Utrecht University: Utrecht University supports call for a ‘Normal Academic Standard’

Utrecht University is calling on its staff and students to take part in the national day of action – the ‘alarm day’ – for a Normal Academic Standard. On Tuesday 6 April administrators, staff and students of 14 universities will sound the alarm and ask the government to structurally invest 1.1 billion euros in academic education and research.

Dutch universities are among the world’s best. The whole of society benefits from this. Unfortunately, our universities are under pressure due to structural underfunding. For years, the number of students has been increasing, while the funding per student has been decreasing. As a result, there is too little time and money to invest in good research or to provide good education, let alone both.

As part of the WOinActie initiative, a broad coalition has been formed. On Tuesday 6 April, the students, administrators and staff of all 14 universities will call on the new cabinet to structurally invest an additional 1.1 billion. This is the only way to get academic education in the Netherlands back to the normal academic standards. This claim is supported by an independent report drawn up by consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers on behalf of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science.

Broad support
The action is widely supported, not only by the universities’ boards and the Association of Universities (VSNU), but also by WOinActie, the trade unions FNV, CNV and AOb, the student unions LSVb and ISO, the Young Academy of the KNAW and postdocnl.

Join us!
On 6 April nationwide (corona-proof!) actions will be held. In The Hague, a manifesto will be presented to outgoing minister Ingrid van Engelshoven. In Utrecht, at noon, scientists, employees and students will hold a symbolic demonstration (corona-proof) on the Domplein to highlight that they are in dire straits. The event will start with a short lecture by Niko Wanders, a researcher specialized in hydrological extremes and climate change. Employees and students are also called upon to take online action by posting pictures with special mouth caps and berets.

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