Harmonisation and transparency in academic timetabling in the different faculties and institutes will benefit studying in Rotterdam. This is what Huib Pols, Rector Magnificus, said on Monday afternoon during the Opening of the Academic Year.

Huib Pols makes no secret of being an advocate of connections and collaborations within and outside the university. It is no surprise therefore that his plea at the Opening of the Academic Year was an ode to collaboration, connection and interdisciplinary working. Because, as Pols said: “By crossing boundaries within and beyond the walls of academia, we can gain new insights, make a significant start on initiatives, and let knowledge flow even more freely in the interests of progress and an enriched society.” That is why the rector gave the 2015-2016 Academic Year the motto ‘crossing boundaries’.

Appeal to scientists

As well as various examples of cooperative arrangements that are already ongoing – including Medical Delta with the Universities of Leiden and Delft and working together with the city and port – Pols is also appealing to scientists. “As scientists, we should not isolate ourselves within our research agendas and our own expertise. Instead, we must use our disciplinary knowledge as a pillar we can stand on to see beyond the known horizons. That’s the only way you can keep track of what other colleagues are doing, and remain visible to others, including those working outside our own field.”

Harmonising lecture timetables

In Pols’ opinion there could also be more cooperation in the educational field between the various disciplines. It is an often heard complaint among students, particularly international students: faculties all work with different systems, overlapping timetables or different rules. As far as the rector is concerned, more harmonisation and transparency in faculty timetables is therefore a necessity. “This will make it easier for our degree programmes to exchange modules and increase students’ options. Indeed, Bildung, collaboration and internationalisation all benefit from more options and synchronisation in our bachelor programmes.” According to Pols, a modern university is obliged to do this.

To emphasise his words the rector, who is and remains a physician, quoted Meredith Grey from Grey’s Anatomy: “Boundaries don’t keep other people out… they fence you in… if you’re willing to throw caution to the wind and take a chance, the view from the other side is… spectacular.”

Huib Pols quoted this part of the second episode of Grey's Anatomy Source: www.youtube.com