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This week, students and teachers protest throughout the country against austerity policies in the education system by the Dutch parliament.
“Millions of budget cuts while investments were promised, the abolition of the basic grant for students, and the declining quality of our education, we no longer accept it,” said one of the students of the Nieuwe Universiteit Utrecht (NUU). On Prince Day, another cutback of 19 million is expected as part of the so-called ‘efficiency discount’ of 183 million.
That’s one of the main reasons why students are coming together this week in protest. Students in Utrecht, united under the name New University Utrecht, will be taking part in a national week of action from the 24th to the 28th of September with activities organized by students and teachers in the whole country.
On Monday and Wednesday, students will be holding a ‘Scream for Education’ campaign . These will take place at the university library on Monday (Drift 27) between 12:45 and 13:45 and on Wednesday at the Uithof betwee 12:45 and 13:45. The Uithof is one of the largest university campus sites in the city.
The NUU will be working together with ‘We Want Woonruimte’, literally translated to ‘We want living space’. This organisation is run for and by students who will be holding an open discussion on Tuesday from 13:00 to 15.00 about the housing crisis in Utrecht. This event will be held in the garden of the Drift park.
We demand a structural reinvestment by which the government expenditures for higher education are brought back to the level of the eighties: 7% of GDP (instead of a meager 5.6% in 2018). Their appeal also includes the creation of a national committee of binding authority and a university where students and lecturers have a real say in the policy.
“The government does not recognize these problems, their investment priorities are focused on multinationals rather than in the invest of our society and its future. If students and teachers can work together to point out problems in the educational system, we have a greater chance than if we are alone,” claimed Bart van Holsteijn of the NUU.
Image credit: Robbert van Rumund of the NUU