Universities are attractive employers
Universities believe that it is crucial to provide their staff with an attractive place to work. Universities offer good terms of employment, flexible working hours and opportunities for personal development.
Motivated staff with a passion for their subject
Academic staff are driven and have a passion for their teaching and research. Research by the Rathenau Institute indicates that the key driver for researchers is ‘the ability to conduct high-quality research’, however much time they spend on this research. Other key drivers include ‘working in an environment with inspirational, high-calibre individuals’ and ‘carrying out socially relevant research’ (Rathenau, 2014).
Good terms of employment to attract and retain talent
The universities want to attract and retain these motivated, enthusiastic staff. They are therefore keen to offer attractive salaries and fringe benefits through the collective labour agreement. For example, university staff are entitled to a ‘13th month’ and holiday pay of 8% of their salary.
Flexible working hours
Universities allow staff to organise their working hours flexibly according to their requirements. The collective labour agreement also provides scope for the conclusion of a performance-based contract. In a performance-based contract, agreements are made on the basis of results rather than working hours. This gives staff the freedom to organise their own work and how they approach it.
Development of teaching skills of academic staff
The HR policy of the Dutch universities focuses on attracting, supporting and developing staff. Academic staff are crucial to the quality of Dutch research and education.
The University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) was developed with a view to developing the teaching skills of academic staff. The UTQ programme is a customised teaching development programme, culminating in the evaluation of a portfolio: lecturers are supported and guided by a senior lecturer and/or educationalist, and they learn and reflect within a community of lecturers. The UTQ provides uniformity in the competencies which lecturers must acquire and in how these competencies are assessed. At the same time, there is scope for universities to align the qualification with their own institutional profile and the needs of their own programmes and lecturers.
The proportion of lecturers with an UTQ has increased significantly in recent years. Universities are continuing to invest in improvements to the UTQ and in teacher training for junior and senior lecturers, e.g. through the Advanced UTQ.