Paul van Gerven
4 July 2019

Dutch technical universities will see their budgets rise, but by how much remains unclear even after a parliamentary debate this week. According to calculations made by the coalition of universities, VSNU, the TU Delft will receive an additional 28.2 million euros per year in 2023, the TU Eindhoven 13.4 million and the University of Twente 6.1 million, while all other universities will have to deal with cutbacks.

The ministry of Education disputes these numbers, however, arguing that VSNU failed to take into account several additional policy changes. VSNU counters that the ministry itself left out administrative measures that impact university budgets.

VSNU budget cuts_web
Source: VSNU

Supported by the coalition parties, it doesn’t look like Education secretary of state Ingrid van Engelshoven will hold off implementing her plans. She did promise to evaluate budgetary effects at the institutional level and offer reparations if necessary.

Several universities aren’t satisfied and are starting to offer resistance. The Vrije Universiteit, among others, is refusing to reallocate budget from non-STEM to STEM disciplines per Van Engelshovens plans. WO in Actie, a pressure group, announced protest marches during the opening of the next academic year. Over 300 STEM scientists signed a petition denouncing the budget cuts at other disciplines, and instead plead for general budget increases for all sciences.

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