Organisation - July 3, 2017

Where does the education funding go?

Albert Sikkema

Tiny van Boekel, Director of the Education Institute (OWI), together with a committee, will itemise what chair groups have done with the additional education funding that they have received. In the past six years, they received an additional 18 million euros for education.

© Guy Ackermans

The study is meant to provide a decisive answer to the question whether Wageningen chair groups are able to handle the demand for education with the available budget, and the cause of it if they cannot. In the next few months, the team under Van Boekel’s lead will talk with ten chair holders. He hopes to be able to draw conclusions after the summer break.

Additional funding
In the past years, the chair groups have received additional funding for education. In the academic year 2009-2010, the university spent 46 million euros on education through the ‘Brascamp model’, in which the educational load of lecturers and support staff is meticulously translated into currency. In the academic year 2012-2013, this had increased to 53 million euros, and by 2015-2016, it had reached 64 million. Altogether, the chair groups thus received an additional 18 million euros over six years’ time, that is an increase of 3 million per year. The question is how the chair groups have been spending that extra income.

A year behind
This growth of the education funding is irregular, as the increase of the number of students and the educational load fluctuate as well. Moreover, the budget is always a year behind on the educational load. This means that the calculated education efforts of the lecturers in the academic year 2015-2016 will not be disbursed to the chair groups until 2017. Due to this system, the chair groups only receive the resources a year later.

As more education is provided this year than in the previous year, due in part to the increased intake of Bachelor’s and Master’s students, this might explain the many signals that are currently received about excessive workload in Wageningen education. The chair groups receive about 64 million for education this year, while they should have received about 5 million more with respect to the educational load. They will not receive these extra funds until a year later. The Executive Board prefinances these additional education expenses, as the university only receives the direct government funding for the number of students attending and graduating with a two-year delay.