4.1 NPO in 2021

Section on the pandemic

As described earlier in Sections 1 and 2 of this annual report, the COVID-19 pandemic had a major impact on teaching and research within Tilburg University. Teaching was faced with highly variable conditions to which students and lecturers had to respond time and again. Research encountered delays, either because it could be conducted to a limited extent, if at all, or because scientists were forced to prioritize teaching. The NPO spending plans for teaching and research include an analysis of the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures that were taken by the government in response. For the specific implications for our University, please refer to the earlier sections of this annual report.

Accountability and monitoring 

In January 2022, assisted by feedback from universities, universities of applied sciences, and institutions of senior secondary vocational education, the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science wrote a guide for the section on the pandemic. This section is part of the annual report in accountability for NPO funds received for teaching and research. To prepare this section, Tilburg University has chosen to follow a similar process for the spending plan for teaching as is applied for the Quality Agreements. Progress is monitored by explicitly placing it on the agenda at bilateral consultations between the EB and the Schools in the spring and fall, and by addressing it in the Management Reports of the relevant divisions. A dashboard is being used for this purpose. This dashboard has been designed at the level of actions, so that it provides a good overview of the expenditures for each action and established objective. This will allow for making agreements concerning adjustments during consultations. For the spending plan for research, it has been agreed that monitoring and evaluation are to be performed by the EB, in consultation with the School Boards. To this end, a record is kept of the number of researchers encountering delays and the solutions offered—with or without the use of NPO funds.

Involvement of the representative bodies 

To accommodate the important role of participation in this matter and its involvement in the development of the spending plan for teaching, the University Council will be informed of the progress of both spending plans. In this process, any adjustments can also be discussed with the University Council.