Students and staff will in future be able to veto Wageningen University’s budget. This is a consequence of the right of assent on the main points of the budget which is to be granted to the staff-student councils of all Dutch universities.
Marc Loman, member of the WUR Council and secretary of the Joint Meeting, is pleased about the new right. ‘It sounds as though the consultative bodies will be given a bigger role by the university. But it is not clear yet exactly what it means.’
The executive board’s response to the new development through spokesman Simon Vink is reserved. ‘The executive board does not consider it necessary and did not feel the lack of it. After all, good budgets have been drawn up without rights of assent, haven’t they? But if that is the new situation, then that’s the way it is, and the executive board will have to deal with it.’
Right of assent to the budget disappeared in 1997 with the introduction of a new law on higher education and scientific research. On the insistence of D66, current minister Bussemaker is turning the clock back.
Although this time the rights only extent to the main points of the budget. What that means remains to be seen. The proposal only comes before parliament in September.