By Rosalie Dielesen
We live in a society where people like to be informed, and where information is available everywhere: except concerning course registration at Amsterdam University College. On November 28 the course registration for the spring semester ended, but this was only the beginning of great hassle for student and teachers. Due to multiple delays in enrolment and a lack of communication regarding the distribution of students over courses, the spring semester came off to a confused start.
On the December 21, the day the overview of enrolled courses was supposed to be made available, the registrar sent out an email declaring that it would only be ready after the winter break. On January 16, students were officially informed by Michiel van Drunen, Director of Education, and Lisette Hakkers, Team leader of the Registrar’s office, that, “upon a final check of the distribution of students over the available courses at AUC, several mistakes were revealed.” This meant further delay – the final overview was not yet available by the start of the new semester in February.
Students share their frustrations
Veerle Fanoy, third-year Social Science major, was one of the many students affected by the enrolment issues. When she wanted to register for the theme course Global Politics, she accidentally enrolled for Global Economics instead. While this blunder may have been her own, she did not end up enrolled for Global Economics either. Instead she had to attend the Energy, Climate and Sustainability course. When she emailed the service desk about the issue, the only message she received from AUC was that the request to change course “has been processed”, but still nothing has changed. “I’m not necessarily frustrated with the fact that the process of course registration has been a disaster; what really annoys me is the lack of communication about it,” said Fanoy.
Rosa Juffer, third-year Social Science major, enrolled for Peace lab – a particularly difficult class to be accepted for. Every year, a motivation letter is required as part of signing up. In her second year Juffer was not accepted into the course, because the teacher prioritized third year students. This year, as a third year, she attempted once again. Up until the add/drop period, during the first week of the spring semester, she had not heard back from the teacher, with a rejection or acceptance. Therefore she contacted the teacher and received an answer which stated that the class was oversubscribed and that this year they decided to choose at random. “Those who got into the class got an email, those who did not, did not receive an email,” said Juffer.
Avoiding future issues
A group of students at AUC started a petition and posted it in the Facebook group called ‘The excellent and diverse people of AUC’. “With enough signatures of current AUC students, we can make our voice heard and let AUC know that we won’t accept this any longer”, this group of students wrote in their Facebook post. “This petition should be an extra incentive for them to make fundamental changes.” The students behind the petition ask for more communication and transparency on the part of the registrar, and greater efforts from the AUC management in structurally improving the registration and enrolment process.
Student Council (SC) announced their support for the petition in a post on Facebook, and told The Herring that the petition has not only been presented to AUC’s management team by the SC but also by the Board of Studies (BoS) and the Works Council (ODC). “Now, the BoS, ODC, SC, and management are having continuous meetings to explore options and come up with a solution that will give students much better registration processes for years to come,” the SC wrote in an email. It is their hope that this new registration procedure will be implemented by November 2019.