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 februari 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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Bartel van de Walle, ABVA-KABO


As I am about to finish my first term at the University Council, I realize that the past two years made me learn a lot of new things about our beautiful university. Although I had worked at TiSEM for nearly 10 years, I quickly came to understand there was still plenty of which I had little knowledge. Discovering the many new aspects of our organisation was an occasionally scary experience which, I admit, quite often took me outside of my personal comfort zone.

Nevertheless, and with the support of my ABVAKBO colleagues, I gradually came to a better understanding of the beautiful complexity of Tilburg University. As a council member, I focused on the key processes of education and research and learned to know the many developments that were initiated in the various Schools. Although at times I struggled with the too formal nature of the council discussions – I rather prefer an rather loose and direct style - the depth and quality of the discussions among council members and the university board on the Strategic Plan left a lasting positive impression. As I now have learned so much, I would like to extend my stay in the Council with a second term and represent your interests even better. I therefore do invite you to consider voting for me, and should you do so: thank you for your trust.

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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, fractie 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, fractie 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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Bastiaan Litjens, Front

Foto Bastiaan Front

I am Bastiaan Litjens, 23 years old and studying Business economics. I became active in my first year at the student debating society Cicero and later on at SHOT. At student party Front I fulfill the board as Commissioner external relations.

At our beautiful campus and in the city center there are lots of opportunities to develop yourself and explore your capacities. For example in student associations or in study societies. Those organizations are of high value for Tilburg and the university. Therefore it is important that the students remain active in the society in order to maintain these associations

The versatility of choices for students is immense; therefore it is even of more interest that there is a good balance in a great student life and a good result from your study.

The University Council plays an important role to canalize all the interests between students and the university.

The students will be well informed about all what is in progress within the university by the students from the council.

The role to inform students suits me, to be the linking pin from university at one side and students on the other side. But to conclude, the accent should continue to be in the combination of an active role in society and good study results.

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Ghyslaine Krebbekx, Front

Ghyslaine Front

My name is Ghyslaine Krebbekx, 22 years old and I am studying Communication- and Information Sciences. From the first of September I am a member of the university council on behalf of Fractie Front.

The reason for my membership of the University Council is to make sure that the interests of students are represented. Studying is much more than following classes. There are numerous ways to develop yourself. It is important this stays possible and that the student knows about this.

My party and I want to make sure that the opinions of students are heard and represented in the University Council. Therefore, you should know I am always available to talk to when students have suggestions or remarks.

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Nina van Gestel, Front

Nina Front

This year I have got the honor to think along and to have a critical look at the strategic and financial policy of this university. I would like to achieve this by collecting all visions, evaluating them on their specific merits and to combine them to establish the mutual goal. I like to modify Tilburg University to a better university for the students and personnel by representation of the interests of all stakeholders. The student university council members represent the interests of the student at Tilburg University. The main goal for me as well as for my party ‘Fractie Front’ is to consider all feedback from the student population in its merits, transfer these ideas to solid plans and take care that these are executed. Communication between all members of the University Council and the executive board is essential in this.

To be able to provide an optimal representation of the students of Tilburg University, your opinion is important. So when you have questions, remarks and/or complaints on university related matters do not hesitate to seek contact. This is possible by email, or just visit Fractie Front. We would like to welcome you all at room E209!

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Rowie Florijn, Front

Rowie Front

My name is Rowie Florijn and recently I have completed my Bachelor in Law. Early on during my life as a student I became active. At first within the legal study association Magister JFT. Last year, I combined this with the participation in the council of Tilburg Law School as Chairperson of Party Vrijspraak. During this period I have witnessed that the opinion of student can be the determining factor in important matters.

In my view it is a great challenge to make a contribution to our university as a member of the university council, because I have always been interested in politics, management and student participation. As a member of this council my goal is to safeguard the interests of students. Therefore, good communication is essential. The role of Party Front herein is twofold.  Firstly, we are the link between students and the decision making process of the university. To safeguard the interest of students during this process, we will have to take close care to comprehend the actual problems and wishes of students. Secondly, it is our task to inform you regarding the decisions that have been made by the board of the university that will influence your life as a student of Tilburg University.

We hope we will prove to be an accessible party. You can find us in room E209. A nice cup of coffee will be waiting for you there!

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Fleur Bukkems, Front

Foto Fleur Front

Since September I am one of the five students seating in the University Council in the name of Student Party Front. Making study facilities more pleasant for students from Tilburg University is my main purpose. Fractie Front aims to express the opinion of the students in the University Council, to guarantee the value of the students. The three pillars that are always kept in mind are the active student, internationalization and communication.

Contact with students from Tilburg University is crucial to optimize the bridge between the student and the university. So if you have any suggestions, ideas, notices or questions? Visit our room E209!

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Jeroen Schipperen, SAM

Jeroen Schipperen, fractie SAM

My name is Jeroen Schipperen, 22 years old and fifth year law student. Beside my study i’m a member of T.S.V. Plato and last year i’v been an active member of study-association Magister JFT. This year the students of Tilburg University have given me the chance to represent them in the University Counsil. I believe that it should be possible for every student to develop yourself besides your study. Next year i will be the secretary of Student Party SAM.

Furthermore I will join the committee Education& Research and the committee Finance and Infrastructure.

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Vera Frusch, SAM

My name is Vera Frusch, student Communication and Information Sciences at the Tilburg School of Humanities.This year I will take place in the University Council on behalf of student party SAM. Because of this, I will represent all students of Tilburg University to my best. Furthermore, I will take place in the Committee Education & Research. In this committee, educational and research related issues that will be discussed in the University Council, are discussed in a preliminary meeting, to prepare for the University Council meeting itself.

Before I became part of SAM, I was active in several committees of the student rowing association Vidar, for example the yearbook committee. Last year I decided to expand my horizon and apply for an internship at NBrIX, a datacenter next to the University. Here, I was responsible for marketing communication. With all this acquired knowledge in hand, acquired both within and outside of TiU, I will represent the students of Tilburg University to my best. After all, student party SAM turns ideas into action.
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Rachel Verstraeten, SAM

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Jeroen Wienen, SAM

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Ans Oomen, secretary University Council

Foto Uraad - Ans Oomen

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Thijs Pieters, employee University Council

Foto Uraad - Thijs Pieters

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