A database featuring 295 women considered good candidates for top jobs in industry is being published by education minister Jet Bussemaker and employers' organisation VNO-NCW on Wednesday. The database is in response to complaints that there are not enough qualified women around to serve on the supervisory boards at the 200 biggest Dutch companies. Progress in boosting the number of women in top jobs in the Netherlands is being made at a snail's pace, Bussemaker is quoted as saying by news agency ANP. 'We are being overtaken left and right,' she said in a statement. [banner] The government's target is to ensure 30% of supervisory and executive board members are female by 2016 but the figure is currently around 10%. 'This register should create awareness and remove blind spots,' the minister said. Without serious effort, the introduction of quotas remains an option, Bussemaker said. 'I'm not in favour of [quotas] but I will not rule out using them. Time is running out.' The ANP report does not state how the list of potential female bosses was compiled. More >
Amsterdam students protesting about university policy 'certainly have a point', education minister Jet Bussemaker said in an interview with Trouw. The students are protesting about plans to stop some courses, the lack of democracy and the university's plans to sell some property. The students, who are currently occupying the university's administration centre, say the university has become a business rather than a place of learning. 'It is very serious if students experience their university as a factory,' Bussemaker told Trouw. She called on university bosses to listen to students 'extremely well'. Students nationwide have called for a day of action on Wednesday. [banner] 'Universities should be a place where there is debate,' the minister said. 'I would rather have that than students who do nothing other than consume.' Universities and colleges which want to close down courses should do this in a 'careful and transparent way' involving lecturers and students, she said. Uva Holding Meanwhile, the NRC has been looking at the University of Amsterdam's other interests which are channelled through its financial company Uva Holding. These not only include spin-off companies based on research but a property company, corporate consultancy IBIS which has advised TNT Post among others, a hotel in the city centre (Residence Le Coin), seven sports centres, a temporary employment agency, a souvenir shop and a translation agency which offers commercial services and language courses. The university's chairwoman Louise Gunning also earns over €200,000 a year, which is well above the official limit for the public sector, the paper says. More >
Noord-Holland province has approved a permit to catch the eagle owl which has attacked several people in the town of Purmerend. Eagle owls are a protected species and the province had to give official permission for it to be caught. A Purmerend town council spokesman said a falconer has been brought in to try to catch the bird in ‘the most animal friendly way possible’. Once caught, the bird will be taken to an aviary to try to find out if it has escaped from captivity. Otherwise ‘another solution’ will be found, the spokesman told news agency ANP. [banner] Wild eagle owls, which can have wingspans of up to two metres, are usually found close to the German border. Experts think the owl in an escapee because it is not afraid of people. Locals have been advised to use an umbrella while out walking in the area where the owl has been spotted to prevent attacks. More >
Railway companies, the infrastructure ministry and passenger groups want the rules for train travel in tunnels relaxed because of the number of false fire alarms. The organisations say train services are halted too often by fire alarms that turn out to be false, news agency ANP reports on Wednesday. ANP bases its claim on a confidential report for the ministry. The stoppages are reducing confidence in the railways, the report says. For example, fewer people are now taking the train to Schiphol airport because the tunnel is so often closed. [banner] If a tunnel fire alarm goes off, all train services have to be halted immediately. The FNV trade union opposes any plans to relax the rules on tunnel safety. More >
The Dutch football association has taken three points away from FC Twente because the club's finances are not in order. The KNVB rejected the club's plans to write off the cost of its stadium in the 2013-2014 season, despite the approval of an accountant. Twente has been on the KNVB's watch list because of its financial situation since last year. Twente have lost four of their past five matches and the loss of three points takes them from eighth to ninth place in the Eredivisie. More >
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