Massive numbers of Dutch students and professors hit the streets
Hundreds of professors and an estimated 10 to 20 thousand students will participate in a huge demonstration in The Hague this Friday. The demonstration is targeted against the planned higher education budget cuts in the Netherlands. The European Students Union (ESU) highly supports this demonstration which is organised by one of its Dutch members, the LSVb.
ESU urges all members of the European Higher Education Area, national education ministries and the National Unions of Students to give their support to the LSVb.
The Dutch government is about to cut over 1 billion euro on the higher education budget. These cuts on education will be the largest in the country since the 80s. The Dutch government intends to reach these cuts by cutting the student grants for graduate students. A new law that will force students and higher education institutions to pay a 3000 euro fee if the student needs more than the minimum amount of time set by the curriculum to finish their studies is also scheduled to be implemented.
The government will propose this law to the parliament in February. The law will be implemented in September 2011 and will apply retroactively to the current students. Institutions expect that this measure will force them to lay off thousands of teachers.
The demonstration is supported by Dutch higher education institutions, teachers and professors as well as political youth organisations. Already over quarter of a million signatories have been collected by the LSVb, expressing solidarity in the fight against the planned cuts on a special website. A letter of concern including a part of the autographs has also been offered to the Dutch government in anticipation of the vote in February.