The CIOs and/or IT directors of the research universities are united in the CSC-wo consultation group. CSC stands for Coordinating SURF Contact. The CSC-wo consultative committee advises SURF's Executive Board about the SURF service portfolio and SURF multi-year planning. There is also a lot of informal exchange about a wide range of topics.

As in other educational institutions, digitisation is crucial in research universities. In addition, many scientific researchers work there, who have high demands on software, computing power, data storage and connections. This makes the IT challenges and solutions for research universities different from many other (educational) sectors. In addition, many issues are not limited to a single university

Within research universities , the CIO is the CSC. At most research universities, the role of CIO is filled by the IT director. In order to ensure that the services provided by the university IT departments and SURF are optimally organised for academic teaching staff and researchers, the CIOs are united in the CSC-wo consultation group.

In the CSC-wo, both executive and strategic subjects are discussed and, if necessary, concrete national agreements are made. For important themes, one or two CIOs have a role of linking pin, who have the mandate to speak on behalf of all CIOs. This working method has enabled the CSC-wo to develop a strong position in relation to, for example, software suppliers, national policy institutions (e.g. NWO, VSNU, Ministries) and SURF, including the Executive Board.

Members of CSC-wo

The members of CSC-wo:

  • Ronald Stolk (University of Groningen) - Chairman
  • Jan-Laurens Lasonder (University of Twente) - Vice Chairman
  • Jan Jansen (Open University)
  • Iwan Holleman (Radboud University)
  • Bart Luijten (Technical University Eindhoven)
  • Han Derkx (Technical University Delft)
  • Jan-Willem Brock (Leiden University)
  • Jacques Beursgens (Maastricht University)
  • Lex Welman (University of Amsterdam)
  • Corne van Nispen (Tilburg University)
  • Ingrid Regien Vermeulen (Free University)
  • Wout van Wijngaarden (Erasmus University)
  • Luc Boelhouwer (Wageningen University) 
  • Jan-Paul van Staalduinen (Utrecht University) 

No CSC, but special mention for participation in supporting committees:

  • Joop van der Born (Leiden University)   
  • Anke Breeuwsma (University of Groningen)

Strategic agenda CSC-wo

Within the research universities, the CIOs are closely involved in education and research. That is also part of their role as CSC. Based on this substantive role, the following strategic priorities have been set for IT at the universities. These are included in SURF's 2yp. 

Public values Actively participating in the debate on public values (justice, humanity and autonomy) in the university digital infrastructure and implementing national and local applications with a focus on public values and greater data autonomy. Monitoring the implementation of the UNL Public Values assignment.
Security Guaranteeing a secure digital working environment for all students, lecturers, researchers, and staff at the universities. Streamline security audits together with UCISOs.
Digitisation Impulse Education Together with the education directors, ensure that this programme is well embedded in the universities and that national facilities match the university situation.
Flexibilisation of Education Facilitating a digital study path for students across the borders of national and international universities. Among other things, through a national architecture for IAM.
Online education and digital testing Contributing to a national infrastructure for place- and time-independent studying and testing
Research digitisation and Open Science In line with FAIR principles, support researchers with tools (RDM, VRE, repositories) and practices throughout the research cycle and digitisation of labs. 
Supplier management More grip on suppliers of IT applications with a view to unwanted cost development. In addition, protecting the university's crown jewels (the teaching and research data) by ensuring compliance with European privacy and security legislation.
IT Innovation Tracking and applying IT innovations that have the potential to have a major impact on the primary education and research process, such as Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality/ Augmented Reality and IoT (Internet of Things).

Arrangement of consultations

The CSC-wo meets every month, with the exception of the holiday months at SURF. A member of the Executive Board of SURF participates in these meetings as an observer. The CSC-wo is supported by the Senior Adviser for Universities and a secretary from SURF. 

The chairs periodically meet with the chairs of other sectoral CSC consultations (CSC-hbo, CSC-mbo and CSC-Research, UMC) and with the Executive Board of SURF.  

To strengthen the ties between them and to gain inspiration from IT developments and applications at companies and other universities abroad, the CSCs travel abroad every other year. In this way, the CSCs from the wo visited:

  • United States: 6 - 13 May 2017
  • China: 6 - 14 April 2019
  • Enschede (due to covid19 travel restrictions): 12-14 April 2021

The CSC-wo maintains structural contacts with, among others:

  • UKB - Association of University Libraries and the National Library of the Netherlands
  • UPI - University Platform Procurement
  • VSNU - Association of Cooperating Universities in the Netherlands