Government proceeds with cuts in higher education

18 Sep 2019 ,

Next year, higher education institutions will face additional cuts. It concerns an amount of 3,14 million euros. Minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra announced this yesterday, in the 'Miljoennnota', the explanation of the government's budget for the upcoming year. And since the study loan interest rate increase is cancelled, an additional 226 million euros will be cut after 2025.

Traditionally, all eyes are on The Hague during ‘Prinsjesdag’, the day the government presents its budget. Around a quarter past three, minister of Finance Wopke Hoekstra presented the ‘Miljoennnota’, the explanation of the budget. In it, there’s cost reduction for the employed, extra money for youth services, the army and affordable housing. But not for higher education.

Because of a wrong estimate by the Ministery of Education, Culture and Science, 4,4 million euros is taken out of the Research and Science policy budget. On top of that, the cabinet will cut 3,14 million euros extra on higher education. That means that universities and universities of applied sciences have to save 42 million euros a year, starting next year. And since the study loan interest rate increase is cancelled, an additional 226 million euros will be cut after 2025.

On September 2, during the opening of the academic year, scientists from all over the country came to Leiden for a protest by WOinActie. They hoped that the minister would invest more in academic education and research.

Those investments are off the table now, much to the dismay of WOinActie. ‘We are up for a hot five years, so become a member of the union, for a joint approach against the *fifth* higher university budget cut in a row!’, writes front man Rens Bod on Twitter.

The Association of Universities of Applied Sciences is disappointed as well. ‘The cabinet speaks about an investment fund, but announces hard cuts in our institutions at the same time’, says Maurice Limmen.

The total expenditure of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science for next year is budgeted at 42,7 billion euros. 5,2 billion goes to scientific education.

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