UG prepares for cuts, including vacancy freeze


The UG is preparing for the upcoming cutbacks announced by the new cabinet, partly by instituting a hiring freeze.

The parties that will make up the Dutch Lower House want structural cuts of 500 million in higher education. 215 million of this comes from the so-called sector plans. This is money that the outgoing cabinet had promised and on the basis of which the university has already announced new people.

Cuts of 1.1 billion to the research and science fund have also been announced and the billions for innovation from the National Growth Fund will disappear.

Cutting one uni

The consequences for the UG are ‘considerable’, Hans Biemans of the board of directors said this week during the committee meeting preceding the university council. ‘The cuts are so big that it amounts to cutting one big university out of the system.’

So the UG needs to think carefully about how to prepare. For now, it is doing so by looking very critically at filling new vacancies; they will only be filled if really necessary.


The university also does not want to make decisions that affect the long term. ‘That includes investment policy in real estate,’ Biemans said. For example, the Faculty of Arts wants a new educational building in the city centre. There were also plans for a new sports centre, costing millions, at Zernike.

‘The architect is currently drawing up plans,’ Biemans said. ‘That means that if he finishes those in the next few months and wants to start a tender procedure, we’d hold off on that at first.’ This would only be a stop of a few months to better assess the situation later, not a total halt on construction.

The same applies to plans for a new downtown building. ‘We have to take many factors into account, such as the declining number of students and the occupancy rate,’ Biemans said. According to him, this should be included in the investment plans so that the university does not put itself at an unnecessary disadvantage.

Winning time

The UG is trying to gain time until it knows where it really stands. Because at the moment, that is still uncertain. The prospective government parties have indicated they want to make cuts, but the details are still unclear. ‘There is room there,’ Biemans said. ‘Perhaps we can find a way to avert too much cost-cutting, or cut costs in a way that is less harmful.’

Another bright spot is the fact that many of the cuts relate to investments. ‘It’s a shame if that money doesn’t come in, but at least we wouldn’t have to lay anyone off.’

But that does not change the fact that the future doesn’t look too bright, he says. Faculties and departments will be told before how to make their budgets the summer.

Read more:



De spelregels voor reageren: blijf on topic, geen herhalingen, geen URLs, geen haatspraak en beledigingen. / The rules for commenting: stay on topic, don't repeat yourself, no URLs, no hate speech or insults.


3 Reacties
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments