Students to propose motion against Van Rijn at D66 conference

Martin van Rijn hands education minister Ingrid van Engelshoven the Van Rijn committee report.

‘Plan will lead to more work stress’

Students ask D66 to come out against Van Rijn

RUG students and D66 members Romy Dekker and Thomas Hoekstra say that the D66 faction of the Lower House should come out against the redistribution of educational funds that takes money away from arts programmes and gives it to science programmes.
By Koen Marée / Translation by Sarah van Steenderen
29 October om 13:44 uur.
Laatst gewijzigd op 22 November 2020
om 16:18 uur.
October 29 at 13:44 PM.
Last modified on November 22, 2020
at 16:18 PM.

They will propose a motion for this at the party conference on November 9.

Education minister Ingrid van Engelshoven (D66) announced the redistribution of funds after the Van Rijn committee published a report in May. If the plan goes through, the students write, it will ‘probably result in more work stress among university staff’. 

Dekker and Hoekstra also say that the government needs to invest in education and research of all disciplines since it can help tackle societal issues.

In July, Van Engelshoven’s plans announced a 4.5 million cut to RUG funds starting in 2021. That money will instead go to technical universities. If Dutch universities accept the proposed fund redistribution, the RUG calculates it would lose 186 jobs.

Wiggle room

Dekker, who studies European languages and cultures, expects support for the motion at the conference. If the motion is accepted, the Lower House faction will have some wiggle room to make changes to it. ‘It’s not like we need something to happen right away. But if a majority votes in favour of the motion, that’s a clear signal at least.’

The two students are also tabling a motion to bring back the basic study grant. Recently, D66 leader Rob Jetten cautiously said he was open to an alternative to the current loans system. ‘We want the basic grant back’, says Dekker, ‘although not everyone in the party agrees with us.’


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