Let the new politicians learn right away that a proper scientific education, sustainably provided, costs money
Dutch universities are among the best in the world. This benefits all of society. It ensures that our economy is competitive and innovative. Our universities educate the people whom we need to meet the challenges of our time, such as the coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis. Unfortunately, our universities are struggling due to being structurally underfunded. Although the number of students has been increasing for years, funding per student has dropped. This has left precious little time and financial resources to conduct high-quality research or deliver high-quality teaching, let alone both. Therefore April 6 is the national day of action to address these issues.
Yet these close ties between research and teaching are crucial for the quality of university education. The best way to educate students is to have researchers give lectures to them. This way, students can learn first-hand about research methods and recent scientific insights and develop the inquisitive and critical attitude they need, both in the world of academia and beyond.
As a result of underfunding, students no longer receive the education they deserve, while our lecturers and professors are struggling to cope. It is urgent to address this situation and to work towards a Normal Academic Standard to ensure the students of today receive the proper education they need to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
This is why teaching staff, researchers, students, administrators and alumni of all 14 Dutch research universities will be congregating on Tuesday, 6 April to sound the alarm. They will be calling on the new government to invest 1.1 billion euros on a structural basis. This call for investment is supported by the recently published PwC report commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. These investments are essential to restoring the level of Dutch university education to a Normal Academic Standard.
Visit www.normaalacademischpeil.nl for more information or to join in.