Minister gets the green light for further cuts

July 5, 2019 - VAWO is extremely disappointed that the OCW Committee (Education, Culture and Science) has agreed to the redistribution of the budget for higher education. Yesterday, the Minister was given the green light to implement the funding plan, which means, among other things, that money from the alpha, gamma and medical studies will go to science and technology.

This proposal comes from the report of the Van Rijn Committee, which indicated that more money should be spent on STEM. VAWO also believes that more money should be spent on this, but not at the expense of the other sciences. Remarkably enough, Van Rijn himself wrote that, in the current non-transparent funding model, shifting money is not wise, but in the same report he nevertheless recommends that this be done. Precisely for this reason, VAWO does not understand that the Minister does not want to wait for research into the actual costs at universities. "It is unwise and downright frustrating," says VAWO director Donald Pechler. "I wonder if the Minister is aware of the negative consequences for all academic studies.”

The headline of the university newspaper Ad Valvas this week already showed how unclear the funding situation of universities is: 'Only the Minister understands the funding plan of the Minister'. Last Monday during the debate, Minister Van Engelshoven of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) claimed, by all means, that in the end all directions will receive more money. This includes the alpha, gamma and medical sciences. VAWO, WOinActie and many university employees, among others, think differently about this. "After cutting back on cutbacks, plus a decrease in the contribution per student and now a redistribution of money, one cannot speak of a 'substantial investment' as the Minister does," says Pechler.

"Every time we think: it couldn't be any worse, it turns out to be the case. So we will have to continue to take action," says Pechler. The first action is planned for 2 September, the start of the Academic Year. Together with the WOinActie FNV and LSVb, VAWO is organising the 'true opening’ of the Academic Year.