Paul van Gerven
3 September 2019

Dutch universities don’t intend to cut art and humanities budgets in favor of STEM education, as Secretary Ingrid van Engelshoven of Education desires. In a major PR offensive coinciding with the start of the academic year, rectores magnifici and chairmen argue for the societal importance of non-STEM education, which in their view has already seen enough cutbacks.

In June, Van Engelshoven announced she largely embraces recommendations made by the Commissie-Van Rijn, which includes a partial budget redistribution based on the number of the science and technology students enrolled. As a consequence, budgets of technical universities increase at the expense of general universities. If the latter choose not to cut arts and humanities, they’ll have to find another way to accommodate their budget cuts, possibly by downsizing natural science departments.

Van Rijn_web
Effects of budget reallocation recommendations by the Commissie-Van Rijn. On balance (‘saldo’), the four Dutch technical universities (4TU) see a significant budget increase. Source: CVR report