Professor Tineke Willemsen was recently reappointed to a three-year term as Ombudsperson for oldest university in the Netherlands. Before becoming the Ombuds for a student body of nearly 18,000, Willemsen was Professor of Employment and Organizational Psychology at the University of Tilburg. She holds office hours two days a week in the Leiden University student center, although most complaints come by email.
Willemsen is generally able to resolve a complaint within a month. She starts by consulting the regulations relating to the department in question, or by contacting the department directly. Most cases relate to the administrative service provided by staff of faculties or central services, but there are also complaints about academic matters as well. Willemsen says most of her cases involve mediation, but "There is far less direct mediation where both parties are present than I had expected." Willemsen also indicates that complaints are increasingly being submitted by parents and by international students, which is consistent with trends in other European countries. (Universiteit Leiden News.)
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