The Board of the University of Groningen calls on all students and staff to demonstrate in The Hague on Friday 21 January. It is hoped to 3,000 participants. The Board of the Faculty of Arts will attend the demonstration in The Hague.
In support of the demonstration, all Dutch universities have declared Friday 21 January a lecture-free day; examinations, however, will still take place.
The Board will be laying on buses to transport students to The Hague and back. Please register via www.groningen.metdebusnaardenhaag.nl. Students with an OV travel pass that is valid on Fridays are asked to travel there by train.
The demonstration on the Malieveld in The Hague will start at 1 p.m.
Dutch universities are seriously concerned about the cuts to Higher Education being proposed by the cabinet. The cuts in academic teaching and research funding will run to many hundreds of millions of euros a year.
Universities also think that students must study successfully, and that we need to aim for fewer dropouts and fewer students with study delay. However, more intensive high-quality teaching is what is needed – and that needs more rather than fewer lecturers. The cuts will have precisely the opposite effect; from 2011, there will be roughly ten percent less budget available for lecturers. This measure could very well lead to the jobs of several thousand lecturers being axed.
Now is the time to invest in knowledge, because knowledge is what will drive the future. If we do not, this will inevitably be at the expense of jobs, the future of young people and the quality of our society.
The universities’ professors will also be protesting against the cabinet’s plans. On Friday 21 January, the Rectors of all the Dutch universities will be organizing a special academic meeting in The Hague. Before the meeting, the professors will process through the centre of The Hague in full academic dress.
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