‘Academic subjects need one another’

Science scholars in the Young Academy are calling on their colleagues to sign a petition criticizing the recommendations of the Van Rijn Commission. They agree more money is needed for science and technology, but not at the expense of other academic subjects.
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Text: Hoger Onderwijs Persbureau, Inge Schouten

If it is up to the Van Rijn Commission, science and technology degree programmes will get more cash. Only the four technical universities will benefit from this; all the other universities will get less funding. Academics working in science and technology are pleased with the proposed investments but not if other academic areas suffer as a result.

Last week, science scholars at the Young Academy started an online petition in which they advocated ‘more gradual growth’ in education and research in their disciplines. ‘We think it is damaging for Dutch academia as a whole and the sciences in particular that academic disciplines and scholars are being pitted against one another in this way,’ they write.
It is a declaration of solidarity, says astronomer Frans Snik of Leiden University, one of the people behind the petition. ‘Academic disciplines need one another. Van Rijn’s advice is incredibly destructive for academia as a whole.’

Around 200 scientists have now added their signatures to the petition.

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