NIOZ

GAP FUNDING AND PERFORMANCE UNIVERSITIES

RATHENAU INSTITUTE CALLS FOR DEBATE

Dutch universities have delivered more bachelor and master's students over the past few years, while public funding by the government barely increased. Grants are more and more inconsistent with educational performance, analysis of the Dutch Rathenau institute explains.

Between 2009 and 2016, the number of academic students who obtained a bachelor's degree from a Dutch university increased from 26,348 to 35,162 per year. The number of masters increased from 32,538 to 42,027 per year. In the same period, university's public funding increased from 3,303 to 3,746 billion euros a year.


Consider student stops

The largest gap is to be found at the four technical universities (TUs) in the Netherlands. There, the number of bachelor's degrees increased from 3.182 in 2009 to 5,170 in 2016, an increase of 62 percent. The number of master's degrees increased by 44 percent from 4,829 to 6,959. In the same period, the government contribution for these universities increased by 8.5 percent. Due to a lack of staff and practical facilities, the TUs consider a student stop for some studies 


Support university education

The analysis by the Rathenau Institute, an organization that stimulates public and political opinion on science and technology, shows that the performance by universities is a lot higher, while public funding is barely increasing. The current funding system leads to the fact that universities compete for growth in the number of students. 

Melanie Peters, Director of the Rathenau Institute: "Instead of talking about student stops, we should debate the quality of university education and think about which system is best suited to support it."

(source: the Rathenau Institute)