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Key points from the SURF Members' Council of October 12, 2022

Items discussed during the October 12 Members' Council included the pricing policy and the status of the innovation covenant. SURF's Board also gave an update on Digitalisation Impulse Education Netherlands. In this post you can read more about the main points.
Studentes met laptop

The following topics were discussed with the Council of Members:

Statutes amendment

Due to the term of office of members in the Council of Members, the Council of Members decided on June 22, 2022 to amend the statutes. This decision resulted in an amendment to the statutes that was made available for inspection by SURF members for 30 days. At the meeting, the Council of Members took the final decision to implement the proposed amendment. Additional work was done on a Council of Members regulation, which means that representatives of the members cannot stay on the Council of Members indefinitely. From the perspective of good governance, the Board of Directors would like both documents to complement each other. Various other agreements are also laid down in the regulations, including who the participants in the Council of Members meetings are and the issuing of proxies. The statutes of the cooperative and the Members' Council regulations are available on the website

Membership applications

SURF received three new applications for membership from the following MBO institutions: Terra, Curio and SORG - Foundation for Education on Reformational Foundations. The Council of Members agreed to these three institutions joining the cooperative and we warmly welcome them as new members of SURF.

Project pricing policy

The established Members' Council Committee, which thinks along with the Board of Governors on the subject of tariff policy, met last June, July and September. The Board explained these three meetings and the information shared. The committee confirmed the Board's conclusion that complexity reduction is desired and supported narrowing the large number of historically evolved business models to a defined four.

At the December meeting, the Board of Directors plans to submit the documents for the four business models to the Council of Members for approval. This will also include the financial substantiation and market conformity. This will allow the review of the pricing policy to begin. These documents deal with governance (who decides and advises on what) and calculation methods (which models are used).

An important note placed is that everyone is constructive and positive in the conversation, with much appreciation for the work being done reciprocally to arrive at models. The Council of Members emphasizes that SURF is an innovative organization, and that the introduction of models and templates should not lead to a loss of innovative power. It also stresses the importance of public values as a consideration criterion, in relation to the market.

Update Digitalisation Impulse Education NL

The Board of Directors briefly updated the Council of Members on the status of the Digitalisation Impulse Education Netherlands. An important take away from the conversation was that the program belongs to the sector. SURF is a participating party in the program and the sponsor, and supports members in its implementation. The usual SURF procedure applies when results from the program transfer to services and infrastructure at SURF. Decision-making is then also transferred to SURF bodies in which the members are also involved.

State of affairs regarding the innovation covenant

Much has changed since the adoption of the SURF Strategy last December due to major developments. Consider the granting of the Digitization Impulse and the financial impetus from the Minister of OCW in open science and the intended establishment of the Regieorgaan Open Science. The Board of Governors responds to this in the interpretation of the innovation zones in education and research and the associated roadmaps. For example, some education innovation zones are merging into the Digitization Impulse which has an impact on planning and funding. The funds for innovation that remain in a given year are retained on the balance sheet. These are reported separately. Due to the shift of topics to other programs, such as the Digitization Impulse, SURF is freeing up space within the innovation covenant for new priorities. Priorities (such as new innovation zones and roadmaps) will be set in consultation with the Council of Members, after which they will be worked out with the CSCs.

Changes in the Council of Members

The three vacancies in the hbo department have been filled by: 

  • Hans Camps, member of the Executive Board of The Hague University of Applied Sciences
  • Saskia Brand-Gruwel, member of the Board of Governors of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences
  • Annemarie Hannink, member of the Executive Board of Hanze University of Applied Sciences