Understanding Society

Tilburg University is convinced that it can contribute to solving social issues by developing and transferring knowledge and bringing together people from various disciplines and organizations.

Members University Council

The members of the University Council are elected by and from the Tilburg University students and the employees. Students sit on the Council for one year, staff for two years.

At present, 5 parties have seats on the University Council. These are the Abva/Kabo staff party (4 seats), the Onafhankelijken staff party (3 seats), TiU-International (2 seats), the SAM student party (4 seats) and the FRONT student party (5 seats).

As from 1 September 2014, the composition of the University Council is as follows:

Rien Wijnhoven, chair University Council

Rien Wijnhoven

Rien Wijnhoven is chair of the university council as from 14 February 2014.

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Marinus Verhagen, ABVA-KABO

dr. marinus verhagen_323055.jpg

The main 3 reasons for my membership in the university council are:

* For me it is important that the employees have influence on the strategy and the daily work life in our beautiful university

* Every organization requires a system of sufficient checks and balances. In this respect, the university council has the important task to control the Board of Directors (College van Bestuur)

* Even after 10 years, it is still a very nice job, that gives me a lot of energy

In the next period, I would like to focus on the following topics:

1. The plans for organizational change are high on the university's agenda. It is important that the employees will explicitly be involved in this discussion. This will lead to a higher quality of the plans and will prevent unrealistic ambitious top-down proposals. In this discussion we will keep reminding the Board of Directors that the final goal is a quality improvement and not on achieving efficiency gains. In case this process entails a formal reorganization, we will ask for very careful procedures and for preventing lay-offs as much as possible.

2. I'm involved in teaching our students in various roles (lecturer human resource studies, chairman examination board TSB, former director of education). We have to adept the education in our university. In times of abundant information on Internet and the availability of online courses, we should focus much more on a strengthening of the interaction between teachers and students. For example, by promoting and enabling of feedback by teachers on the thinking processes of students. In this respect, we consider an enlargement of the teaching staff as very important.

3. Finally, the AbvaKabo party has shown at crucial moments in the last 20 years that we in cooperation with the lokaal overleg and faculty councils and the other university council parties have taken the lead in reacting to the Board of Directors. I am most willing to contribute to the continuity of this way of working in the next two years.

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Korrie van Helvert, ABVA-KABO

Foto Uraad - Korrie van Helvert

Active participation in the university council for me is keeping in touch with the university community; sense the needs of staff members, being WP (scientific staff) or OBP (support staff) to do their jobs well. For that we need an organization that is mean and lean, focusing on what really matters: education and research. All financial resources and all regulations must aim to the same goal: a successful and sustainable future for our staff, our students and thus for our university. As member of the university I will focus on: governance (who is in charge and are the checks and balances properly and effectively organized?). Caring human resource (an excellent outcome asks for excellent HR), personal teaching (direct, frequent en inspiring contact between teachers and students leads to excellent education and only then ICT and technical gadgets can be powerful helpers) and achievable ambitions (the university must know its limiations and focus in its strengths). After years of experience in the university council I know we can make a difference! The university executive board is willing to listen and sometimes adapts to our comments and opinions. And maybe even more important they are forced to think twice by presenting important decisions and investments to the university council.

Clearly a WIN-WIN situation. I like to up this important role and I'm thankful for your faith.

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Yvonne Alofs, ABVA-KABO

Yvonne Alofs

image yvonne alofs

The Executive Board has described the main objectives for the upcoming years: putting quality first, to be innovative and serve society (social innovation) and to be internationally oriented, all this to be achieved with an alert and efficient organization as a basis.

Ambitions which I support. Ambitions with consequences for us as employees. As a member of the University Council I will represent and protect the interests of the staff in the further development of all strategic plans.

Since 2009 I have been working as a policy advisor for quality at Tranzo, scientific center for care and welfare (TSB). My colleagues describe me as a constructive critical and reliable person.

During the period 2010 – 2014 I was a member of the Faculty Council TSB and since September 2015 I have participated in the University Council. My motto is the African proverb:

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.  The membership of the University Council offers me a great challenge to work together towards a better University. 

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Hilde Verbraak, ABVA-KABO

image H. Verbraak

I am proud to be part of the Tilburg University community and I will do my best to achieve that especially in times of change, the employees and students remain proud of their university.

My vision is that participation and control work together to achieve a common goal: excellence in research and education. I am convinced that this goal cannot be achieved without a proper business. There lies my interest. You can expect from me a critical attitude, always with the purpose of being strong together.

Within TiU and at former (Educational) employers I facilitated reorganizations and organizational change. I worked at GS/HR Policy, since 2012 I work as HR Manager at TSB.

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Tjits Roselaar, Onafhankelijken

Foto Uraad - Tjits Roselaar

I have held many different positions within Tilburg University, both in one of the Schools and in one of the Services. Currently, I am the head of the Language Center, which is part of Student Services. I have been on the university Council since 2012, as chair of staff party the Independents. In this role I am also a member of the University Council's executive committee. I am running for reelection because I think that participation in the decision-making process is very important and that the Executive Board's plans regarding management, budgets, organization, and strategic policy need to be examined critically. Especially in these turbulent times of budget cuts and the implementation of a new strategic plan, a strong University Council is of the utmost importance. I feel that it is important that both scientific and supporting staff members contribute to the important decisions and I hope to be able to continue to look after the interests of staff members in both the Schools and the Services.

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Hans Haans, Onafhankelijken


I have worked at Tilburg University for over 13 years. In those 13 years I have always been involved in the goings on with the university. For example, in addition to my main tasks of teaching and doing research I have been a member of the TiSEM Education Committee, I have served as Academic Director, and I am still active as a member of the Examination Appeal Board and the Advisory Committee for Objections and Notices of Appeal. For me it is a logical next step to run for the University Council.

The reason I am on the list for the Independents, is that I feel that the university should be a place where everyone can work or study contentedly, not only now, but in the future as well. The University Council enables me to contribute to decisions about the future of our university in a number of areas, from financial health to matters concerning education and research. My main goal is to serve as a sounding board for staff.

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Sebastiaan Vermeulen, Onafhankelijken

Sebastiaan Vermeulen, fractie Onafhankelijken

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Tobias Klein, TiU International

Tobias Klein, TiU Interntional

I am a representative of TiU International. All members of our party share the idea that involving both, Dutch-speaking and international employees in the decision making will benefit our university.

Our thinking is guided by two goals, achieving excellence in research and excellence in teaching. We believe that this is not only in the interest of faculty and Ph.D. students, but also and in particular the supporting staff.

More information on our party, including our program, can be found on our website. You can also follow us on Facebook.

See www.tobiasklein.ws for more information on Tobias Klein.

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Martin Salm, TiU International

Martin Salm, TiU Interntional

I am a representative of TiU International in the University Council and also in the Finance and Infrastructure committee of the University Council.  

We believe that the University should follow international best practice in order to achieve excellence in teaching and research.

More information on our party, including our program, can be found on our website. You can also follow us on Facebook.

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Fleur Groeneweg, Front

Fleur Groeneweg Front

My name is Fleur Groeneweg, 23 years old and last academic year I finished my bachelor Public Administration (Bestuurskunde). Apart from studying, I am also active in student association T.S.C. St. Olof. This year I am the chairman of student party Front.

I have always had a fascination for the management of public organizations and its political aspects, which has only grown while studying Public Administration. I think it is important that students are taken seriously and that their opinions are heard and implemented.

In order to be able to represent the students, your opinion certainly counts. If you have any questions, comments or complaints about any university related matters, you can always contact us by sending an e-mail to info@fractiefront.nl. Or stop by in our office, room E.209. Our door is always open!

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Anne de Lange, Front

Anne de Lange Front My name is Anne de Lange and I have recently finished my bachelor program in Psychology and Society. This year I will represent all students of Tilburg University, with four other party-members of Student Party Front, in the University Council.  With our three important pillars ‘The Active Student’, ‘Internationalisation’ and ‘Communication’ in thought, we try to make Tilburg University a place which is as pleasant as possible for all students. The opinion of students is important and can be a deciding factor in the decision-making policy of the university. By participating in the University Council, I want to commit myself as well as possible for the interests of these students.  As an accessible student party, we hope to be the link between the university and the students so opinions of the students can be taken into consideration in the decision-making-process. Good communication is very important in this matter, so when you have remarks, suggestions or questions: don’t hesitate to stop by at E 209, we are there to talk to you!

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Basten Cobelens, Front

Basten Cobelens Front

My name is Basten Cobelens, a fourth year student of the bachelor Public Administration. From the beginning on, I have been an active member of T.S.V. Plato and D66. I also represented the students of Tilburg Law School for a year by being a member of the faculty council. Hereby I noticed that the opinions of students really make a difference, and therefore it is important that they are being well represented.

I am interested in co-determination, politics and government. That is why I chose to fully represent the students of Tilburg University for a year by participating in student party Front. Front is aiming to make every opinion of every student count. Thereby we focus on internationalization, communication and the active student.

Do not hesitate to raise your voice as a student! Do you have any questions, remarks of ideas? Come by at our room E209 or send an e-mail to info@fractiefront.nl.

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Lisanne Swager, Front

Lisanne Swager Front

My name is Lisanne Swager, I am 21 years old and a student human resource studies. I’m a member of student party Front in the University council since the first of September. I think it’s extremely important that student interests are represented during the university policy making.

Student party Front represents the interests of all students at Tilburg University. The pillars active student, internationalization and communication are the base of our policy. I consider student party Front as the link between students and the university’s policy making. Do you have any questions, remarks or suggestions? Visit us at room E209 or contact info@fractiefront.nl!

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Machiel Hermans, Front

Machiel Hermans Front

I am Machiel Hermans and I have just finished my Bachelors Public Administration. During my First year I directly became active at Magister JFT | Juribes. In my second year I became part of the board of Magister JFT | Juribes. In my third year I became chairman of Vrijspraak, the student party of Tilburg Law School and I came in touch with student participation. I became more and more interested in student participation and politics of Tilburg University. In this way I am able to represent the interests of the students and I can contribute to the development of our university. Since Student Party Front is the link between the university and the students, good communication is very essential. Moreover, Tilburg University should be a flexible learning environment where self-development and a good connection to the labour market is very essential. Are you confronted with any kinds of problems or do you just want to drink a cup of coffee? Visit us at E209!

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Iris Wester, SAM

Iris Wester, fractie SAM

My Name is Iris Wester, I am 22 years old. Currently I am studying Public Administration, the past years I’ve been participating within student participation. I’ve participated in the Kwaliteitskring of Public Administration, The Program Committee and the Faculty Council. This year I will represent all students of the Tilburg University on behalf of Student Party SAM within the University Council. On behalf of Student Party SAM I will also participate in the committee Education and Research and the Student Council of Tilburg.

This year I will be committed to achieving more freedom and flexibility within the curriculum and therefore making students more responsible for their own learning process. Students should be able to do an internship or go on exchange without delaying their study, for example by introducing a flexible semester. In addition, digitalisation of education makes it possible for students to follow courses whenever they want to. Combine this with small scale and intensive workgroups where interaction with teachers and the development of 21st century skills will be central. This leads, in my opinion, to better quality of education.

If you have any questions, complaints or ideas, please contact us at: info@fractiesam.nl or come meet us at E206 for a cup of coffee.

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Gijs Kremers, SAM

Gijs Kremers, fractie SAM

My name is Gijs Kremers, I’m 21 years old and currently I’m a master student Public Administration. I believe that education offers a unique chance for students to develop and is the education at the university the foundation for the further live. In the University Council I would like to put effort in small scale education, in which interaction between student and teacher is at the center. With small scale education, there is room for personal attention. Students will be challenged by the interaction to go further and that makes it possible for students to learn more during their study. Education is one of the basic elements of party SAM for a reason!

This year I will take place in the executive board. In this committee the strategic policy is being discussed. Besides, I’m a member of the Research and Education committee.

With my experience in the student participation at the level of a study and a faculty, I see a challenge in providing a contribution to the participation at the university level. With my passion for education, it is my target to improve the quality of education at Tilburg University!

If you ever have questions, complaints or suggestions: feel free to contact us! You can reach us via info@fractiesam.nl or drop by Room E 2.06!

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Willemijn Cauberg, SAM

Willemijn Cauberg, fractie SAM

My name is Willemijn Cauberg, I am 22 years old and this academic year I will be in the University Council on behalf of Student Party SAM. Within SAM I am the Vice President; I replace the President if needed, I am the treasurer and I take place in the committee Finance and Infrastructure at Tilburg University.

At the start of my student life I’ve deliberately chosen to be an active student who would develop herself as broad as possible, next to my study Business Law at Tilburg Law School. With this in mind, I went on exchange to Japan, I did two internships in Nijmegen & in Bologna (Italy) and I became an active member of T.S.C. Sint Olof. Without Tilburg University I wouldn’t have had this great and various student life so far and I would like to continue these possibilities for my fellow students. That’s why I want to fight on behalf of you as a student in Tilburg: from increasing the education quality until stimulating personal growth next to your studies. A broad orientated council who has a strong foundation on which to stand is of great importance for a decisive participation. With all this in mind I would like to represent the interests of the students!

Student Party SAM is happy with all input, so do you have any ideas, questions or complains? Please send an email to info@fractiesam.nl or drop by at room E 2.06!

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Thomas Hordijk, SAM

Thomas Hordijk, fractie SAM

My name is Thomas Hordijk, 21 years old and fourth year IBA student. As an ambitious student I want to develop myself in several areas. That’s why I am active at T.S.R. Vidar and am one of the founders of a fraternity. Additionally, I set up my own company during my study. Besides that, I studied in Taiwan for one semester. This year I am the External Affair Officer of Student Party SAM. Furthermore I will participate in the committee Finance and Infrastructure.

There are many different types of student. Where one prefers to participate intensively in lectures, others would like a more observant way to experience lectures or even prefer video lectures. Where one student would like to go on exchange, the other would prefer an internship. Everyone should make that choice for himself or herself. That’s why I strive for greater freedom of choice, not only in the form of fewer compulsory lectures and more video lectures, but also in the form of you own study plan. A flexible learning environment where you can use your own approach to your study. If students get more space to make their own schedule and choices, they also get more possibilities to develop themselves in other areas.

In addition, I am also going to dedicate myself for the well being of the students. One of the important themes here is sport. I will keep myself engaged in the development and maintenance of sports facilities on campus. I will also work on the optimization of the topsport status and the exemptions that go with it.

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Thijs Pieters, employee University Council

Foto Uraad - Thijs Pieters

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