What and why?
The Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU) has asked BKB to support a broad coalition in
organising an ‘Alarm Day’ on 6 April to press home the lobby of the VSNU, universities and trade unions. The
entire academic community will stand united on this: staff, administrators, alumni, trade unions and students.
Newly elected Dutch Members of Parliament are the Alarm Day target audience, more specifically those
designated to lead the coalition negotiations, the political parties’ education spokespersons and their
The objective is to ensure that the Dutch government invests an additional 1.1 billion euros in university
education on a structural basis. This figure is supported by the recently published PwC report commissioned by
the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. This investment is critical to safeguard the quality of university
education. As a starting point, we have formulated the following message:
Dutch universities are among the best in the world. This benefits all of society. It ensures that our economy is
competitive and innovative. Our universities educate the people we need to meet the challenges of our time,
such as the coronavirus pandemic and the climate crisis.
Unfortunately, our universities are struggling due to being structurally underfunded. Although the number of
students has been increasing for years, funding per student has dropped. This has left precious little time and
financial resources to conduct high-quality research or deliver high-quality teaching, let alone both.
Yet these close ties between research and teaching are crucial for the quality of university education. The best
way to educate students is have researchers give lectures to them. This way, students can learn first-hand
about research methods and recent scientific insights and develop the inquisitive and critical attitude they
need, both in the world of academia and beyond.
As a result of underfunding, students no longer receive the education they deserve, while our lecturers and
professors are struggling to cope. It is high time to address this situation and to work towards a Normal
Academic Standard to ensure the students of today receive the proper education they need to meet the
challenges of tomorrow.
This is why teaching staff, researchers, students, administrators and alumni of all 14 Dutch research universities
will be congregating on Tuesday, 6 April to sound the alarm. They will be calling on the new government to
invest 1.1 billion euros on a structural basis. This call for investment is supported by the recently published PwC
report commissioned by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. These investments are essential to
restoring the level of Dutch university education to a Normal Academic Standard.
More details about the program can be found in the attached document.
Visit www.normaalacademischpeil.nl/english for more information or to join in.