At least 15,000 students and other university staff are expected to gather in The Hague on Friday in protest at the government’s plans for higher education.
The students are angry that the government plans to scrap grants for masters degrees and to increase fees for slower students by €3,000 a year.
They also say cuts in government spending on higher education will damage universities and colleges, and make it more difficult to reach targets on research and development.
The government wants the Netherlands to be one of the top five knowledge-driven economies in the world.
The AD reports that police believe a group of unnamed ‘radicals’ are planning to disrupt the demonstration by looking for a confrontation with the police.
Mayor Jozias van Aartsen and police chief Henk van Essen have ‘taken the necessary measures to counteract this and make sure the demonstration proceeds smoothly’.
The mayor did not say what extra steps have been taken. The LSVB students’ organisation said it was aware of the threat and is in continual contact with the police.
The organisation expects between 15,000 and 20,000 students will gather on the Malieveld open space close to parliament. The demonstration, which will be addressed by speakers such as Labour leader Job Cohen, begins at 13.00 hours.
Extra train and trams services have been laid on to cope with the expected number of protesters.
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