donderdag 26 februari 2015

In favor of a democratic university and against current budget cuts

During the last couple of weeks, Amsterdam is experiencing lots of student protests in favor of a more democratic university and against the current budget cuts imposed on the humanities. Here are their demands (also in English). I can't agree more!

Contrary to universities abroad, there is no democratic election of university boards in the Netherlands. I believe this is a very risky situation: without being elected by students and staff, the board has no democratic mandate. Clearly Dutch law has to be changed in this regard.

The board of the university of Amsterdam could win the hearts of the students (and vice versa) if they propose to go together to The Hague to protest against current legislation and to discuss with the minister. It seems that students, staff and board want in principle the same, but are talking past each other. Please get together!

As to the budget cuts imposed on the humanities, here is an opinion article from the Volkskrant defending the thesis that a university is morally obliged to also maintain small, unprofitable studies.