Universities of technology sound alarm over student numbers

Part of Eindhoven University. Photo: Michiel1972 via Wikimedia Commons

Both Delft and Eindhoven universities of technology are planning to limit student numbers on more courses, despite the demand in industry for engineers and technical staff, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Monday.

Eindhoven says it will raise the number of course with a maximum number of students from four to seven or eight while Delft is threatening to stop some courses altogether unless the government comes up with more money.

‘We cannot fit more people into the lecture theatres or labs,’ said chairman Tim van der Hagen. ‘Our staff are working flat out. If this continues, we will have to become smaller and shut down some courses.’

Delft has grown from 15,800 to 24,000 students over the past 10 years, of whom around 20% come from abroad.  Eindhoven’s student population has almost doubled in the same period to 12,000. Foreign students account for 12% of the total.

University organisation VNSU acknowledges the problems and wants the government to put an additional €850m into universities. That money, based on savings made when grants were abolished in 2015, had been earmarked for high education but has not yet been paid out.

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