‘Broad debate will be lost’

Budget cuts threatening ‘Windesheim in Dialoog’

  • No forced layoffs, but there is uncertainty about the future of ‘7 voor 1’ and ‘Dialoogtafel’
  • Francien Lange: ‘We should want to be of service to those students who want that little bit extra’

WiD- employees Francien Lange and Arie Jansen have spent the last few months on designing a programme about the impact of robotization. Lange: ‘And on the 26th of November we will have a meeting with Adriaan van Dis at the ‘Stadskamer’. ‘Windesheim in Dialoog’ is still relevant. But for how long? Arie Jansen: ‘Duco Adema is working on the reorganisation plan at the moment. This plan should be ready as of January the first, since there have been talks about discontinuing WiD. There is no direct reason for forced layoffs, that has been made clear to us.’

Jansen used to be responsible for ‘Dialoogtafel’, ‘7 voor 1’ (the meditative meeting that is held every day at 7 before 1pm) and dissertation prize ‘Windesheims Beste’. Is that at risk? Jansen: ‘I would like to continue doing that, but the conversation still has to be held about that’. ‘Windesheim in Dialoog’ has always been a stranger in our midst according to Lange: ‘Organising something on an ad-hoc basis, responding quickly to recent developments, is very difficult for universities of applied sciences. This is because of the scale, because of dominance of study programmes – things have to be recorded far in advance. This is the reason why it was so difficult to get in touch with the study programmes: we had to know what we should do at least half a year in advance’. ‘Windesheim in Dialoog’s activities didn’t always receive large interest. Lange thinks this is a pity but can’t be bothered with this: ‘You are doing this for the students that want something extra, those who want more than their own study programme. You have to offer those people something – at least, that is what you’d want as an organisation. Apparently other choices have been made.’

She doesn’t think that study programmes will be taking over this task any time soon. ‘Making programmes is a skill, it requires different creativity compared to developing education. Who is going to help lectors setting up these programmes? It would be amazing if the function of programme maker could still exist, just to help the study programmes. But that is something I do not see happening.’

Jansen: ‘Study programmes have their own external contacts and think that is enough. I think they don’t see the need for input from others. Actively looking past dividers, searching, these are things they find difficult. This only results in organisational fuss, bother and hoo-ha. Maybe the new Strategic Course can get things moving again’. Does he think that this will be the end of Windesheim-wide debates? ‘ …. I don’t know.’ Lange: ‘Yes!’ (MH)


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