these to the programme committee or how. When you’re a student, it sometimes seems as if everything’s already been decided, but that’s not the case: people are constantly working on making the programme better. I think it’s important that students are involved in that process. I think it would be great if a student spontaneously came up to me with a suggestion for our education.’

    Laura Schleeper: I’m proud of how we serve the students’ interest

    ‘I like to be involved with my programme, considering I spend the largest chunk of my time on it. The time I spend on the programme committee differs from week to week. In a week with meetings, I spend most time on it. In addition to the committee’s assembly, we have a separate meeting with the student fraction. And as vice-chair, I also meet with the chair and the secretary to set the agenda. I also have to prepare, which means I spend time reading up on all the topics we’re going to discuss. It makes me proud to see how well we work together and how we serve the students’ interest and the quality of the programme.’