Most Dutch universities are protesting against the reduction of governmental budgets for teaching and research for years, while another additional reduction is imminent (see http://woinactie.blogspot.com).
These are the facts. Since 2000 the number of university students in our country has increased with 68%, while the government contribution per student has been reduced with 25%. This has affected the quality of teaching. Work pressure amongst staff of all ranks is enormous. Too many young scientists work in temporary positions.
The national action group WOinActie, consisting of university and trade union emloyees has been in contact with the Minister of Education, Culture and Science, but apparently without success. Therefore, an action week has been announced after Prinsjesdag (the Day of the King’s Speech), 18 September, when the governmental budget is presented. The demands are to renounce the additional reduction and to return to the government contribution per student of the year 2000.
Most Dutch Universities will be offering open-air lectures. With a group of colleagues we want to join the week action at Erasmus School of Law. All those thinking that we should also join our colleagues of all other Dutch Universities could come in action next week. If you will be giving or attending one of such lectures, it may be an idea to tweet, and share under the hashtag #WOinActie. The protests at ESL kick-off with an open-air lecture by Dr. Fiore Geelhoed on 'Kwalitatieve analyse van een wetgevingsproces: introductie' at 11 AM on the stairs next to Erasmus Paviljoen.
Besides, what we can still do is to wear a red action square in next week (24-28 September) and pay brief attention in lectures or tutor groups to the backgrounds of the actions and share the attached poster. Some posters and red squares can be collected at the Deans Office (Tuesday after 1 PM). Employees could also add an out-of-energy automatic reply next week, which reads 'I’m sorry, but with the foresight of even more budget cuts in science and scientific education at the initiative of the Dutch Government, we’re saving our energy for the even higher work pressure to come. If you want to know more about what we think should happen to safeguard the future of Dutch Academia, check out: http://woinactie.blogspot.com.’
If you have other ideas, or comments, please get in touch. This is the chance to make our voice heard.