Tech. University students demand more money for their studies

The four Technical Universities in the Netherlands needs more money to cope with the influx of students, student organizations at the four universities and intercity student association ISO wrote in an open letter to the responsible ministers, NOS reports.

The letter is addressed to Ministers Jet Bussemaker of Education and Henk Kamp of Economic Affairs, as well as State Secretary Martijn van Dam of Economic Affairs. The Netherlands' four Technical Universities are located in Eindhoven, Delft, Wageningen and Enschede.

According to the letter, a few years back there was ta threatening shortage of students for the technical universities. "Government and industry, employers and employees, boards of directors and students joined forces with the aim to get 40 percent of students to choose a technical study." the letter reads. That was a success - the number of students at te TU's increased fom 32 thousand to 53 thousand in a decade.

But that success also has a downside, according to the letter. The budget did not increase along witht he students, with all the consequences that entails. "Cinemas serve as lecture halls, practicals are scrapped and small work groups turned into majore lectures." Students often have to wait days for time in a laboratory, are forced to work in pairs and some practicals are now even done with software instead of actual equipment.

At this stage the TU's will either have to stop taking in students or cut back on quality of education, according to the letter writers. "Unless you - Ms. Bussemaker, Mr. Kamp and Mr. Van Dam - offer us a hand to work with us on a solution, just lie in 2013." Then the universities were given 11 million euros extra. "But it's only a drop in the oceon of the 450 million euros we structurally need." They call on the ministers to take responsiblity. "Every election you talk about the importance of innovation and technology education. Now we challenge you: put your money where your mouth is."

The technical universities previously announced that they may have to start limiting the number of students they take in. Bussemaker stated that she saw no problem with this. The VVD and CDA recently called her on that, saying that limiting the number of students is unacceptable.

 

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