After €1.1 Billion Loss, Dutch Universities Demand Urgent Funding

Price water Coopers (PwC), an auditing service, has revealed that universities in the Netherlands are €1.1 billion short.

In a press release by the Association of Universities in the Netherlands (VSNU), universities and authors affiliated with Dutch Universities (UMCs) agreed with the findings, affirming they are facing a significant funds deficit.

According to Erudera.com, PwC researchers also claimed that universities need a new funding model, preferably by adjusting the funds accordingly.

 “Additional investments are needed to maintain the level of academic education and research. The investment allows us to organize education on a small scale, reduce the workload and make more room for independent research,” The Netherlands Federation of University Medical Centres (Nederlandse Federatie van Universitair Medische Centra) (NFU) chairman Margriet Schneider said.

Students’ organizations also took the time to support the call by asking politicians to invest in universities.

 “To continue to provide excellent healthcare for tomorrow, scientific knowledge and innovations are needed. By setting ambitious goals in our research and education, we can drive medical breakthroughs in research and train the best people for tomorrow’s care and life,” student organizations ISO and LSVb stated.

PwC study confirmed that university research is progressively subject to ‘projecting,’ meaning that only four percent of the budget for analyses can be spent freely by researchers. The workload is high, and ambitions cannot be realized, while investments in infrastructure are also falling short, PwC also noted.

The Knowledge Coalition, known as the Dutch developers of the National Agenda, has previously issued a proposal for a ten-year stable growth in research, development, and innovation fundings to reach the three percent GDP by 2030 remain internationally competitive.

A similar demand occurred on October 21, 2020, by Universities Austria (UNIKO), VSNU, German Rectors’ Conference (HRK), and members of the European University Association (EUA), which called on EU governments to acknowledge the value of education and innovation within the EU Multiannual Financial Framework.

According to the statement, European higher education is compromised in the following Multiannual Financial Framework among the European Parliament, European Council, and the EU Commission.

Participants have urged the regulators to increase the fund and implement programs like Erasmus+ and Horizon Europe.

“Europe’s universities are world-class and well prepared for the tasks. However, to play in this league, investments are necessary, also in view of geopolitical developments,” the joint statement reads. The US is leading the list of investments, and since 2017 China positioned second from the EU when it invested a total of €370 billion compared to the EU’s €320 billion.

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