Budget Day had some good news for WUR. Wageningen University will get an additional 5 million euros in 2019, Wageningen Research over 17 million euros more. These extras were already in the Rutte III cabinet’s coalition agreement but they have now been made more specific.
Minister Hoekstra presents the million memorandum. © RVD, Valerie Kuypers
As of 2018, the university is the responsibility of the Education ministry rather than the ministry of Agriculture. The university has gained from this change as the ministry of Education has scrapped the former two-percent rule. That rule set a maximum of two percent on the annual increase in direct government funding for Wageningen education, even when student numbers grew much faster.
Redistribution of money
The two-percent rule no longer applied for current growth in 2018, but as of 2019 the university will also get partial compensation for past increases. As a result, Wageningen University will get a structural 5 to 6 million extra per year. The cabinet will find about half of this extra cash by reversing cuts in agricultural and nature education while the other half will come from a reallocation of funds to the different universities.
There will be some deductions from the extra 5 to 6 million for Wageningen University. That is because the cabinet is implementing an additional general cut of 12 million euros for all universities, on top of the previously announced efficiency cut of 13 million for 2019. Wageningen University will bear a proportionate share of that cut. On balance, the university is expected to get around 5 million extra next year, says Finance and Control director Bas Wessels.
After years of cutbacks, the government also has good news for Wageningen Research. Firstly, the Wageningen institutes will get a structural increase of 13.2 million euros from 2019 to strengthen their knowledge base. The cabinet had already promised that amount. In addition, there will be 4.6 million euros for ‘mission-driven programmes’ next year, rising to 12.2 million in 2020, according to the cabinet’s agriculture budget. So in two years’ time Wageningen Research will get additional government assignments worth more than 25 million euros.
The Executive Board had already allowed for the structural extra cash for the university. In anticipation, the board announced in July that all chair groups would get an additional 40,000 euros in structural funding as of next year to accommodate the growth in teaching work.