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UG concerned about Minister's proposal on internationalization

20 June 2023

The UG is deeply concerned about the statements made by Minister Dijkgraaf in a debate on internationalization in higher education in the Dutch House of Representatives on Thursday 15 June 2023. Other Dutch universities have also expressed their concerns. These concerns are about the measures stated by the Minister regarding the main language for our programmes and the consequences these measures could have for our staff members, students, and ultimately for the quality of our teaching and research.

President of the Board of the University Jouke de Vries is extremely critical about this proposal: ‘We are proud of our international community. Following the recent debate, I completely understand the concerns of the members of our community. At the same time, I want to emphasize that we are not blind to the challenges we are facing and that we support a balanced set of measures and tools. It now seems that the Minister wants to use language as an instrument to reduce the intake of international students. The same happened in Denmark; the measures taken there have now partly been reversed again. Together with all other universities, we urgently need to start a dialogue with the Minister to come to a consensus about a balanced set of measures.’

Sharing knowledge across borders and embracing the international classroom as a concept have importantly contributed to what our University is now: a leading university which is deeply rooted in Groningen and which is an eminent knowledge partner for partners in our region, the Netherlands, Europe, and the world. The announced measures seem to jeopardize this position and impair our ability to contribute to the Dutch knowledge economy. They could signify a restriction to our autonomy to an extent that we have not often witnessed in the last 409 years.

Board of the University
Jouke de Vries
Cisca Wijmenga
Hans Biemans

Last modified:20 June 2023 7.22 p.m.
View this page in: Nederlands

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