‘Eppo Bruins to be appointed minister of Education’

NOS reports that Eppo Bruins is to be appointed minister of Education at the behest of NSC.
The Netherlands, The Hague, 14 july 2020 Eppo Bruins representative for CU during a debate in the House of Representatives. Photo: ANP HH / Peter Hilz

Bruins (1969) currently chairs the Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Board and served in the House of Representatives until 2021 for the ChristenUnie. According to the NOS, he will succeed outgoing minister Robbert Dijkgraaf (D66).

The allocation of portfolios has not yet been published. Dijkgraaf is responsible for secondary vocational education and tertiary vocational and scientific education. He frequently stressed that these different forms of education are equally valuable, which was generally appreciated.

The next minister is expected to also combine these different forms of education, with primary and secondary education falling within the responsibilities of the other minister (or deputy minister). Who will be responsible for culture and media remains to be seen.

Fewer students

As a member of the House of Representatives, Bruins stated in 2020 in an online debate that perhaps too many youngsters enrol on tertiary education. ‘Our country depends on the decisions of seventeen-year-olds, while we face significant challenges in keeping our earning capacity up to standard’, he stated. Also: ‘Do we have enough students in secondary vocational education who learn masonry and carpentry?’

During the same interview, Bruins said that more funds should be made available for science because this benefits the economy or should be put towards solving societal problems such as radicalisation and terrorism. The outline coalition agreement contains considerable budget cuts for tertiary education and research.

Bruins, who graduated in physics, frequently made a case for other disciplines, particularly when the government diverted one hundred million euros to exact sciences and technology. ‘We want to safeguard the position of humanities’, he stated. ‘The humanities are vulnerable but of a high standard and valuable to our country.’

Recognition and rewards

Bruins currently chairs the Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Board (Dutch acronym AWTI). This council has expressed a positive opinion on ‘recognition and rewards’, the university administration’s efforts to pay less attention to rankings and publications in leading journals, and include other domains such as teaching, valorisation and management.

Furthermore, during Bruins’  tenure as chair, the council advised ‘less naiveté with regard to knowledge security.’

Also read:

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to write a comment.