Leiden University: Take action on 6 April for a ‘Normal Academic Standard’!

Leiden University is calling on its students and staff to join in the national day of action – ‘alarm day’ – on Tuesday 6 April for a Normal Academic Standard (Normaal Academisch Peil ). Administrators, staff members and students from 14 universities will be sounding the alarm and asking the government to invest an additional 1.1 billion euros per year in university teaching and research.

Chronic underfunding is putting the Dutch universities under great pressure. Wherease student numbers have been increasing for years, the funding per student has decreased. And research funding has failed to increase along with student numbers for years. Research (under)funding also affects the quality of the universities’ teaching because their research and teaching are closely linked.

1.1 billion claim
On Tuesday 6 April the students, administrators and staff members of all 14 universities will therefore be calling on the new government for an annual investment of 1.1 billion euros. Only then will higher education in the Netherlands return to a Normal Academic Standard. This claim is supported by an independent report prepared by consultants from PricewaterhouseCoopers (in Dutch) at the request of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

Broad support
The campaign has broad support: it has the support not only of the universities, their administrators and the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), but also of WOinActie, the FNV, CNV and AOb unions and the LSVb and ISO student unions, Young Academy (KNAW) and postdoc.nl.


Professors in gowns, snorkels and flippers protest that they‘re ‘barely keeping their heads above water’.

Make your voice heard
‘It is really important to make our voices heard: we are calling on all our students and staff to join in,’ said Claire Weeda, a university lecturer in Leiden and active member of WOinActie. ‘University budgets have been slashed and the workload has been too high for years. The teaching and research at the Dutch universities is of a high level for now. Let’s keep it that way. Only then can we tackle the complex issues that Dutch society is facing.’

Manifesto
On 6 April national (Covid-proof) protests will take place at the universities themselves and in The Hague, where a manifesto will be presented to outgoing minister Ingrid van Engelshoven. Leiden University is calling on its students and staff to join in the campaign on 6 April, for instance by adding a message of support to your email signature (see below), using a special photo background in online meetings and tweeting about the campaign(#normaalacademischpeil and #NAP). For more information see the toolkit on www.normaalacademischpeil.nl.

Support
‘I’m taking action to improve university research and teaching. Due to underfunding our students, lecturers and teaching professionals are barely keeping their heads above water. It’s high time to return university education to a Normal Academic Standard. Go to www.normaalacademischpeil.nl and join us!’

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