Evaluation Code of Conduct
In the past six months the National Commission put much time in the evaluation of the Code of Conduct. The objective of the evaluation is to adjust the execution of the Code of Conduct by tightening up the wording or explaining the text of the Code. The Commission thinks that the educational institutions as signatories and users of the Code of Conduct have an important part in the evaluation process. The evaluation process will be supervised by a working group consisting of policy advisers and umbrella organizations: the Dutch Council for Training and Education (NRTO), the Netherlands Association of Universities of Applied Sciences, the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) in collaboration with the administrative office of the Commission, with an advisory role for the Ministry of Education and the immigration service IND.
The working group has already spoken with several educational institutions, international students and other – governmental – parties involved in the Code of Conduct. Furthermore, a written survey was conducted. These explorations have led to valuable input for text proposals for a new version of the Code of Conduct. The proposals will be presented in the Evaluation Code of Conduct seminar which will be held on Wednesday 12 October 2016. After the seminar the text proposals will be elaborated and converted into a draft for the Code of Conduct, after which umbrella organizations and the Commission will decide on the modified text. The new Code of Conduct is expected to enter into force on 1 March 2017.
On behalf of the working group, the Commission would like to bring you up-to-date with its preliminary observations. The working group has tried to link up to existing consultation structures of the umbrella organizations as much as possible. In these consultations the working group has asked representatives of the educational institutions about their experiences with the Code of Conduct. How do the institutions feel about using the Code? What may be improved? The institutions said that generally speaking they are satisfied with how the Code of Conduct functions. A number of institutions for instance, uses the Code to structure its internal information processes for its students. This concerns both information for international students and Dutch students. In addition to educational institutions, the working group met with – governmental – stakeholders (Ministry of Education, Dutch Inspectorate of Education, Ministry of Social Affairs and its Inspectorate SZW, the accreditation organization NVAO, Ministry of Security and Justice, the IND and Nuffic) to hear their experiences with the Code of Conduct. These parties stated to have positive experiences with both the Code of Conduct and the Commission.
Despite the fact that generally speaking all goes well, the institutions mention a few points of attention. The language list in Article 4.2 of the Code of Conduct for instance, is no longer up-to-date and scores are often considered to be too low. A number of institutions has indicated to require the student to achieve a higher score than required in the Code of Conduct, which in fact is permitted considering that the Code sets a minimum standard. An overall problem is how Dutch education is structured. This differs from other countries and especially those countries outside Europe. According to the institutes a solution could be to give prospective students more exhaustive information about the Dutch educational system.
The working group has consulted with a number of international students as they are target group of the Code of Conduct. The students say that in general they are properly informed about the educational offer. As a prospective student you receive in your homeland a comprehensive information package which presents a clear picture of the studies. By and large their expectations meet what they experience. However, students say that some points can be improved, especially in the case of information when they are in the final stages of completing their studies. Most students are not aware of the possibilities and conditions to remain in the Netherlands after graduation for work purposes. Another point of attention is the proficiency in the Dutch language or rather the lack of that proficiency. Students say that this is a reason they have difficulties in finding jobs on the side, and it complicates finding work once they have graduated.
Right now, the working group is paraphrasing your suggestions into text proposals for a new version of the Code of Conduct. Are you interested in these text proposals? Would you like to give your opinion? Then come to the seminar that will take place on 12 October 2016. Places are still available! Please register before 21 September 2016 by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.