Major parties reject higher education plan

Three of the four biggest parties in parliament are opposed to suggestions that the strict division between universities and hbo colleges could be blurred, Nos tv reports on Tuesday.

On Monday, education minister Ronald Plasterk said he was setting up a committee to look at suggestions for reforming the higher education system because the current set-up is too rigid and does not meet the needs of all students.
But Liberal, Christian Democrat and Socialist MPs criticised the plan. The separation between academic universities and vocationally-based hbo colleges is a valuable one, an SP spokesman told the Nos.
Only Plasterk’s own Labour party backs the research, the broadcaster said.
But both the university and hbo college councils see merit in the idea, the Volkskrant reports.
‘It is sensible to look at the entire system now more and more different groups of students are entering higher education,’ a spokeswoman for the VSNU told the paper. Nevertheless, Plasterk has missed an opportunity to solve the financial problems facing many universities, she said.
Student numbers are up sharply this year but university and college funding is based on the situation two years ago. Universities have already called on Plasterk to come up with extra cash.

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