10 November 2017 • HOP, by Bas Belleman
Rutte III: Higher education can increase its efficiency
According to changes revealed in the state budget, the Dutch Cabinet is going to reduce the budgets allotted to universities and universities of applied sciences by tens of millions in coming years, referring to this as ‘more efficient education’.
As to the coming year, universities and universities of applied sciences are facing a cut of only 5.4 million euros. Over four years, however, the cuts will amount to 49.4 million euros. It’s being called ‘more efficient education’.
Lecturers to be spared
These changes in the budget are a result of agreements made in the coalition agreement. Still unclear, however, is what the new Cabinet has in mind for making education more efficient. Other educational sectors will also be subject to similar cuts. According to information issued by the ministry, however, these budget cuts won’t affect researchers and lecturers much. ‘The aim in achieving these savings throughout all the educational sectors (including research), is to affect the primary processes of education as little as possible.’
Even so, the budgets for universities and universities of applied sciences will not be any lower. Higher education and research university education will receive extra funding due if only to the abolishment of the basic grant (in 2018, universities and universities of applied sciences will receive an additional 206 million euros). The governing parties (VVD, CDA, D66 and CU) also want to spend more money on scientific research. They are reserving more than 200 million for fundamental research and another 200 million for applied research.