Nieuws - 19 september 2011

Student and education unions deplore budget

Initial reactions to the education and research budget for 1012 are critical. The cabinet ‘is trying to keep up appearances’ and will not be able to achieve its sky-high ambitions, is the view being voiced.

The Intercity Student Council ISO wants 'an honest story'. The budget creates 'castles in the air', if only because spending on higher education does not keep pace with rising student numbers. 'If we want to achieve a more stable economy, a change of course is a must', says chair Sebastiaan Hamelaars in a press release.

The National Students' Union is no more enthusiastic about the budget. 'What it boils down to is that today's students are going to pay for the students of the future. Contributions for current students are being reduced as a solution to the rising student numbers', says chair Pascal ten Have. 'It is going to be higher education 'by students for students'.'

Ten Have also things it is all wrong that half a billion is going to be spent on tax cuts for companies investing in research & development. That money would have been much better spent on higher education, he feels: 'Then you could really invest in researcher Master's students and PhD students, in the workers of the future.'

According to the General Education Union AOb, the cabinet is trying to 'keep up appearances' with this budget. The union claims that education is never left in peace: the fine on extended studies has already been put in place. More should be invested in knowledge in order to secure the future of the Netherlands. No one is keen to see systems for rewarding achievements,  says the AOb.

There has been little comment from politicians so far. Sander de Rouwe, education spokesman for the CDA, is positive about the budget, he tweets. 'In times of necessary budget cuts, the education budget is largely spared. Rightly.' According to the Green Left party, the cuts on education and other posts 'weaken the economy'.