Wednesday 22 March 2023

Minister slates uni's funding ignorance

Education minister Robbert Dijkgraaf has said he is ‘shocked’ at the lack of financial transparency which surrounds the funding of professorships at Dutch universities. The minister responded to research done by the Financieele Dagblad which showed almost 700 external investors, including 200 private sector companies, finance a fifth of all university chairs. It took the paper almost a year to find out where the money came from because universities themselves did not know which chairs benefited from external funding and... More >

Groningen appoints professor of Frisian

The University of Groningen has now appointed a professor of Frisian language and culture following a storm of protest at the abolition of the post last year. When the last professor retired, the university decided to employ a senior lecturer for the post, in contravention of a provincial funding agreement which stipulates a professorship. The university said at the time it had been unable to find the right candidate for the job. That claim was disputed by Arjen Dijkstra, director... More >

International student numbers 'too high'

Student organisations have added their voices to calls for a temporary brake on international student numbers, ahead of the publication of new government measures next month. International students now account for 40% of first years and this is having an impact on the quality of degree courses, the LSVB and ISO told news website On Wednesday MPs called on the government to bring in permanent limits but that would be going too far, given the added value foreign students... More >

School calculator costs need controlling

Schools need to stop changing the requirements for calculators every year because parents are being forced to buy expensive machines too often, CDA and SP parliamentarians say. ‘New calculators come on the market regularly, with all sorts of additional functions which are not necessary for good education,’ Christian Democrat MP Rene Peters said during a parliamentary debate on digitalisation and education. ‘In addition, they have to be switched off during exams. Manufacturers are getting rich but parents face unnecessary costs... More >

Foreign students welcome: regional unis

Areas outside the central Randstad part of the Netherlands are afraid they will lose out if universities and hbo colleges are stopped from actively recruiting international students abroad, Trouw reported on Tuesday. Education minister Robbert Dijkgraaf is currently preparing draft legislation to make the influx of foreign students more manageable, following a motion backed by MPs some months ago. Since then universities and colleges outside the big cities have been up in arms about the impending new rules, saying that... More >

All your own work? AI moves into schools

School pupils and university students in the Netherlands are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence aids to help them with their homework and essay writing, according to research by broadcaster NOS and news website NOS reported earlier this week that hundreds of school pupils are using ChatGPT to write articles and do homework on their behalf. The software, released for testing by Open AI in November, uses artificial intelligence to answer questions but can also be used to write essays... More >

30 arrests in UvA climate protest

Riot police were drafted in to end the occupation of a vacant university building in the centre of Amsterdam on Monday night after campaigners calling on the UvA to break ties with Shell barricaded themselves inside. In total, 30 people were arrested inside and outside the building on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal. The police action ended shortly before midnight. A university official had said earlier in the day that peaceful demonstrations are acceptable but not occupations. The students and other protestors... More >