Saturday, December 8, 2018
Inside Higher Ed, A New Model for Professors in the Netherlands:
Country plans shift away from evaluating faculty members only on research metrics. Move would also make it possible to be hired on the basis of teaching.
The Netherlands will radically shake up how academics are assessed and promoted, including a shift away from relying on citations and journal impact factors.
Dutch universities also want to make it easier for academics to become professors on the basis of their teaching record, in a shift that will be closely watched by policy makers and unions across Europe.
The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) and bodies for university medical centers and health research said that they would organize a raft of activities in 2019 designed to find a “new approach” to “recognizing and rewarding academics.”
According to Rianne Letschert, rector of Maastricht University and one of the leaders of the review, one of the aims is to scale back the use of citation metrics and controversial journal impact factors, an average measure of the citations papers in a particular journal receive. These metrics are currently “dominant” factors in university promotion decisions and are used by the NWO when making grant decisions, she said.
Their use would be scaled back, and Letschert said she hopes that instead there would be an expectation that funders and university heads of department would read applicants’ work, rather than rely on metrics.
Another plank of next year’s review is to create “differentiation of career pathways,” meaning that universities and university medical centers should give academics “a choice for specific focus areas — teaching, research, knowledge transfer and/or leadership,” according to a VSNU statement.