The Netherlands is heading for a knowledge gap!

26 August 2019 – That is why WOinActie, FNV, VAWO and LSVb are taking action by organizing the True Opening of the Academic Year in Leiden on Monday 2 September. During Minister van Engelshoven’s defense of her policy in the Pieterskerk in Leiden, hundreds of people working in science will gather elsewhere in Leiden for the True Opening of the Academic Year with students, scientists and other colleagues. Because we’re at the end of our tether!

Cutbacks upon cutbacks

1.15 billion euros must be invested in scientific education and research to reduce the workload. Instead of releasing these much-needed funds, and despite widespread protests, further cuts in the form of the so-called “efficiency discount” will be implemented as planned.

The minister intends to adopt the Van Rijn Committee proposals for a new funding model whereby up to 100 million Euros will be transferred from the alpha, gamma and medical faculties to the technical beta programs. Per annum! The lack of investment and the accumulation of austerity measures mean that it is no longer feasible for employees to do a proper job in education and research.

Extremely high work pressure

The current plans have disastrous consequences for employees and students. On top of that, the Netherlands will not be able to keep up as a science-oriented country. Most universities will have to reorganize due to the cutbacks and transfer of funds. Jobs will disappear, the already extremely high workload will increase, competition within fields of expertise will stiffen even more.

Many university teachers indicate that, due to the high workload, they can hardly offer students the quality of teaching and supervision that they deem necessary. The downward spiral of ever higher workloads, ever decreasing funds that has been going on for years with dire consequences for the quality of university education must be reversed!

Prevent backlog

WOinactie, FNV, VAWO and LSVb want adequate funding for universities. To this end, the overdue 1.15 billion must be invested in scientific education and research, the current austerity measures must be reversed and investments must be made in all scientific areas.

During the True Opening of the Academic Year, we will reflect on the dire consequences of government policy, but above all we will show what the power of each scientific field is and how indispensable the cooperation between these different scientific fields is.

The current austerity policy of Minister Van Engelshoven of Education poses a serious threat to science and to university education in the Netherlands. In doing so, the minister misses the mark by focusing unilaterally on applied science, while collaboration between all fields of science leads to valuable scientific breakthroughs.

Program True Opening Academic Year:

Monday, September 2, 3 p.m. Leiden

  • Opening: Remco Breuker, Korea studies, Leiden University, master of ceremonies.
  • Alfa: Birgit Meyer, Religious Studies, Utrecht University, Spinoza Prize Winner.
  • Beta: Arne Smeets, Mathematics, Radboud University, one of the initiators "Petition Betas against Van Rijn"
  • Gamma: Giselinde Kuipers, Sociology, University of Amsterdam
  • Interlude: Aafke Romeijn, musician and writer
  • Student, chairman LSVb: Alex Tess Rutten
  • On behalf of FNV / VAWO: Paul de Beer, Director of the Scientific Bureau for the Trade Union Movement, University of Amsterdam
  • On behalf of WOinActie: Rens Bod and Ingrid Robeyns

5:00 pm Closing