Nieuws - 28 september 2009

Cees Veerman to examine higher education

Former Minister of Agriculture Cees Veerman will hold the education system up to the light. Minister Plasterk said this yesterday in the news documentary 'Buitenhof'.

Veerman was Chairman of Wageningen UR from 1997 until 2002 and the Minister of Agriculture until 2007. He has taught and carried out research in Delft, Rotterdam and Tilburg. He also chaired the 'Meta-evaluation committee for quality assessment of scientific research' of the KNAW (Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences), NWO (Dutch Organization for Scientific Research) and VSNU (Association of Universities in the Netherlands).
Two flavours
Minister Plasterk feels that higher education is bursting at the seams. 'When this system was set up, only five percent of the population attended higher education. It's now fifty percent. And we continue to have just two flavours to offer: university of applied sciences (HBO), or university. I think that far from removing the difference between HBO and university, we should instead introduce more flavours.
He does not see student selection as a solution. 'We fence students out in this way, instead of helping them.'
Moreover, a new system should be considered regardless of any cost cutting in the future, he says. 'If we make changes, it will certainly cost money in due course.' /HOP