“Diversity is a prerequisite for quality,” the Dutch minister of higher education, Ingrid van Engelshoven, recently said as she presented her “National Action Plan for Diversity and Inclusion” at Leiden University. “In an inclusive organisation, everyone can fully and equally participate and share in the decision-making process. I find it extremely important to create a safe learning and working environment in which all can feel at home and grow. That is what we want to stimulate with this national action plan,” Van Engelshoven continued.
Dutch Higher Education
The Netherlands stands to gain as an alternative study destination for European students not willing to fork out the maximum fee to study in the UK as a result of Brexit, a new survey has revealed.
Smack in the middle of the corona crisis, the Dutch cabinet published a report consisting of 16 papers outlining a broad range of options for improving public services, including the education sector. Next to a great number of interesting improvement options, however, the Broad Civic Re-evaluation, as it is called, also included a series of policy options that would plant a bomb under the education system in the Netherlands.
The plight of hundreds of international graduates in the Netherlands who petitioned the government to extend the 12-month orientation year (zoekjaar), afforded to international graduates allowing them to look for a job, has reached the Dutch parliament. D66 MP Jan Patternotte has addressed written questions to three ministers which they have to respond to later this week. The matter has also been highlighted on the EU website in a news brief.
A week before Christmas, the Dutch Senate passed the Bill on Language and Accessibility - meant to rein in the tide of English in higher education and ensure the survival of Dutch - after fierce debate.
Despite being a hefty 134 pages long, the Dutch government’s new Strategic Agenda for Higher Education has drawn criticism for its lack of concrete plans and time frames for its execution.
While public universities in the Netherlands will likely have to justify why they offer programmes in English in the future, no such obligation will rest on private institutions like Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences, the Dutch minister of education, culture and science, Ingrid van Engelshoven, assured Parliament this week.
The number of VWO students in the Netherlands starting a Dutch university study remains more or less the same, while the influx of international students continues to grow. This year 20 percent of university students come from abroad.
Wittenborg has welcomed a proposal from Dutch institutions of higher education that students at universities of applied sciences should also be given the opportunity to do PhDs and not only those at research universities.
At a recent meeting with 12 public and private institutions in the north-east region of the Netherlands, one of the discussion points was how the country can stay ahead of the game in higher education and research. Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences was also at the meeting.