Interested in ... (P)OC?
A mandate as a member of the (P)OC of your program of study offers you a number of enriching experiences and fun moments together with some responsibilities. But what exactly is a (P)OC? What does the mandate have to offer and how do you know whether it is something for you? And what exactly is expected of you? Read it all here!
What is a (P)OC?
(P)OC stands for (Permanent) Education Commission, also known as the programme standing committee. The (P)OC is the body that is responsible for the quality of education within one program or a small number of programs. At a (P)OC a number of teachers and assistants who are involved in the educational aspect of the training are seated. However, the students are also represented here, in the form of their student representatives. At least 33% of the votes at the (P)OC are reserved for students. So they certainly do have a say in it all! But what exactly is discussed at such a (P)OC meeting, which takes place two to three times per semester? There are a lot of things that are discussed here. Here, for example, we will look at whether the learning objectives of the program are being achieved, discuss whether a course is in need of change, or whether the program gets a whole makeover. This is also the place where it can be mentioned that there is too much workload in a certain semester, that a certain course is not taught well or that tasks and tests succeed too quickly throughout the year. That is why this body is so essential for the quality of our education and for student representation; most course and program-related matters can be dealt with here. Therefore, it is also very important that a sufficient number of students are present at these meetings.
What do you do as a student representative in a (P)OC?
As student representative in a (P)OC, you are the one who is closest to the student. That is why you are first and foremost a point of contact for all students of your study program, so that they can come to you with their questions and problems. You then make sure that you pass on these remarks to your fellow student representatives so that they can be discussed at the right meeting. Don't worry if you can't answer all students' questions right away, no one can and that's why you have fellow student representatives. :)
In addition to being the point of contact for your fellow students, you must of course make yourself heard during the (P)OC. Passing on the student's point of view at this meeting is one of the most important points of a student representative. You will have to stand your ground to make sure that you are taken into account in all changes. Don't worry if discussing with your professors sounds a bit scary! For almost everyone this takes some getting used to in the beginning and of course it doesn't always go smoothly. However, rest assured that as long as you remain polite, your professors will not use the things you say against you as a student. Moreover, most (P)OC meetings go smoothly and you will certainly be appreciated as a student representative. By the way, most meetings even include sandwiches!
A final task as a (P)OC member is to represent your program at the OOR meeting, a meeting with all student representatives of the Faculty of Science that takes place every two weeks. Here, you represent your students when taking faculty and university positions.
What does a mandate as a (P)OC member offer?
Of course, the mandate offers more than just something that you can put on your CV later on. First of all, it gives you the satisfaction of being able to help your fellow students. In addition, it offers an insight into how decisions are made about your education and education in general. You will find out a little bit about how it all works behind the scenes. In addition, you will also learn to defend your point of view to professors and fellow students. On top of that, this will not always be your own point of view: as a student representative, you always have to represent the interests of your students and this will not always be your own opinion.
Is this something for me?
Whether this mandate is for you is something you will have to decide on your own. We hope that after reading the information above, you have a better idea of what you would get into. We might want to give you a few more skills you will need for the mandate:
- You are a real team player and will often work together with your peers.
- You have an interest in educational matters and what happens behind the scenes.
- You are good at defending a point of view or have the potential to develop this skill.
- You are motivated to get involved.