Scientists and students tread water in front of outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte's tower. With life jacket (third from left): Pieter Duisenberg.
Scientists and students tread water in front of outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte's tower. With life jacket (third from left): Pieter Duisenberg.

Statue: AOb

University alarm day: a wet suit for 1,1 billion

This afternoon, the chairman of the association of universities (VSNU) Pieter Duisenberg walked into the Hofvijver in The Hague to indicate that the sector is all about water. Students, lecturers and professors want to return to a 'Normal Academic Level' with an annual investment of 1,1 billion euros. An initiative of, among others, the AOb.

Hail, snow and strong wind made it by no means attractive to enter The Hague's Hofvijver. Yet VSNU chairman Duisenberg, among others, did it - somewhat protected by a wetsuit. The aim is to point out to the forming political parties the need for a substantial, structural investment in scientific education.

Freya Chiappino, vice-president of the student union LSVb, also got wet and addressed the nine MPs present. The VVD, CDA, PvdA and PVV, among others, sent a delegation. Chiappino: “The working conditions of our teachers are your responsibility. That they send us emails in the middle of the night. That they fall over in the lecture hall. That must stop. ”

'That they send us emails in the middle of the night. That they fall over in the lecture hall. That must stop '

Professor Annelien de Dijn shared her opinion today in the Volkskrant. She points out to readers the daily reality of the fourteen universities in the Netherlands: 'Students are at risk of no longer getting the education they deserve, teachers are being exploited and the scientific reputation of the Netherlands is at stake. We can't keep going like this anymore. ' Later in the day, perhaps the best-known Dutch scientist Robert Dijkgraaf also joined a video on Twitter behind the action.

Diving goggles

Like more of the several dozen activists in The Hague, Kees de Glopper is in a toga, wearing a red beret, mask and snorkel on his head. He supports the action from the quay. The Glopper itself has been out for a long time a number of times, largely due to the workload at the university. "Although there is always a personal component to it." He sees the problems growing. “Colleagues are structurally overloaded. Especially those who find it difficult to work extremely pragmatically drop out. That is of course a shame. ”

De Glopper himself has now scaled back his work from five to three days a week. "In practice there are five." Remco Breuker of WO in Actie is now walking into the water without protection up to his knees. “Structural money has to be added, so that the number of temporary contracts can be significantly reduced. We will continue to campaign until we can teach our students in a normal way and under healthy conditions. ”

irony

Also in Nijmegen, Groningen, Maastricht, Utrecht and Amsterdam today was called Alarm Day corona proof taken action. Although not everyone who wanted to join in could, let this teacher know via Twitter.

The activists want a 'normal academic level'. This must be feasible if an additional 1,1 billion euros is allocated annually to academic education on a structural basis. That is what the organizing education clubs, including the AOb.

This amount is close to what PricewaterhouseCoopers recently calculated for scientific education and research. The sector would need 800 million euros structurally and 300 million euros on a one-off basis. Duisenberg thinks he has a good chance of winning this money with a new cabinet: “Most politicians want to invest in higher education. Either to reduce the workload, or because they consider the knowledge economy important. ”

Read also: 'Research shows: billion euros shortage in higher education' 

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